EPSB discusses need for virtual learning
The Evangeline Parish School Board met via Zoom Wednesday where Superintendent Darwan Lazard discussed the need for virtual technology in the days of pandemic.
Lazard said they are providing training to teachers on virtual formats and trying to get ready for the next school year in case there is a big virtual component that teachers will be required to utilize to provide instruction to students. “I want to make sure we give every tool possible to our teachers so that they can do the best job possible, and our students can hopefully be as successful as they can be.”
Since schools have been closed due to COVID-19, teachers are continuing to work, signing in and signing out, participating in online trainings, meeting with principals and supervisors via Zoom and Google Hang Out and other platforms. Teachers are continuing to contact parents of students, while principals and leadership teams are providing instructional materials for students.
Lazard said more Chromebooks are needed for students. He thanked the board for providing Chromebooks, but said they are about 1,000 short. “It’s critical because we’re looking at possibly providing more virtual instruction to our students here in Evangeline Parish,” Lazard explained. He is aiming to have a 1:1 student/Chromebook ratio. As a part of re-opening, he said they are also looking to provide more technology in the hands of teachers in the way of Smart Boards. He is also trying to provide better internet connectivity to homes in the parish to provide students with virtual learning. He said curriculum supervisors have been working with IT teams to aid teachers with training to teach in a virtual setting.
In other business, the board approved an interagency agreement with the State of Louisiana Department of Education to authorize Superintendent Lazard to enter into any and all contractual obligations on behalf of the school board.
Lazard reported the high school graduations were “a great success in Evangeline Parish.” He attributed that to cooperation from the parents and students working with school principals and committees. “They did an outstanding job,” Lazard explained. He added there was plenty of support from the parents and communities. He expressed gratitude from the Evangeline Parish community, mayors, police chiefs, and other city officials for helping to make graduations successful.
Lazard gave a virtual shout-out to the new State Superintendent, Dr. Cade Brumley, “He’s an experienced superintendent, most recently in Jefferson Parish, which is the largest school district in Louisiana and one of the largest in the nation. He was previously the superintendent in Desoto Parish, and he did a phenomenal job in both places where he has served. I look forward to a great day for education in Louisiana under his leadership. I know he’s committed to high standards, just as I am. He’s going to do a great job for the children and the employees in Louisiana.”