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BPSB logoStarting Monday, September 14 all Bossier Parish middle school students on the A/B hybrid schedule will transition to daily in-school learning following Governor John Bel Edwards’ announcement that the state is shifting into Phase 3. 

This affects all 6th-8th graders. High school students will remain on the A/B schedule for now to allow our schools and transportation department time to adjust and ensure the safest transition possible for our children. An announcement for high school students will be forthcoming. This does not impact students who are 100-percent virtual learners. 

Parents able to transport their children of all ages to and from school are still being asked to do so to assist with the reduced capacity limits on buses that will remain in place. Please note all mitigation efforts will remain in effect at our schools, which include wearing face masks, practicing social distancing, heightened hand hygiene, increased cleaning and disinfection, and an emphasis on keeping children home when they are sick.  

We look forward to seeing our middle schoolers on Monday and know they are equally excited to see their friends and classmates.

Posted 9/10/20

P-EBT informational graphicFamilies whose children attended Bossier Schools during the 2019-20 school year and received free or reduced meals are being given another chance to apply for a one-time Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) program if they did not already apply and receive it. 

This includes all children who attended a Community Eligibility Provision school where all children receive free meals regardless of income. These one-time benefits total $285 per child and cover the cost of meals for school days missed March through May. It is estimated the families of 264,000 students who are eligible for the benefit did not apply.  

The application window is now open and the parent portal can be accessed here. The deadline to apply is September 29.

Posted 9/9/20

BPSB logoAll Bossier schools and centers will reopen at their normal times Monday, August 31. Monday will also mark the first day for our Kindergarten students.

For families who remain without power and whose students are learning remotely, please contact your child’s school principal who will work with you on an individual basis.

Posted 8/30/20

Graphic of top things to know About COVID and when to keep kids home

  • Children should NOT be sent to school while a household member is in isolation at home for a positive case of COVID. The positive household member is infectious and can transmit COVID up until their 10th day of isolation.
  • After a COVID positive household member spends 10 days in isolation, other household members will then need to begin 14 days of quarantine to allow time for symptoms to appear or not.
  • If other household members show COVID symptoms during quarantine, they begin 10 days of isolation and are not to go in public or return to school or work until they are symptom-free.
  • A person cannot test out of quarantine, even with a negative COVID test result.  
  • If you are in direct contact with someone awaiting test results, you must quarantine.
  • Following a COVID positive diagnosis and 10 days isolation, repeat testing is not recommended due to the possibility of false positive results.
  • If direct contact is made outside of the home with someone COVID positive, and there is prolonged contact for more than 15 minutes and less than 6-feet of physical distance, quarantining is necessary for 14 days.
Posted 8/25/20

BPSB logoThe Bossier Parish School Board will hold an Insurance Committee Town Hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, August 20 at Bossier Instructional Center, 2719 Airline Drive in Bossier City to discuss potential health insurance alternatives, answer questions and seek comments from those currently on the district’s health plan.

This meeting will provide active employees and retirees the opportunity to learn more about the different alternatives currently being considered for the current group insurance plan, which include: 

*Medicare Advantage Plan 

*Closed Formulary  

*Employer Group Waiver Plan 

Due to COVID group size restrictions, the Insurance Committee Town Hall meeting will be livestreamed in various spaces throughout Bossier Instructional Center. It can also be viewed at https://www.bossierschools.org/bpsblivestream

Health plan participants who wish to make comments or ask questions can do so in person at the Town Hall meeting or by submitting them to bit.ly/BPSBInsuranceTownHall

Bossier Parish School Board encourages its retirees and employees to attend this important meeting and lend their input.

Posted 8/13/20

BPSB mission and vision statementFor the second consecutive year, Bossier Schools has shattered another all-time high graduation rate and set  a record within the district.

State cohort graduation data for 2018-19 was released today by the Louisiana Department of Education and Bossier Schools received news that 88-percent of its Class of 2019 graduated, reflecting a gain of 2.4 percentage points from the previous year. This means a greater percentage of students than ever before are receiving their high school diplomas and are better positioned for success in their adult lives.

Each high school in Bossier Parish showed gains and strengths. Plain Dealing saw its graduation rate skyrocket by more than 16 points, reaching 86.7-percent. Haughton and Parkway showed growth of 2.60-percent and 4.70-percent, respectively, in their graduation rates; and more than 60-percent of students in the Bossier High Class of 2019 earned credentials beyond a high school diploma. This is the result of them taking advantage of opportunities such as Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment, as well as Industry Based Certifications. Airline and Benton High Schools both surpassed a 90-percent graduation rate, which is the benchmark for Louisiana’s 2025 Vision and indicative that a school has met raised expectations in the state’s accountability system.

Other significant wins were earned by three 2019 cohort sub-groups; students identified as economically disadvantaged showed a 4.9-percent increase; students with disabilities marked a 7.6-percent gain and 100-percent of those in the military cohort sub-group graduated.  

“These gains are a tribute to our amazing teachers, counselors, staff and students who continue to raise the bar on a daily basis and meet those expectations,” said Bossier Schools Superintendent Mitch Downey. “This is not merely data, but real student success stories. It reflects the heart of education and the concerted effort we make to ensure our seniors make it across the finish line and exit stage left with a diploma in hand. That is ultimately our district’s greatest reward.” 

Posted 7/29/20

 

BPSB logoA special session of the Bossier Parish School Board has been called for 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at Bossier Instructional Center, 2719 Airline Drive, to take action on a revised 2020-21 academic calendar that would delay the start of school to August 20.

This revision takes several factors into account, including Governor Edwards’ extension of the Phase 2 order, and would give parents more time to weigh options for their child as well as teachers more time to prepare and plan for students’ return.   

The proposed calendar would shift the following dates: 

  • August 14 - First day for teachers

  • August 20 - First day for students in grades 1st-5th 

  • August 20 - First day for 6th-12th grades in Group ‘A’ (last names start with A-K) 

  • August 21 -- First day for students in grades 6-12  in Group ‘B’ (last names start with L-Z)

  • August 27 - First full day for Kindergarten

  • September 3 - First full day for Pre-K

  • No holidays would be impacted, with the exception that students would return from Christmas break Monday, January 4, 2021

  • The first semester would end January 15th

  • Students’ and teachers’ last day would be May 27

Any changes in the current adopted academic calendar require approval from the Bossier Parish School Board and are not official until after Tuesday’s special session.

Posted 7/27/20

 

BPSB logo with cover page of Bossier STRONG Start 2020Bossier Schools anticipates a strong start to the 2020-21 academic year, which will begin August 12 for Bossier Parish students, whether they are learning at school or virtually from home. 

Today the district unveiled Bossier STRONG Start 2020, outlining the guidelines and best practices for reopening schools. The plan is a culmination of months of planning with local and state education leaders and medical experts that prioritizes the health and safety of students and staff returning to Bossier Parish school campuses while allowing instruction to take place. Superintendent Mitch Downey gave an overview, explaining the three models of instructional delivery if Louisiana remains in Phase 2: 

*Daily face-to-face learning for all PreK-5th grade students

*A blended learning model for 6th-12th grades in which students are on an A/B schedule, alternating days of attending school for in-person instruction with virtual learning at home 

*An all-virtual K-12 model for families opting to keep their child home 

“We recognize there is no one-size-fits-all plan for our families, as they expressed in a parent survey conducted by the district,”  Downey said. “What works for one may not work for another, which is why we are giving parents options.” 

Each day will begin with temperature checks for students and staff, an emphasis on hand hygiene, group sizes limited to 25, physical distancing to the fullest extent possible and a mask requirement for all adults as well as students in third grade and above. Masks are not required for PreK-2nd graders, but are encouraged. 

Cleaning and sanitizing will be increased, AeroClave decontamination equipment has been purchased and school custodians have been trained on the use of hospital-grade products compliant with the Centers for Disease Control. Technology will be issued to students needing it for virtual learning and transportation will be provided for students living outside the designated walk zones, though parents who are able are asked to help transport their child to and from school to assist with the reduced bus capacities. “Grab and Go” breakfast and lunch will be served and middle/high school students will be provided meals for days they are learning remotely at home. 

For families interested in their child enrolling in the Bossier Virtual Learning Academy, the first step is to complete an “Intent to Apply” form. It is available beginning July 20 on the Bossier Strong Start webpage, as are the reopening guidelines, at: www.bossierschools.org/strongstart2020

“When our parents, educators and community stand together in partnership and support, our children will thrive,” Downey added. “It is that unified spirit and can-do attitude that makes us Bossier Strong.”

Posted 7/20/20

 

Headshot of Kimmie SmithPeople from around the state are sitting up and taking notice of Kimmie Smith, a 27-year Bossier Parish educator who is one of only nine people in Louisiana selected as a 2021 Principal of the Year Finalist. The virtual announcement was made recently by the Louisiana Department of Education. 

Smith, who is a proud product of Bossier Schools, served as principal of Legacy Elementary before being named Supervisor of PreK-2 over the summer. A passionate and dedicated leader, Smith began her career as an elementary teacher, then moved into the positions of counselor and assistant principal before assuming the role as principal of Legacy. She has received many accolades throughout her career, including 1998 Louisiana Teacher of the Year Finalist, making her selection as 2021 Louisiana Principal of the Year Finalist icing on the cake. 

“Being selected as a Finalist for Louisiana Principal of the Year among so many amazing school leaders is truly humbling,”  Smith said. “I am proud to represent our Bossier Schools family and educators across our great state for the work we do each day for Louisiana’s greatest resource -- our children.”

Each year, school systems throughout Louisiana submit nominations for Teacher and Principal of the Year. A state team then narrows the field to only nine Teacher and nine Principal of the Year Finalists, who will compete at the overall state level. 

“These 18 educators represent the very best in Louisiana and are all deserving of our state’s top honor for teachers,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “We’re in uncharted waters in education, but one thing that remains constant is the life-changing impact a high-quality teacher has on a child.” 

During Smith’s tenure as principal, Legacy Elementary consistently earned an “A” rating and was also recognized as a “Top Gains” and “Equity” honoree by the Louisiana Department of Education. Most recently, Legacy became the district’s first Certified Energy Bus School in recognition of its positive school culture. Inspired by a sincere desire to make a difference, Smith is devoted to her community and the students she serves. 

Smith will be honored at the 14th Annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence Symposium and Celebration, which will be held virtually this year. The event is co-sponsored by Dream Teachers.

Posted 7/16/20

 

BPSB logoJuly 8, 2020 

 

Dear Bossier Schools families, 

 

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for participating in the parent survey to better assist Bossier Schools as plans are made for the 2020-21 school year. Your voices are important because they give us a better understanding of your family’s needs and concerns, and help us make informed decisions as we move forward. 

While we had all hoped to have COVID-19 in our rearview mirror at the start of the new school year, that is simply not the case and the district is faced with making challenging decisions amid an ever-changing global pandemic. It will not be as easy as pushing the reset button, but let us assure you Bossier Schools is committed to the work ahead. Our main goal is to get children back in school, while making their re-entry as safe as possible. We also realize there is no one-size-fits-all approach.   

With that said, we want to share with you the results of the parent survey. A total of 8,550 responses were received, representing 12,500 students, and reflected nearly equal input among all grade bands. Complete results can be viewed here. Key takeaways from the survey indicate the following: 

  • The vast majority (68%) of parents currently plan to have their children return to school in August, while 28% remain undecided. 

  • Most (55%) prefer daily face-to-face instruction, with hybrid and virtual options being respondents’ second and third choices, respectively. 

  • A simple majority (51%) indicated being either very comfortable or comfortable with requiring masks for students and employees.  

  • Parents are in favor of daily temperature checks, increased cleaning of “high touch” surfaces, broad availability of hand sanitizer and requiring that parents keep sick students at home. 

 

Bossier Schools is listening and shares your belief that instruction is best delivered in a daily classroom setting, yet much depends on the phase Louisiana is in when school begins August 12. Our state is currently in Phase 2, which places 50-percent limitations on group sizes and school bus capacity, and even when the state moves to Phase 3, there is a 75-percent limit. 

We recognize child care is a real concern among many parents with younger students. While it will be a challenge, Bossier Schools is working within guidelines from the Louisiana Department of Education and Louisiana Department of Health to provide daily face-to-face instruction for PreK-5th grades. 

While everything about the “normal” elementary school routine will look different, we feel it can be achieved through static grouping, social distancing, altering breakfast/lunch schedules and staggering class rotations to the maximum extent possible. Bossier Schools cannot do this alone, though, and will need our community’s help throughout Phases 2 and 3. We will have to lean heavily on parents who are able to provide transportation for their children, both to and from school, at least until the state emerges out of Phase 3. This will help create room for those students in need of bus transportation.  

An A/B schedule will be implemented for grades 6-12 if the state remains in Phase 2 at the start of school. Students will be divided into groups that will receive face-to-face instruction one day and virtual learning at home the next. The only exception is Plain Dealing High School, where all students in PreK-12th will attend school daily for face to face instruction. 

Once Louisiana enters Phase 3, all students will return to school for daily instruction. Again, parents’ assistance is needed to provide transportation for their child, if possible, throughout both Phases 2 and 3. 

Of course, Bossier Schools recognizes not all parents feel comfortable with their children returning to the classroom environment at this time and remote learning options will be offered at all grade levels. Applications to attend Bossier Schools’ Virtual Learning Academy will be available after students have registered at their zoned school. Student registration is July 31-August 7. 

It is our desire to communicate to parents how best to prepare for what currently lies ahead and the district will release its fully detailed Bossier Strong Start reopening plan the week of July 20. It is important to note as the coronavirus crisis continues to be a fluid situation, state guidance that school districts must follow can also change, and so may Bossier Schools’ plans as August draws closer. A helpful resource is Strong Start 2020, which includes guidelines and best practices for school districts, released by the Louisiana Department of Education. It is available here.   

Please know we appreciate your partnership, support and patience and we will keep you updated as Bossier Schools receives more definitive information. We are Bossier Strong and will continue to work through this together.

Posted 7/8/20