ST. LANDRY PARISH (KLFY) – St. Landry Parish School administrators and staff along with parents and students are preparing to return to the classrooms with safety and staffing at the forefront.

Superintendent Patrick Jenkins says starting the school year is a lift for everyone involved. Prior to school starting, the Superintendent says professional development was provided to all teachers and school administration.

A lot like most school districts, he admits they too are faced with a teacher shortage, like the one seen across the nation. “The legislature did make some revisions to bring retirees back and be able to look at certifications.”

Despite the shortage, the school district is prepared with a contingency plan in place to continue education inside classrooms. “We may have to increase class sizes and also use long term subs,” says Jenkins.

Transportation to and from school is not a concern at the moment. Jenkins continues, “We pushed out notifications regarding routes. Bus drivers are in defensive driving classes.” He says all routes are covered but says there are no extra fill-ins. “I think what helped is the board said yes to a proposal in which we pay for driver training but they have an obligation to the parish for three years,” Jenkins explains.

Another big topic this summer revolved around school safety. Superintendent Jenkins says they will continue to work with the Sheriff’s Office and local police departments with a safety plan in place.