1. We have continued to work out several issues for the feeding program. It has been operating very efficiently and has been very helpful to several people. I commend the food service workers, the food service staff at the central office, the Principals, and the parents for their outstanding cooperation and patience in this endeavor. Unfortunately, there are some factors we cannot control. The lack of commodities, food, supplies, and the limited access for deliveries has extinguished our resources. We are very concerned about the safety and well-being of our employees with the spread of the virus continuing at this rate. Therefore, we will have to suspend our feeding program after Thursday, March 26. Thursday, March 26 will be will be our last day to feed. We are exploring other possible options. We have applied to the Federal Government through Baylor University for a feeding program for students. Information will be given to the media with further instructions. We will also keep you updated on the VPSB website.
2. The Transportation Department is utilizing this time to sanitize and clean our fleet of buses. We are also using this time to perform complete maintenance of the buses.
3. With some confirmed cases already in the parish, we expect to have more. At some point, it may be one of our students or employees. I have attached again our action plan for a confirmed COVID-19 patient. Principals, please familiarize yourself with the plan. Contact Mr. Neubert (Director of Nursing) immediately so he can give you further guidance.
4. Principals, please set up your schools for some of your custodial staff to come in one day each week to clean and sanitize the school, cut grass, etc.
5. We are scheduled to return to school on April 20. Schools are scheduled to be allowed to reopen Monday, April 13. We will follow our school calendar and plan to have our scheduled Easter break the week of April 13-17.
6. Our Curriculum Department is continuing to work on supplementing our academic exercises. Parents can continue to access this material through website locations that we have provided on our VPSB website. For pickup packets, parents can contact their individual school. We are still in constant contact with the State Department as far as the plan forward for academic program, promotions, and graduation plans. We will keep everyone updated via our VPSB website.
7. All schools and offices will remain closed and on “shut down” until further notice.
8. We had an Emergency School Board Meeting via phone conference on Tuesday, March 24. The sole purpose of the meeting was for the Board to pass a Declaration of Public Emergency. This will assist us in our efforts. I appreciate the Board taking an active role in helping us during these trying times. We will be postponing the regularly scheduled Board Meeting on Thursday, April 2, until further notice. More information will follow.
9. Employees will receive their checks and check stubs through the mail. Same procedure we use during the summer months. Also a reminder to all Principals please keep record and document all expenses accumulated with dealing with this pandemic. We will try to seek reimbursements. Keep this record on a weekly basis.
10. Personnel questions can be submitted to Mr. Kay at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will continue to keep you updated through emails, phone calls, and text messages. Please check our VPSB website on consistent basis so we can all work together to keep information flowing. I thank you all for your support, cooperation, dedication, and hard work to help us all get through this the best we can. Please take care, be safe, and remember, we will overcome this pandemic together.
James Williams, Superintendent
Emergency Board meeting was held via teleconference at 11:00am on 03/24/2020.
The Vernon Parish School Board voted to approve the emergency powers declaration as provided in the agenda.
SPECIAL EMERGENCY BOARD MEETING
MARCH 24, 2020
CALL TO ORDER
PRAYER BY: Doug Brandon
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE BY: Doug Brandon:
1. Motion to approve minutes of the March 10, 2020 regular meeting and dispense with the reading of the minutes
2. Approve Declaration of Public Emergency Resolution
3. Superintendent's Remarks
This meeting will be conducted via teleconference pursuant to Proclamation Number JBE 2020-30.
This is for the sole purpose of passing an emergency resolution.
Shad Stewart, Board President
James Williams, Superintendent, Board Secretary
03/22/2020 – Superintendent’s Update
03/19/2020 – Superintendent’s Update
VPSB SUPERINTENDENT UPDATES
As you can imagine, this is an extremely busy time. We are constantly receiving updates through webinars, conference calls, and the governor’s office. Below, are a few of the points that we need to get out.
1. Governor’s Letter: John Bel Edwards has sent a letter to the Education Community, consistent with the BESE letter on 3 key points:
2. LHSAA and Activities: The LHSAA sent out a memo Monday evening stating that they strongly recommend ceasing any practices and games by athletic programs. This is not consistent with the memo they sent out Friday evening saying they would leave that up to the discretion of school administration. Our 9 high school principals unanimously agreed to suspend all practices and games
until further notice.
3. Hours of Operation: At this point, we are planning to follow our summer hours at the central office and all schools starting Monday, March 23rd. Hours will be as follows:
4. Lunch Service: We will begin distribution of sack lunches on Monday. March 23. The distribution sites and requirements are listed on the VPSB website.
5. Return to School: We are planning to return to school on April 13th. If we cannot return, we will communicate with you ahead of time. April 13 is also the day that our calendar has us starting Easter break. We intend to have a discussion surrounding that return date.
6. Curriculum Updates: The curriculum department is updating resources online for parents and students to access for enrichment. Students will also have access to our Clever portal for access to their regular learning software.
Thank you for all your support. I will continue to update you on a regular basis via the VPSB Website.
James Williams, Superintendent
03/18/2020 – Online Resources
A page with links for online resources to help with studying and retention of knowledge is provided and being built by the VPSB curriculum department. These links are those that provide curriculum resources without any need for login or giving personal information. Please be careful with any sharing of personal information online. Please be advised that we are continuing to add resources to this list, daily.
03/18/2020 – Internet Access for Families and Students –
Internet Access for Students:
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has launched the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, which many broadband carriers have signed. For the next 60 days, its core provisions will:
• Not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
• Waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
• Open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them
Additionally, limited income households can apply for $5 to $10 per month internet access (AT&T Access, CenturyLink Lifeline).
Charter Communication will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a free subscription.
Cox Communications is offering
• Limited-time, first month free of Connect2Compete service, 9.95/month thereafter
• Until May 15, 2020, provide phone and remote desktop support through Cox Complete Care at no charge
• Resources for discounted, refurbished equipment through our association with PCs for People
• A Learn from Home toolkit for schools, including instructions on how to fast-track eligible students without internet access
03/17/2020 – Athletics Announcement and LHSAA Notice
In lieu of the LHSAA notice, below, all Vernon Parish Principals have agreed that all activities will be ceased, including athletic practices, until further notice.
03/17/2020 – School Lunch Announcement:
The Vernon Parish School System will begin serving lunches to 3-18 year olds (school age students) on Monday, March 23, 2020 until further notice. Lunches will be of a Grab and Go style (sack lunch). Lunches can be picked up at schools from 11 am to 12:30 pm daily. Students must be present to receive their lunches. Parents/other responsible adults must be with elementary students (4th grade and below) to receive lunches.
This food service program will be offered daily Monday through Thursday.
Lunches can be picked up at the following sites:
Leesville High School: LHS and LJHS students
Vernon Middle School: ELE, WLE and VMS students
Parkway Elementary: NPE, Parkway students
Rosepine High School: RES, RHS students
Anacoco High School: AES, AHS students
Pickering High School: PES, PHS students
Evans High School: Evans students
Hicks High School: Hicks students
Hornbeck High School: Hornbeck students
Pitkin High School: Pitkin students
Simpson High School: Simpson students
Dates: Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020 until further notice
Time: 11 am to 12:30 pm daily
This program is sponsored by the USDA, Louisiana Department of Education and the Vernon Parish School Board (lunches will be at no cost to the students/guardians).
03/17/2020 – Educational Resources –
Vernon Parish Schools will be offering supplemental learning options in two formats: online and in print. This material is to support and reinforce content previously taught to your child. While this will not take the place of regular classroom instruction, we encourage our students and families to utilize these resources to supplement learning at home. No new learning standards will be taught, with the exception of Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment courses. Those students in AP courses will be contacted by their teacher with further instructions. Dual Enrollment students should follow the policies of Northwestern State University, CLTCC or Sowela.
Students can access those supplemental online resources beginning Monday, March 23 on the Vernon Parish website at vpsb.us. Students without technology at home can pick up printed materials by contacting their principal.
03/16/2020 – Superintendent’s Statement
From: James Williams, Superintendent
We will attempt to update information on COVID-19 to all stakeholders. Here is the latest:
1) All schools are closed completely and shut down for all employees until Monday, March 23rd. During this “shut down” period, all schools will be cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized before reopening for essential staff members. These offices will be open Monday-Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
2) At this point, all employees will be paid. Any questions or concerns can be directed to that employee’s principal.
3) All school activities are suspended. Athletic teams will be allowed to offer voluntary, condensed practices upon approval and conditions set forth by each school principal beginning Monday, March 23rd.
4) Food service will resume for students at a minimum of one school in each school district starting Monday, March 23rd. The serving hours will be form 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. during days that school is open (Monday through Thursday). Schools that will participate will be all K-12 schools, LHS (for LHS and LJHS), VMS (for ELE, WLE, and VMS), AHS (for AHS and AES), PHS (for PHS and PES), RHS (for RHS and RES), and PWE (for PWE and NPE).
5) All travel has been suspended. No workshops, conferences, or in-services will be allowed!
6) The state’s day to return to public schools is Monday, April 13th. That is the day(week) that the VPSB calendar set aside for the Easter Break. We are considering any adjustments to our calendar. We are aware that many plans were made by our employees and families according to our calendar we put forth at the beginning of the year.
7) Curriculum assignments and online preparations are still being considered and more details will follow.
8) We will continue updates on a regular basis via the VPSB website (www.vpsb.us). 9) As of right now, we have no confirmed cases. Attached is our action plan that we will follow when a case is confirmed in our parish schools.