Phased in back to school is delayed
Since the school year began, Evangeline Parish public schools were on a half and half schedule for 6th through 12th graders, where one group of students would attend school for in-person instruction half the week, and the other group would attend the second half. This was all because of COVID-19, to help reduce community spread.
At the last school board meeting on November 4, it was announced all students (with the exception of EVA students) would return for in person instruction each day, beginning November 9, with the exception of Wednesdays, which would remain a day to sanitize schools and for teachers to hold office hours.
The weekend before the change, the school board website stated the phase in of 6th and 12th grade students would be postponed, but no reason was given. When asked for the reason for postponement, Superintendent of Schools, Darwan Lazard, said he consulted with the officials of the Louisiana Department of Health, Region 4, and decided to postpone the phase in “due to the significant increase in the percentage of positive COVID-19 cases in Evangeline Parish.” He said Evangeline Parish’s case-positive rate increased from 3.4% to 10.5%. “Overwhelmingly, the increase is the result of community spread which is attributable to recent community Halloween parties, non school sponsored homecoming events held after-hours, other group assemblies, as well as the lack of face covering, physical distancing, hand washing, etc.”
Louisiana, like other states across the country, is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths. Schools around Acadiana are seeing spikes in numbers and have had to quarantine. St. Landry Parish schools had to cancel their last football games. Ville Platte’s Sacred Heart High School was quarantined for two weeks, and so was Eunice High. Other schools affected have been in Vermilion, Lafayette, and Iberia Parishes.
When asked when a new phase-in date would be, Lazard said, “After the Thanksgiving break, we will confer with health officials and re-evaluate our situation.”