UPDATE TO SCHOOL HOURS
May 14, 2020
With the placement of Louisiana, by the Governor, into phase one of the recovery process, our school offices will be open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 until 1:30 beginning Monday, May 18th. The Central office at VPSB will be open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 until 3:00. This will be a modified opening with opportunities for people to call and make an appointment to come in and meet with administrators.
James Williams, Superintendent
May 13, 2020
Dear Vernon Parish Parents/Guardians and Staff:
Next Friday, May 22nd will be the last day of school for the 2019-2020 school year. Below is some information about end of year procedures and grading information, as well as summer school, Class of 2020, and Athletics updates, to better assist parents and staff in navigating the close of the 2019-2020 school year.
End of the Year Student Check-in/Pick-up Process
Each school will be making contact through Remind to communicate the directions on how and when families may pick up their personal items from schools and pay any fees that are owed. This includes items left on campuses prior to the school closure (i.e. books, athletic equipment, etc.). They will also set a time to pick up senior supplies, (invitations and caps/gowns). Check-in and check-out procedures will look very similar to the “Grab and Go” meals distribution that we provided the first weeks of school closure and the technology check-out distribution model. Safety will be our number one priority during these processes. Check your school website for additional information.
Elementary End of the Year Grading Guidelines
Teachers have been providing a variety of distance learning methods for students during this closure. All of the work has been enrichment and no grades have been assigned to students during this time. Grades for the first 4 six weeks were averaged to determine a final average for the year. All students were given an opportunity to complete a packet of work to raise their final grade average by one letter grade.
Secondary End of the Year Grading Guidelines
Since the closure, students have been receiving distance learning opportunities from their teachers. These have been provided in many different methods. This work has all been enrichment and no grades have been assigned for this work. Students’ final grades will consist of the average of their 1st-4th six weeks grades. Students will be given a grade recovery packet which, if completed, will raise the student’s average one letter grade. Report cards can be picked up at the schools on/after May 26th.
Updated GPAs and Class Ranks
The Class of 2020 GPAs and Class Ranks will be updated after all grades are finalized by May 15th. Students will receive a copy of their final (not official) transcript with their diploma at graduation.
Students may contact their school office and request an official transcript. They may request these transcripts be sent to universities or a copy to themselves. These will be mailed upon completion.
Class of 2020 Information
Senior items have been distributed at the schools, except Simpson. If your student has not picked theirs up yet, they may contact the school and schedule to pick it up on Tuesdays or Thursdays between 8-12. Simpson will be distributed on May 19th.
Graduation ceremonies will be held between May 30 and June 9. They will be held with Phase One restrictions of 25% capacity. Each student will receive 6 guest tickets for graduation. The revised graduation dates, times and locations are listed below.
|Anacoco High School||June 7||2:00 PM and 4:00 PM||AHS GYM|
|Evans High School||June 8||6:00 PM||EVANS GYM|
|Hicks High School||June 8||7:30 PM||HICKS BASEBALL FIELD|
|Hornbeck High School||June 6||10:00 AM||HORNBECK GYM|
|Leesville High School||May 30||9:00 AM and 10:00 AM||LHS FOOTBALL FIELD|
|Pickering High School||June 8||6:00 PM||PHS FOOTBALL FIELD|
|Pitkin High School||June 6||2:00 PM||PITKIN AUDITORIUM|
|Rosepine High School||June 8||7:00 PM||RHS FOOTBALL FIELD|
|Simpson High School||June 9||7:30 PM||SIMPSON AUDITORIUM|
Each campus is developing a plan for summer remediation/enrichment based on grade levels and student needs. These plans will be reviewed by the curriculum department prior to implementation and will follow state guidelines for re-opening. Each school will be allocated an amount of money based on student population. The plan will include a possible small group face-to-face and/or on-line distance learning presented by teachers. Work will be based on grade-level standards in ELA and math.
The ACT that was scheduled for March 17 will be given on June 2. All juniors can take the ACT for free. Any senior that has not taken the ACT can take it for free, as well. Any other senior wishing to take the ACT should contact their school counselor. Juniors will have another chance to take the ACT in October.
Social distancing will be observed during testing. Students will also be required to wear a mask.
Summer LEAP2025 High School Retest
This retest will be held during the week of June 15-19. This retest is for students who are NOT graduating seniors and previously did not pass one of the LEAP2025 HS tests. Schools will be contacting these students and let them know which date their test will be given. There is a possibility that this date could be changed by LDOE. If it is changed, students will be notified immediately.
The LDOE has put together the Education and Workforce Development Task Force. The Task Force will develop operational guidance related to the safe operation of summer camps, summer school, and summer extracurricular activities. The group will also develop guidance regarding summer athletics and school transportation. We are in a holding pattern as far as athletics is concerned and no summer activities can take place until we receive guidance from the Task Force and we put out an official statement on how we will move forward.
2019-2020 Registration for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Returning Students
The LD0E is providing guidance as to how registration for Pre-K will take place and each school website will post the procedure when this is released. Each school has been asked to develop a registration plan for kindergarten, new students, and returning students based on the safe distances guideline for re-opening. This registration procedure will be posted on the school website and other media will be used to get this information to parents. Again, safety is our number one priority.
James Williams, Superintendent
Be safe and continue to follow all health and safety guidelines put forth by the CDC, LDHH, and the Governor’s Office to get past this pandemic.
James Williams, Superintendent
James Williams, Superintendent
With the announcement and order by Governor Edwards yesterday that the school facilities remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, the VPSB has plans to continue educational opportunities for our students. Our goals are to have every student (parent) complete a survey so the district can determine ability to access and complete digital learning and internet educational activities. We will attempt to engage as many students as possible and provide students the opportunity to improve their final grade for the 2019-20 academic year. We will work with our administrators, teachers, and technology staff to provide guidance and support and plan to start the communication between teachers and students, digitally, by the week of April 27. Please refer to the VPSB website and your school website for more information. Again, our facilities will be closed but learning will continue. Many of you have been doing this already, and some of you have been working on traditional paper instructional packets. You can continue this and implement the digital learning in addition. More information will follow. Administrators will be assisted and guided by central office staff as to procedures. Principals will then instruct and assist their teachers.Reminder, on Monday, April 20, Vernon Parish high schools will celebrate the seniors and spring sport athletes, families, fans, and coaches by participating in the national “Be the Light” campaign. Lights will be turned on at the school facilities at 8 p.m
Office hours for school administrators will resume Tuesday, April 21. All school offices will be operational on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. through 12 p.m. Please call your schools and school to make appointments. Schools and school facilities will continue to remain on “shutdown” until further notice. The “stay at home” order exists until April 30, at this time. We will follow guidance from the LDOE, CDC, and LDHH before we open any schools and have any personal contact between our students, parents, teachers, and staff.
All grades and transcripts for students will be finalized and processed in the same time frame as always. The last day of school is Friday, May 22. School personnel will be in contact with their parents to give further guidelines for their student. Everyone will be given opportunity to improve their existing grade in each class
Each high school will provide a virtual graduation for their senior class. More information will follow. School administrators will be able to guide parents and students through those procedures and activities.
VPSB had 1721 lunch applications submitted and verified for Emergency Meals to You. This information has been submitted to Baylor University. They will then submit information to a third-party vendor and meals should be mailed or UPS shipped to homes starting week of April 20.
I have encouraged all school employees to have 2 plans. We should now be ready to implement our plans for not returning to school this academic year. Teachers, administrators, support staff, central office staff, parents, and students, please follow the same timelines, procedures, and schedules that you would normally do during this time each year. This last 6 weeks of school is important for deadlines and for finalizing everything to close out the school year. Remember, school is still scheduled to continue, we just must do it in a different method.Thank you for everything that each of you have done during these uncertain times. It has not been easy and has only been manageable through the efforts of our people. This includes patience, perseverance, and willingness to do more than normal. I appreciate the support from each of you and we all should appreciate the support from our entire school board. They have been nothing but helpful and supportive in everything we have asked of them. Again, until things change (which they do daily), I wish all of you the best and encourage you to continue social distancing, follow “stay home” orders, and practice all the good health recommendations.
James Williams, Superintendent
April 7, 2020
1. Please be reminded to frequently visit the VPSB website and your school websites for continuing information. Central office staff, administrators, and teachers, please be reminded to visit the LDOE website for continuing guidance as well.
2. Guidance from the LDOE on finalization of grades, graduation exercises, and promotion issues are beginning to come in. One for if we return in May, one if we do not. Principals, I ask that each of you have two plans as well.
3. We are continuing the plan to have an administrator at the schools every Tuesday from 9-12 a.m. The administrator will be there for the purpose of conducting business issues and working on personnel issues for their school. A custodial staff will be there once a week to clean and sanitize the building(s) and cut the grass at the facilities. April 13-19 should be observed as our traditional Easter Break. Central office staff and administrators, please be reminded to keep an itemized list of expenses incurred as a result of COVID-19. We will try to get re-imbursements for these expenses.
4. Academically, the curriculum department is continually working with principals on resources and links on the website as well as packets for the students and parents that choose to continue doing schoolwork type activities. We are also working on a uniform plan for finalization of grades, graduation, and promotion. This plan will be consistent across the district and consistent to all schools.
5. An “Emergency Meals to You” link will be available on the VPSB website on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 and registration will end on Friday, April 10, 2020 (3 days of registration). All students at ELE and WLE will be eligible (these two schools are CEP schools). All other students in our parish schools will be eligible if they are free/reduced lunch status. Parents will go to the VPSB website (vpsb.us) and click on the EMTY link and follow the directions. Once enrollment is completedand students are verified, meals will be shipped to students' home addresses provided.
6. All schools, school facilities, and offices are to remain on "shut-down" at least until April 30, 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation and inform everybody of any potential return dates.
7. With the Governor's "stay home" executive order still in place, we will have our April board meeting via phone conference on Tuesday, April 28, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. We will follow the sameprocedure that we did in our March phone conference meeting. More information will follow.
8. I think the next two weeks will be critical in the mitigation of COVID-19 in Louisiana and in Vernon Parish. Please adhere to the stay home order and the social distancing recommendations. Please be safe and take care of yourself and your family. We will continue to update and inform you from the VPSB website.
James Williams, Superintendent
April 2, 2020
Governor Edwards announced this afternoon, that all schools will remain closed, at least, until April 30. This is in accordance with his “Stay Home” order that was updated today. Questions about graduation requirements, graduation exercises, promotion requirements, and any other curricular or extra curricular activities have been and are continuing to be addressed each day. We are receiving guidance relative to these questions from LDOE and are working with Principals to make decisions to address these issues. We will communicate this information as soon as possible to all stakeholders. Again, all schools and school facilities will remain on "Shut Down" until at least April 30. I will continue to update you on a consistent basis, as I receive information.Please continue to visit the VPSB website and your school website for more information.
March 31, 2020
VERNON PARISH SCHOOL BOARD CANCELS MEETINGS APRIL 2 AND APRIL 7, 2020
The regularly scheduled Vernon Parish School Board meetings on April 2, 2020 and April 7, 2020, are hereby postponed due to COVID-19 and Louisiana Governor Jon Bel Edwards stay at home order.
The school board plans to schedule a meeting for a later date in April.
March 30, 2020
1) Unfortunately, we had to suspend our feeding program last week. We have applied for a Federally Funded program called "Emergency Meals to You" through Baylor University. We are waiting to hear a response on our application, as many other parishes throughout the state have also applied. We will keep you updated as this issue progresses.
2) Principals, please be reminded to have a custodial crew to come in one day a week to sanitize the building and to also keep the grass cut. Please check your schools on a regular basis for maintenance issues and to address any other concerns. Keep your faculty and staff updated on all issues and keep them informed on a regular basis. I also want to remind everybody to keep two plans in place. One, for if we return in April, and one if we do not. Please keep a weekly log on expenses that you have incurred at your school or office while dealing with this pandemic. We will apply for reimbursement.
3) We have postponed the April 2 (Thursday) board meeting and will also postpone the April 7 (Tuesday) meeting. I plan to have a meeting in the latter part of April. If the "Stay at Home" order is extended, this may be another phone conference meeting. I will continue to keep Board Members informed through emails and text messages. I plan on continuing working in the office each day. Myself, school employees, and the entire school system appreciates the dedication and support that the Board has given us during these times.
4) All schools and offices will remain on "SHUT DOWN" until further notice. Employees will continue to get paid. Checks and check stubs will be mailed to you in the same procedure we use in summer months. As a reminder, schools were originally scheduled to reopen throughout the state on Monday, April 13. Vernon Parish is scheduled to reopen Monday, April 20, after the Easter holidays. If the executive order of schools, school programs, and school facilities to shut down is extended past this date, I will inform you immediately. As of now, Monday AM, March 30, I have not received any different word.
5) We are continuing to offer the best supplemental academic resources we can through our Curriculum Department. Please refer to the links provided on our VPSB website as they continue to be updated.
6)The Finance Department will continue to give Principals and Bookkeepers guidance on procedures for recording and documenting payroll and for the payments of invoices and other billings. Please refer to these guidelines to keep all records and payments current.
7)Teachers and staff members, please continue to stay home and take care of your families. You can communicate with your Principal on how you want to stay current with any teaching materials or to discuss any other job-related issues.
8) Please stay familiar with our Action Plan if a student, faculty member, or staff member are tested and become a Confirmed COVID-19 patient. Contact Mr. Neubert and Mr. Jordan if that patient is a member of your school's faculty, staff, or is one of your students.
I will continue to keep you informed as we get additional information. Please continue to check your emails and the VPSB website on a regular basis. Again, I thank each of you for your cooperation, prayers and support throughout this entire ordeal. We will continue to work together and fight this Pandemic until we overcome it. Thank you again and continue to follow all health and safety guidelines so you and your family can stay healthy.
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.