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LSMSA students ‘return to the nest’ in staggered sessions for Spring semester

The student body will return to the campus of the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) in cohort sessions for the Spring semester--under very controlled conditions.
A plan was developed by the senior administration and an on-campus ad hoc "Return to the Nest" committee. All students will have the opportunity to be on campus for a minimum of one session face-to-face. The cohort design will allow for social distancing, private rooms, smaller class sizes, and restricted group gatherings.  
"Campus is just not the same without our students,” said Director of Enrollment and Student Services Emily Shumate. “We’ve worked hard to develop a plan that we believe can give them the opportunity to be in community, while also keeping everyone safe and healthy."
The first two sessions (BLUE SESSION and GOLD SESSION) will be four weeks in length and will include a mix of sophomores, juniors, and seniors. These cohorts will be formed based on class enrollments to better allow for social distancing in the classrooms. No in-person class size is expected to exceed eight students, and each student will have a private room in the residence hall.  
“It's also our hope to be able to offer athletic team experiences in the Spring,” said Athletics and Recreation Coordinator Coach Dale Clingerman, who’s in discussions regarding schedules and about safety standards for the students. 
“We will offer our traditional physical education classes, albeit with very strict standards to protect everyone’s health and safety,” he shared.
While the BLUE cohort is on campus, the GOLD cohort will be at home completing synchronous instruction virtually.
The process will be repeated in reverse for the second session (GOLD SESSION).
Then, for the final five week session (SENIOR EAGLE SESSION), the Senior Class will return to campus as one group so that they can experience the final weeks together and enjoy some of the traditions afforded that class annually.  During this time, all sophomores and juniors will be at home completing synchronous virtual instruction.
Between each session, the campus will be closed for sanitization, and all students will participate in virtual instruction.
“We just want to thank everyone for being so supportive this semester,” said Executive Director Dr. Steve Horton. “This has been a terribly difficult time for our students, and we feel that we owe them the due diligence to pursue a return to campus under very controlled conditions. Please know, should the state revert back to Phase 1 or 2, or if LSMSA, Natchitoches Parish Schools, or NSU determine a closure is necessary, we will follow suit and return to virtual status.”
For more information go online to www.lsmsa.edu/return-to-campus.