The Lafayette Parish School System has made the decision to send 8th graders and 12th graders back to campus for learning full-time, starting February 1st. The school system says they’re doing a good job with mitigation efforts, transmission of the virus at school is low, and there have been no widespread school closures.
Currently, Lafayette Parish has the 3rd highest number of student cases reported in Louisiana this school year – 819.
“We support putting kids safely back in schools,” said Julia Reed, president of the Lafayette Parish Association of Educators. “We still have some questions around the safety of sending back 8th and 12th graders.”
Reed says she’s not against bringing these students back to campus, but bringing back the senior class could be challenging.
“We do know that it’s rampant in the community. 12th graders have jobs. They have cars. They can go. A lot of them are 18. They’re going to go where they want to go, and do what they want to do. That’s coming back into the school. That’s concerning,” said Reed.
“With the mitigation efforts we have in place, and the research we have from around the world, schools are not super spreader locations for the virus,” said Dr. Cade Brumley, superintendent of the Louisiana Department of Education. “They’re one of the safest places our kids can be.”
“We feel like our educators, leaders, and parents are doing a good job of keeping those kids safe. We look forward to welcoming more and more students back to face-to-face instruction, because with the vaccine on the way, we are in the final chapter in the book in the global health pandemic,” said Dr. Brumley.