Superintendent Alexander’s message as school to resume for 2022

Dear Ascension Public Schools Family

We want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope that you have enjoyed a wonderful holiday season. We look forward to students returning to school later this week. Our preschool through 8th graders return Wednesday, January 5, 2022, and our high school students return Thursday, January 6, 2022. We anticipate many successes for our students during the spring semester, and we know each student will put forth their very best effort to finish this school year strong.

A special shout-out of encouragement goes to the Class of 2022: remain dedicated in the days ahead as you prepare for your big step toward whatever your postsecondary plans may be. Enjoy your final semester of K-12 education safely, responsibly, and successfully make good decisions and be a good example and leader on your respective campuses. We are proud of you, your families are proud of you, and we will all enjoy celebrating each of you and your accomplishments this May during graduation.

As we begin our work again this spring, face coverings will remain optional in Ascension Parish school buildings, campus facilities, district offices, and surrounding property. (Please note, Early College Option will follow RPCC requirements.) As per the most recent Governor’s Proclamation issued December 22, 2021 (https://gov.louisiana.gov/…/234JBE2021StateofEmergencyO…) , face coverings may be optional provided we comply with quarantine recommendations as prescribed by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH). Therefore, individuals identified as close contacts of confirmed positive cases will be required to quarantine for a period of time as designated by the LDH guidelines. Exceptions for the required quarantine period as well as opportunities and conditions for early return will be communicated to the close contacts as prescribed by most current guidelines posted by LDH (https://ldh.la.gov/page/4023) .

Also, as specified in the Governor’s Proclamation and per Presidential Executive Order No. 13998 (https://www.federalregister.gov/…/promoting-covid-19…) , face coverings remain mandated/required on public transportation, including school buses. All students who ride school buses are to continue to wear a mask during the bus ride to and from school or when being transported for a school-related activity.

It is important to note that the Louisiana Department of Health strongly recommends that all individuals wear a mask whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, both indoors and outdoors in settings where social distancing is not likely to be an option. We encourage all students and stakeholders to make decisions about wearing a mask by consulting with their medical care providers.

We also want to remind everyone that our online Blended Learning Program (https://www.apsb.org/index.cfm?md=pagebuilder&tmp=home…) remains an option for any family who believes that is the best setting for their child. You can request enrollment information for online learning by contacting your child’s principal.

Extracurricular activities to include athletics will continue as scheduled at this time. There may be school events and programs that are appropriately rescheduled to a later date on a case-by-case basis as determined by the school principal and district leadership.

As always, we will continue to encourage staff and students to be mindful of periods when COVID-19 cases appear elevated in the community. Everyone should intentionally remain at home when experiencing symptoms of any illness, remain distanced to the greatest extent possible when at work or during school, consider wearing a face covering as recommended, and exercise good hygiene by washing hands frequently. We have experienced elevated cases before in our community and as such, we expect that cases are likely to show up in our schools at a higher level than we experienced in November and December. We are committed to continuing our provision of in-person learning while providing online options upon request.

We will work together to overcome this recent surge of cases similar to how we have done so previously so that our students can enjoy a productive, meaningful, and memorable spring semester. As always, thank you for your partnership, your support, and your trust to allow us to work with your children.

Respectfully,

David Alexander
Superintendent
Ascension Public Schools

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