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Schools Impacted by COVID-19

by Amber McDown

Many schools in Webster Parish are currently impacted by absences due to the COVID pandemic. At this month’s school board meeting, Assistant Superintendent Kevin Washington listed the class closings at schools in the parish.

As of Monday, Central Elementary had one Pre-K and one 5th grade class closed. North Webster Lower Elementary had a 1st grade and a 2nd grade class closed. North Webster Jr. High has closed a 7th grade class. At North Webster Upper Elementary, a 3rd grade class has been isolated, and at North Webster High, a special needs class has been quarantined. Jones Elementary was still vetting a 3rd grade class before making a decision, and the same is true for a 3rd grade class at Brown Upper Elementary and the Minden High soccer team.

Doyline has been closed due to the large number of teacher absences. At the time of the meeting, Doyline had 13 teachers out. As Ms. Long stated, “You can’t run a school if 60% of the teachers have COVID.” They were scheduled to reopen on Wednesday. Lakeside is still conducting classes virtually.

Schools with no current class closings include Browning Elementary, Minden High, Phillips Middle, Richardson Elementary, and Webster Jr. High. When asked, Mr. Washington reported that there were no reports of any hospitalizations among either teachers or students. 

With the large numbers of teacher absences, finding substitute teachers is critical. As a result, the Webster Parish School Board will be holding a substitute teacher training event on Thursday, January 20th at 9:00 am. This is for new substitutes only. They are currently offering full-time positions as substitutes. Information is available on the Webster Parish School Board’s Facebook page. The training will be held in the Minden High auditorium. 

Superintendent Rowland thanked everyone involved in the school system by saying, “A huge thanks right now for allowing things to be possible in almost impossible circumstances.”

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