Louisiana Department of Education releases guidelines on reopening K-12 schools

Fever screenings and social distancing are recommended

(Getty Images stock photo)

School systems should prepare for at least three possible scenarios when returning to school this fall: traditional, hybrid and virtual, according to guidelines on the reopening of K-12 schools the Louisiana Department of Education released Thursday morning.

The document defines a traditional setting as one where students return to a typical classroom setting with safety and mitigation efforts in place. A hybrid setting is a combination of face-to-face instruction and online learning. And a virtual setting is one where all students are being taught remotely..

Cade Brumley,  Louisiana’s school superintendent, says in the document that the education department consulted with the Louisiana Department of Health in crafting the guidelines.

“This is not a one-size-fits-all approach. We know there are vast differences between schools, systems, and communities across the state. It’s our responsibility to develop guidance in conjunction with public health officials, then allow local leadership to make decisions based on the unique needs in their community,” said Cade Brumley, the state superintendent, in the document. 

Some of the recommended mitigation efforts include screening children and adults for fever upon arrival, mandating social distancing and discontinuing field trips. Individuals with a fever of 100.4 degrees or above must be turned away.

“All attendees should wear a face covering,” the department’s guidelines say.

Students would also be asked to enter and exit school buildings  in single-file lines to enable physical distancing. 

“Establish hand hygiene stations at the entrance to the facility so students can clean their hands before they enter. If a sink with soap and water is not available, provide hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol and supervise its use,” the department  advises.

Brumley and Courtney Phillips, who leads the Louisiana Department of Health, will have a public discussion 6 p.m. Thursday about the state’s K-12 school reopening plan. The discussion is being hosted by the Louisiana Senate Education Committee, and people can attend the committee meeting in person or watch live at www.legis.la.gov.