Cameron School Board declares public emergency

By Cyndi Sellers

The Cameron Parish School Board declared a Public Emergency at a special meeting held Tuesday afternoon. The declaration gives the Superintendent of Schools authority to procure repairs, services, equipment and supplies needed to address emergencies as a result of COVID-19. This includes contracting companies to clean and sanitize the schools during the time schools are closed. Gov. John Bel Edwards issued an order last Friday closing all Louisiana schools from Mar. 16-Apr. 13.

In the interim, Cameron Parish Schools will be providing meals to all children 18 and under at all four school locations and the Central office. The program will be reimbursed by the federal government.

The Board also decided not to change the school calendar with regards to spring break, which is still set for the week of Apr. 13. Supt. Charley Lemons said there are too many unknowns at this time, including the possible waiver of state testing and the amount of time that may have to be made up, if any.

Lemons said parents and the public can access current information by using the School Board’s website and clicking on the COVID-19 button. Frequently asked questions will be answered there, along with up-to-date information.

The website will also have a list of online academic resources for parents who want their children to continue academic activities. Many resources are listed, and new ones are being added.

No online classes or distance learning programs will be offered, due to the difficulty of following guidelines set forth by the Louisiana Department of Education and the problem of students not having internet access. To assist those parents who want their children to continue classwork, Chromebooks may be checked out at the school on a voluntary basis. The times for checking out the units will be on the website.

The LHSAA has cancelled all spring sports, and advised practices not be held. Since all campuses are closed, sports are essentially shut down for the duration, Lemons said. d.Teachers and staff will continue to be paid during the closure, at the decision and expense of the School Board.