Nearly 90% OF STUDENTS OPT FOR ON-CAMPUS INSTRUCTION
Approximately 90 percent of all students enrolled in Livingston Parish Public Schools have opted to receive instruction through one of the district’s on-campus formats, according to Superintendent Joe Murphy.
Murphy said (as of Aug. 17, 2020) the district has enrolled 26,155 students for the fall semester. Of that total number, only 2,980 students have enrolled in a virtual-only format because of COVID-19 health concerns.
Livingston Parish Schools opened on Aug. 7, according to its Phase 2 plan, with a majority of students receiving instruction through a hybrid format that includes on-campus and virtual instruction.
Currently, 7,893 students have been assigned to Group A to attend classes at their in-district schools on Mondays and Wednesdays and every other Friday, and 7,509 students will be in Group B to attend classes at their in-district schools on Tuesdays and Thursdays and every other Friday opposite Group A. The students are receiving virtual instruction on the days they are not scheduled to be on their campuses. The hybrid structure applies to those students in grades 3 to 12.
Students in grades pre-K to 2, as well as students with special needs and those subject to special circumstances, are attending classes at their in-district schools five days per week. Currently, 7,534 students are enrolled for this traditional campus learning group.
SCHOOL OFFICIALS ADDRESS INTERNET CONNECTION ISSUES
School Technology Director Carlos Williams recently presented a long list of issues and concerns that the Livingston Parish Public School System is facing with having adequate digital access to all its students across the parish.
He told state leaders that a large portion of students will be receiving virtual instruction in some way or another this semester, so parish-wide access to the internet is critical to the district’s instructional efforts. Williams made his presentation to State Senator J. Rogers Pope and State Representative Buddy Mincey, Jr., both of Denham Springs, and State Representative Daryl Deshotel of Marksville.
Williams said an estimated 2,500 to 3,500 Livingston Parish students do not have internet access at their homes. At the same time, many areas of the parish lack in the fiber build out by a service provider, while others also have poor cell coverage. Williams said state help is needed in developing a long-term plan to work with vendors to install infrastructure that can provide broadband access, to work with cell providers to provide better coverage, and to develop additional community partnerships for better access.
ASSESS THE NEED SCHOOL SUPPLY PROGRAM IN 20TH YEAR
This is the 20th year that Livingston Parish Assessor Jeff Taylor, local volunteers and area businesses have once again sponsored the Assess the Need campaign to provide school supplies for needy students. Supplies for nearly 3,000 students were distributed to schools before the first day of class despite challenges caused by the constraints and economic concerns of COVID.
“Many of our families and local businesses have been directly impacted this year by the Coronavirus, which has created an added struggle to what can already be a challenging time for parents and grandparents to finance their children’s needs to go back to school,” Taylor said.
“By helping struggling families receive the school supplies their children need, they can prioritize their limited resources on food and clothing.”
Taylor noted donors can give to the program without coming into contact with volunteers, who in past years, stood outside the parish’s large Wal-Mart Stores to collection donations. This year, donors can use the camera apps on their cell phones to connect directly to a pay portal on Venmo or PayPal to give. All donations are tax-exempt. Links to those pay portals are available at www.AssesstheNeed.com.