August 6, 2020 – 5:00 p.m.


Via Zoom Teleconference & Streamed Live on St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools Facebook Page



Due to the public health emergency caused by the Covid-19 virus and in the interest of the health and safety of the public and the School Board, the St. John the Baptist Parish School Board will meet for a Board Workshop via teleconference utilizing Zoom Video Conferencing. (See attached Certification of Inability to Operate Due to the Lack of a Quorum.)  The meeting will be streamed live on St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools Facebook Page so that members of the public may view the discussion in real time. All public comments regarding agenda items should be sent to: between 4:30 and 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 6, 2020.  Public comments must include all three (3) of the following:  1. First and Last Name; 2. Agenda Item Number you are commenting on; 3. Your comment.  All public comments will be read aloud before each agenda item is discussed.


The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board will meet for a workshop on Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. via teleconference (Zoom).  The meeting will be open to receive Public Comment at 4:30 p.m. The meeting will be in recess until 5:00 p.m. to allow for Public Comment to be received and will reconvene in regular session at 5:00 p.m.


The agenda is attached for the meeting.


The President then read the agenda aloud and recessed the meeting for 30 minutes to allow for public comment. 




The Chair reconvened the meeting in Regular Session at 5:00 p.m. He called for a moment of silent meditation, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Ms. Bonnie Dinvaut.


ITEM 2. ROLL CALL OF MEMBERS: The Chair called for Public Comment.


PRESENT:         Holden, DeFrancesch, Jones, Johnson, Schum, Mitchell, Sanders

ABSENT:            Burl, Keller, Wallace, Triche


There were 7 members present and 4 members absent. 


ITEM 3. Public Comment.  Discussion of the District Re-Entry Plan


Mr. Burl and Dr. Keller joined the meeting at 5:11 p.m. and both were recorded as present.


The Chair called for Public Comment. The following was read into the record:


My name is Ginger Davis, I'm commenting on agenda item #3. We are under a public health emergency crisis, and as a parent, I'm not convinced that our parish and schools can do whatever is necessary to protect our students and faculties from contracting Covid-19. Who is going to be doing all of the cleaning? Who is providing all of the hand sanitizer, soap, and disinfectant products for all schools? I understand that keeping the schools closed does not work for families who have young children and both parents work outside the home. To say that we are living through a nightmare currently that could have been handled very differently by our government, is an enormous understatement. Thank you for your time.


Joy Landry

Regarding agenda item 3

I have serious concerns about maintaining the safety of our students and staff should we attempt in-person learning at this time. As a member of the St. John Association of Educators, I think traditional “brick and mortar” school should be delayed until COVID 19 cases are no longer rising in St John the Baptist Parish.


Monica Anderson

Regarding agenda item 3

As a classroom teacher, I am extremely concerned with the safety of students and staff by attempting in-person learning at this time. I feel that we are not fully prepared for the ramifications that seem imminent, as it relates to this pandemic. As a member of the St. John Association of Educators, I think in-person learning should be delayed until COVID 19 cases are no longer increasing in St. John the Baptist Parish.


Alison Hull

Agenda Item #3

Comment:  I am concerned that the school board does not feel safe enough to hold a meeting together, but they feel certain that staff and students will be safe when school opens next week. What are your concerns about meeting in person? We have those same concerns only on a much larger scale because children are also involved. What is the hesitation with starting virtual and delaying the in person start? We are not prepared for this. Please do the right thing for the staff and students of St. John Parish.


Sara Rabalais

Regarding Item #3

I am writing because I am concerned about safely starting this school year. As I see the number of Covid-19 cases rising every day, I feel as though we are not prepared for safe in-person learning for our students and teachers. As a member of the St. John Association of Educators, I believe that we should begin teaching with a virtual platform until more safety precautions are done inside of the school or the number of Covid-19 cases are no longer rising in this parish. If the school board does not feel safe enough to have an in-person meeting, how is it safe enough for teachers and students?


Mona Robinson, Agenda Item 3:

Shouldn’t there be plexiglass in between students or some containment in the classes bc the virus is airborne & once it hits open air, all those in the room regardless of distance are exposed.

The teachers needs to have discretion to whether or not a child who was sick can be allowed to come back. The child or teacher exposed should be required to show proof of negative test for the virus prior to coming back to school.


Blaine Robertson, Association Representative

On behalf of the St. John Association of Educators, I would like to express the overwhelming concern felt by a number of employees across the district.  Most importantly, we fear for our safety knowing that we will be putting ourselves in a position of increased risk of exposure to a deadly virus.  Authorities confirm that younger children can often show no signs of being infected, yet still be carriers of the virus and transmit it between adults at the schools and at their homes as well as among each other.  Taking everyone’s temperature is simply no guarantee that someone is not carrying the virus into the building.  We are moving so hastily to get everyone into “school” that we are ignoring many of the obstacles that will make effective instruction almost impossible.    Also, teachers have expressed that they don’t feel prepared to deliver three different formats of education simultaneously, and it also has not been made clear to many parents what “virtual” teaching will be presented to them as they will be sitting on a computer trying to keep up with students in the class at the same time because at some sites, there actually are no true virtual teachers available.  It is totally unfeasible to have students return to campuses in August, because at this point, even as we do our best to prepare, there are still more questions than answers and the majority of personnel still has no idea what is expected to happen when kids return to the buildings.  Some classrooms still have objectives from March 13th on the board.  We need more time before we can even think about going in front of children.  At the very least, we need to have a later start date. Moreover, we should be truly considering a 100% virtual model for our students until conditions drastically improve in regards to this pandemic.  To be clear, our desire is and will always be to serve our children by providing them with the best education possible.  We are asking that we be allowed to do this without having to worry for the safety of ourselves and our families at the same time.  


Colby Sutton, ESJH Teacher

Attached below are headlines from around the country in the wake of schools reopening during the Covid-19 pandemic. I urge you to reflect and reconsider your decision to bring students back into the classroom for the sake of public health and safety.


"Within 11 days of schools opening, dozens of students and teachers have gotten COVID-19: 'I truly wish we'd kept our children home' - Corinth MS


  1. Over 100 students quarantined in Mississippi school district after several individuals tested positive for Covid-19

    By Jamiel Lynch, CNN Updated 5:39 PM ET, Wed August 5, 2020

  2. "19 Zachary teachers quarantined due to COVID-19; delay to school year being considered."

    By Lester Duhé | August 6, 2020 at 3:36 PM CDT - Updated August 6 at 4:20 PM - ZACHARY, La.

  3. "Grandfather: ‘School Sent Home Death Sentence’ After COVID-19 Closes Class" August 06, 2020

    | By:Ellen Eldridge  - Cherokee County, GA

  4. "Latest Minnesota COVID-19 data move 27 counties to new school planning levels" Changes reflect volatile nature of COVID-19 pandemic at local levels, concern about continued spread of infectious disease. 

    By Jeremy Olson Star Tribune

  5. Students at school touted by Pence for reopening must quarantine due to COVID-19" Vice President Mike Pence said the school was 'in the forefront' for reopening.

By Ella Torres  

 Jefferson Parish teachers test positive for coronavirus just days ahead of 1st week back in person



I understand that this is a unique situation for all parents, students, educators and leaders alike. However, the evidence is overwhelming and one is compelled to wonder where in fact does the safety of students and educators fall in this unprecedented decision.


Susan Cases

 Item #3

As a teacher my main concern is if all student have access to the resources needed to be successful.  At this time only virtual students are guaranteed a laptop.  How will the hybrid students with out a laptop or internet access attend classes virtually.  Teachers are concerned with how they will successfully teach the students in class and virtually at the same time.  Teachers need more time to prepare for virtual learning.  They need to learn the platform, setup classes and convert their materials for a virtual setting.


Silver Peters

Start plan My daughter has asthma - is the face shield allowed with doctors documentation

What is the plan for viewing kindergarten classes prior to start date to view sanitary changes made to school/ class

Last school meeting reported that parents won’t be allowed to walk kids in on first day - can this be looked at it again maybe allowed with stipulations such as all parents must wear a masks Or arrive after all kids in other grades are in class.


There was extensive discussion regarding the start date as it relates to COVID-19. 




The agenda having been completed, and there being no further business, there was a


MOTION BY:    Holden


MOTION:         Motion for adjournment.


There were no objections.

9 Yeas – Holden, Burl, Keller, DeFrancesch, Jones, Johnson, Schum, Mitchell, Sanders

2 Absent – Wallace, Triche

The motion carried.


The meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m




_____________________________________                               _____________________________________

Dr. Lynett Hookfin, Superintendent/Secretary                               Patrick H. Sanders, President