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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

 

Notice that Bossier Schools will remain closed FridayAll Bossier schools and centers will remain closed Friday, August 28 due to widespread power outages in the community and at several school sites. 

Classes will resume Monday, August 31 and will mark the first day for Kindergarten.

For those students on the hybrid schedule, it will be a ‘B’ week, meaning middle and high school students whose last names start with L-Z will attend school for in-person instruction on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and will learn remotely Monday and Wednesday.

Group ‘A’ will report to school Monday and Wednesday and learn remotely Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. 

We appreciate your understanding and hope your family is staying safe.

Posted 8/27/20

 

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

 

 

Photo of Lisa BurnsReigning Louisiana Elementary Principal of the Year Lisa Burns is taking it to the next level. The W.T. Lewis Elementary principal has been selected to represent the state in the 2020 National Distinguished Principals  program and will be inducted among its 2020 class at an October awards banquet in Washington, D.C.  

A Bossier Parish educator for 23 years, Burns has served as one of the school leaders at W.T. Lewis for 12 years. Maintaining a standard of excellence, the school has earned an “A” rating each year of Burns’ principalship, and the past two years the school was recognized by the Louisiana Department of Education as a Top Gains School and an Equity Honoree. 

Recognizing that principal leadership is key to student success, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) honors accomplished elementary and middle school-level principals from across the nation and abroad whose school programs are designed to meet the academic and social needs of all students, and where there are firmly established community ties with parents and local business organizations. 

“Today’s principals are tasked with attending to students’ social and emotional needs at greater levels, even while they give their all to drive academic success in their school communities,” said Dr. L. Earl Franks, executive director of NAESP. “NAESP’s National Distinguished Principals program recognizes the outstanding leadership of highly successful principals and is a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to outstanding school leaders.”  

Recognized in her community as a passionate and innovative leader, Burns was chosen as a 2020 National Distinguished Principal for making school a place where children not only reach high levels of success, but where they are loved, supported and surrounded by inspired and empowered educators who work together to help every child succeed.  

“As a second-generation Louisiana educator, I feel called to this profession and I care deeply about the work we do and the impact we have on children's lives,” Burns said. “What excites me most about this recognition is the opportunities it will provide for me to learn from some of the best principals in the nation while sharing the work that is contributing to our success in our school and district.”

Posted 6/30/20

 

At a time when many families’ finances are stretched precariously thin, thousands more children attending Bossier Parish Schools will receive free breakfast and lunch each day during the 2020-21 academic year regardless of household income. 

An additional eight schools have qualified for the national Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program, bringing the total number of CEP schools to 23 in Bossier Parish. 

Nearly 5,400 more students will be provided free healthy breakfasts and lunches next school year at the following schools: Apollo Elementary, Bellaire Elementary, Cope Middle, Curtis Elementary, Elm Grove Middle, Haughton Middle, Princeton Elementary and Sun City Elementary. This amounts to an approximate savings of $600 for families and brings the total number of Bossier Parish students being eligible for free meals to 12,577, which represents 55.7% of the district’s enrollment.  

“We are both excited and grateful to extend this program to more of our families, especially amidst the current economic crisis we are experiencing,” said Karla Horton, Supervisor of Bossier Schools’ Child Nutrition department. “We have seen breakfast and lunch participation increase at our 15 other CEP schools and anticipate the same with these, and we all know there is a direct correlation between proper nutrition and learning.”  

The federal Community Eligibility Provision program provides an opportunity for schools in high poverty areas to provide free meals to all students without the burden of collecting and processing school meal applications for free and reduced price meals.

It is important to note that students new to the CEP program who carried meal debt from previous school years are still responsible for their outstanding balance; however, they will not accrue any future expense while attending a CEP school. 

Prior CEP schools will continue to retain that status and offer free meals to all students. These include: Bossier Elementary, Bossier High, Butler Educational Complex, Central Park Elementary, Elm Grove Elementary, Greenacres Middle, Haughton Elementary, Kerr Elementary, Meadowview Elementary, Plain Dealing K-12, Plantation Park Elementary, Platt Elementary, T.L. Rodes Elementary, Rusheon Middle and Waller Elementary.Clip art that says  School lunch

Posted 6/18/20

Photo of Kristina GlassWhen second graders enter Kristina Glass’s classroom at W.T. Lewis Elementary, they never know what their teacher will have up her sleeve.

Glass keeps her Bulldogs engaged from the moment they arrive, whether that means greeting them in costume, transforming her classroom overnight or challenging students with hands-on learning activities that have them clamoring for more. 

Her dynamic teaching style caught the eye of The Henry Ford Foundation in Dearborn, Michigan, which is considered a force for sparking curiosity and inspiring tomorrow’s innovators. The national historic landmark is internationally recognized for its collection of artifacts from 300 years of American history and encompasses four venues that more than 1.7 million visitors tour each year, including the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.

As part of its legacy, The Henry Ford Foundation searches for teachers who encourage others to create bold solutions, inspire students to challenge the rules and take risks and teach the value of learning from staying curious and learning from failure. That is what led to Glass being singled out for one of 10 national Teacher Innovator Awards, the grand prize for America’s most innovative educators. 

"I am so humbled and excited to receive this honor,” Glass remarked. “I hope I can help inspire other teachers and assist them in finding ways to be innovative in their own classrooms!” 

W.T. Lewis Elementary Principal Lisa Burns nominated Glass for the award.

“She is indeed one of the most innovative educators I know!” Burns said. 

Grand prize winners ordinarily travel to The Henry Ford Foundation for an immersive learning experience over the summer, but because of COVID-19 that is not happening this year. Instead, Glass is receiving a $1,500 honorarium for educational supplies and a one-year subscription to The Henry Ford for educational products, services and select merchandise, which she is excited about.

“Although I am disappointed to not go on the trip, I am looking forward to finding new tools and resources to assist me in continuing to find new and exciting ways to engage, inspire, and challenge my students,” Glass said.  

 

Posted 6/8/20

Clip art that says  Mark Your CalendarMark your calendar for these important dates:

 

*Out of District transfer applications for the 2020-21 school year are available at all school sites and at Bossier Parish School Board at 410 Sibley Street in Benton. Forms must be returned to: 

 

Bossier Parish School Board/Annex II

P.O. Box 2000

Benton, LA 71006

 

Deadline for applications to be returned is June 18, 2020. Forms will not be accepted after this deadline. 

 

*Kindergarten registration is July 28, 2020 at the appropriately zoned school sites

 

*New student registration is July 30 at the appropriately zoned school

 

*Pre-Kindergarten (PreK) registration is scheduled for August 13, 2020 (8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.) and August 14, 2020 (8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.) at the Bossier Instructional Center, 2719 Airline Drive, Bossier City, LA 71111

Posted 6/1/20