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On Wednesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards formally announced the closure of district facilities through the remainder of the school year.

In adhering to the guidance offered by the proclamation, all Caddo schools and sites will remain closed through the rest of the school year. While facilities are closed, the district will continue with online instruction and essential programs such as food service for students and social-emotional supports.

“We thank Gov. Edwards for working with school districts to place the safety of our students, staff, and families first,” said Dr. T. Lamar Goree, Superintendent of Caddo Schools. “Our priority throughout this pandemic has been to provide the highest quality academic resources to our students along with access to nutritious meals. We also know the social and emotional needs of our students do not stop because our buildings are closed. For our students and families, we have created a website where you can learn about community programs and services designed to meet your specific needs. Our doors may be closed, but Caddo stands ready to support our students, staff and families.”

Students will continue to complete assignments from their teachers for the remainder of the school year through the district’s Caddo Home Learning virtual platform. The platform has garnered attention from the Louisiana Department of Education for its ability to connect students and teachers using top-rated curriculum. Students will be accountable for completion of all assigned work.

As assignments are completed teachers are grading work and providing feedback to students. Students shall not be penalized academically due to their inability to access devices, the internet or academic resources. Additionally, teachers and administrators will maintain office hours to answer questions from students and families regarding classwork.

“This is a critical step to protect public safety,” said Gov. Edwards in his briefing announcing the decision to close school buildings. “It was not a decision made lightly and not something we wanted to do, but one we felt we must do in the interest of public safety. While students will not be at the school building, I fully expect instruction and learning will continue.”

For graduating seniors, the district has secured the dates of July 27-August 1 at the Shreveport Convention Center in the event school systems are allowed to move forward with graduation ceremonies. Caddo does not know at this time what social distancing guidelines will be required by late July; however, the safety of students, staff, and families is of the utmost importance.

The district will communicate with families in the coming weeks regarding end-of-year needs including returning devices used at home for instruction, textbooks and the collection of any personal items which remain at school sites.

Currently, it is the intent of Caddo Schools to begin the 2020-2021 school year as planned on August 10 with all teachers returning to work on August 6.

As this is a difficult time for many students and families, the district has created a resource page, Caddo Cares, which provides access to mental health agencies with telehealth capabilities as well as tips to support mental health while in this time of social distancing.