Future unknown for fall, says School Board

By Cyndi Sellers

It is still unknown what school will look like when it resumes in the fall, but principals and guidance counselors are looking at several plans for achieving recommended distancing in the classrooms. School Superintendent Charley Lemons told the Cameron Parish School Board on Monday that “we can’t hire 20 new teachers because classrooms must be smaller.” Teachers may have to give up their off hours, or school may have to use some kind of modified schedule involving having different groups of children on different days. “It’s too soon to know,” he said.

Meanwhile, to finish up this year Distance Learning plans have been instituted consisting of paper packets for students to work on at home plus on-line sessions, Monday-Thursday, through May 28. The week of May 18 all employees will be trained on using Google for teaching.

Graduations have been set for all four Cameron Parish High Schools in July. Grand Lake’s graduation has been changed to Burton Coliseum on July 15, because Rosa Hart Theater is undergoing remodeling. All principals have been instructed to make alternate viewing arrangements, such as Facebook Live, for their graduation ceremonies.

Dr. Holly Castile announced that 50,224 school meals have been picked up by parents at the distribution sites across the parish during the school closure. That program has ended, and the new program of home delivery began last week.

There have been some problems, but they are being worked on she said. Quite a few Cameron Parish addresses are not on the Google Maps site which the delivery drivers use. Also, it is getting harder to source the shelf stable food items as more and more agencies are trying to fill these needs.

In other business, the Board approved contracts for new South Cameron High School Principal Lindsey Fontenot, and Supervisor Karen Ray. Project Manager James Hoffpauir reported that the Hackberry High School Phase I improvement which was due for completion May 20 will be delayed 60 days due to COVID-19 complications. Phase II was due for completion on Sept. 25, but problems with an old sewer line may cause a change order, he said.

District Attorney Jennifer Jones advised the Board that they may be eligible for an insurance waiver after all. Last month they were told that the waiver program was no longer an option. She is sending the information to the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) for confirmation.