LOUISIANA—Recently, families for Louisiana RII schools received a back to school plan for when the school district would bring students back for the fall season.
“We appreciate everyone’s patience and input as we have worked through the creation of an opening plan for the 20-21 school year,” Superintendent Todd Smith wrote. Our plan has been created in conjunction with the Pike County Health Department. Creation of this plan has been developed with the latest resources available—and as we all know, things are changing daily. Our plan must be flexible as well. The information provided here is the skeleton of our opening plan. I know all of our stakeholders are anxious to see it.” He noted that even this plan was subject to change, based on local Health Department and CDC guidelines.
“We have made our best effort to balance local direction with state and national guidelines. School will start as scheduled on Aug. 24. Buildings will be sending/posting updated registration days, times and procedures.
• We will make our best effort in all aspects of the students’ day to maintain social distancing.
• Classrooms, lunch rooms, dismissals and class changes will be social distanced to the best extent possible.
• Buses will have assigned seating, load from back to front and we will ask siblings to sittogether.
• Each principal will provide more specific direction in order to accommodate the unique set up of each building. Watch Facebook pages and Registration materials.
Daily Screening Procedures
• We will provide a checklist in each student’s registration packet.
• We will require families to use the form daily, and keep students home if they are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19.
• When in Doubt – Keep Them Out.
• We will not be taking temperatures at the door. Any student exhibiting symptoms may be screened as recommended by the Health Dept and CDC.
• If a student or staff member stays home with a fever, we will require 24hrs fever free without the use of fever reducing medication and a doctor’s note indicating the diagnosis is not COVID related to return to school. Students and staff must be fever free for 72 hours without a doctor’s note.
• Masks for students are encouraged at all times, but will not be required.
• Staff will wear masks anytime they are within 6ft of a student or other staff member.
• We will also encourage, but not require masks on buses.
• Staff will be trained on proper sanitation procedures during our pre-opening teacher days.
• Students will receive regular instruction on sanitation and hygiene procedures.
• Hand sanitizing stations will be plentiful in each building and students will be required to use them frequently throughout the day.
• Disinfecting will be continuous throughout the day.
• The District is in the process of purchasing enough Chrome books and Tablets for each student to have one to use. Should a student be quarantined, or school closed all together – instruction will be delivered electronically.
• Before the COVID 19 outbreak, Missouri had already required that each District offer an option for virtual education. That option is still in place. Each building has a procedure in place for any family that might wish to have their kids educated virtually. Eligibility and appropriateness are determined by the building principal and counselor.
Visitors During the School Day
• Visitors to buildings will be extremely limited. Any visitor will be screened and required to wear a mask.
• Parents will no longer be allowed to walk their children to class in the morning.
• For this year, we will not have the traditional Open House night. Buildings will inform families of schedules and opportunities to make appointments to meet teachers.
• Assemblies, Music programs, room parties, dances, etc. will not be held until further notice.
• Our Activities Director will be providing guidance to athletes, families and participants for activities based on MSHSA guidelines.
• An isolation room will be designated in each building to house any student or staff exhibiting symptoms until they are picked up or go home.
“Considering all of the unknowns of this virus, there is no way for a plan to cover every instance,” Smith wrote. “We will need everyone’s patience, flexibility and cooperation to make it work. The overall sentiment I have heard in the community is—get the kids back in school. There is no doubt that face to face learning is the best option for kids. Our plan is focused on minimizing risk as much as possible while still returning to some sort of ‘normalcy.’ This will be a community effort. I hope everyone understands there is no playbook for this—we are making decisions that we feel best balance the risk and reward.”