Jefferson Parish Public Schools delay start date to August 26

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Jefferson Parish School Board announced Monday it is delaying the school year start date to August 26th.

Superintendent Dr. James Gray made the announcement during a news conference.

Dr. Gray said the school is partnering with Ochsner Health to obtain rapid 15-minute coronavirus tests, which will be available by the new school start date.

“A safe return to school is our top responsibility,” said Dr. Gray. “Rapid testing will allow us to add another layer of safety for our employees and students to ensure that we mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and disruptions to learning.” 

“We understand that this will cause some disruptions to families who were ready to send their children back to school in-person this Wednesday," said Dr. Gray. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but please know we are excited to see your child the week of August 26.”

Teachers and students will be checked daily for a fever and masks and social distancing will be required on campus.

The parish schools will use the additional two weeks to get teachers and employees more familiar with the processes for virtual and in-classroom instruction methods.

This comes as Jefferson Parish school teachers protested the school administration’s decision to start the school year this week despite a rise in coronavirus cases in the parish.

Related: Is it too soon to reopen schools in Jefferson Parish?

Related: Jefferson Parish school teachers to rally against reopening schools