The Lafourche Parish School District is following Governor John Bel Edwards’ recommendation to grow an e-Learning platform to allow learning to continue while schools are out.
And Lafourche Schools Superintendent Jarod Martin wants locals to know that it’s his intention for no child to be left behind.
The School System announced today that it is purchasing 2,000 Chromebooks to distribute to students who do not have access to a computer or tablet in their home.
The books will be made available in the coming days to those who need them. Martin said Internet access will not be provided with the Chromebook, but that it’s his hope that parents will take advantage of service offerings by private companies to bring the classroom into their homes.
“We want to increase our online presence and our ability to reach our kids — as many kids as we can in the coming weeks,” Martin said. “We understand that some homes will still need to secure Internet capabilities, but there are some affordable plans out there and we’re hoping private providers continue to do what they’re doing to help us out.”
Martin said with on-campus learning done for the year, he’s challenged his teachers to enhance the online learning experience in the coming weeks.
Throughout the pandemic, LPSD has been making worksheets and other things available to students. But now, teachers will be using Google Classroom software to interact with children and keep the learning experience going.
Google Classroom will be available to students using the Chromebook. The coursework is not mandatory for a student to pass or fail, but is highly recommended to stay mentally active during the downtime.
“We have great teachers. We wanted to do anything we could to give them the opportunity to do exactly that: to teach,” Martin said.
In addition to purchasing the Chromebooks, Martin also announced the system LPSD will be using to determine a student’s final GPA for the school year. The grading system is similar to what LPSD would normally use, but it’s slightly altered to give students the benefit of the doubt for work they could have done during the fourth nine-weeks to help themselves.
For example, if a student had grades of ‘A, B and B’ in a subject during the first three nine-weeks, that student’s final grade for the subject will be rounded up to an A — the grade they would have earned if they had buckled down and gotten an ‘A’ in the fourth nine-weeks.
Likewise, if a student was on the borderline of pass/fail, their grades will also be rounded up to give them the benefit of the doubt that they’d have made that passing mark in the fourth nine weeks.
Report cards will be mailed to the homes of students at the end of the school year in late-May.
“We want to ease anxieties of parents and students and give them the benefit of the doubt,” Martin said. “The school year wasn’t over. Children still had the ability to do the work and help their cause. We’re not going to penalize them because that opportunity was taken away.”
To get a Chromebook, parents are asked to go to the school system's website, www.mylpsd.com and fill out the "LPSD Distance Learning Technology Request Form".