Academy of Excellence responds to social distancing concerns

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

By Samantha Jones

In a response to reports that the Academy of Excellence is flouting social distancing protocol, Principal Patty Sanders said Monday that the school is following its COVID-19 policy "as closely as we can."

State Rep. Harlan Breaux reported that he heard concerns regarding the school's policy, saying a parent whose child is immunocompromised complained about lack of social distancing and mask wearing. Breaux said he spoke with Sanders to clear the issue up.

"They were very cooperative. We have an understanding now," Breaux said. "They do a lot of disinfecting and do a lot of testing as far as when people come in there to check their temperatures."

Breaux added, "We've come back to common ground. We understand each other. They're just super nice people over there. I feel good about it."

Sanders said the school's COVID-19 policy includes regular temperature checks and hand washing, as well as social distancing in the classroom. Sanders said students wash their hands "before and after snack, before and after lunch, before and after recess and before and after going to the gym."

In response to a report that a teacher plans to hold story time the same way as before the pandemic, Sanders said that's not true.

"I have one teacher who completely revamped her whole room over the weekend to social distance it more," Sanders said. "We are social distancing as we can. We have a smaller community and that makes it easier for us to do the distancing."

Sanders said the desks are spread out and students are not interacting with other grade levels. Studentsí first day of class was Thursday, Aug. 13.

"Some of them are eating in the lunchroom," Sanders said. "Some of them are not eating in the lunchroom."

Everyone is happy to be back at school, Sanders said.

"We are very excited to be back and our students are very excited to be here," Sanders said. "We're expecting this to be a very good year. We're trying to do school as normal as possible, because we feel that's important for the children's mental and spiritual well-being to feel like they are in a safe place."

Sander added, "We are following the guidelines as closely as we can and still have things as normal as possible, too."

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