BESE meets Tuesday afternoon to discuss new COVID-19 guidelines


    The Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will hold a special meeting on Tuesday, July 14 to create emergency rules and guidelines that “provide minimum standards, policies, medical exceptions and regulations to govern the reopening of the schools for the 2020 school year,” said BESE President Sandy Holloway.” The meeting is being held a day before the deadline provided by recently passed legislation that requires the board to establish emergency rules.

    The meeting can be live-streamed at 1:30 p.m. at this link.

    “The proposed policy shifts provide minimum health and safety standards ensuring the protection of students, faculty, staff, and others on school property to the maximum extent possible for reopening school facilities for the 2020 school year,” Holloway told members of the Louisiana House Education Committee hearing that met Monday.

    Holloway said that recommendations presented during the hearing will be the same ones presented on July 14’s special meeting. Some of these recommendations include requiring students 3rd grade and above to wear masks, maintaining physical distancing or static groups if physical distancing is not possible, and taking temperatures of students and faculty as they enter the building. If a person has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or above, they will not be allowed to enter the building.

    In last month’s special session, the Louisiana Legislature requiring BESE by July 15 to “adopt emergency rules informed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to provide minimum standards, policies, medical exceptions, and regulations to govern the reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year to ensure that students, faculty, staff, and others on school property are protected to the extent possible and practical from COVID-19.”

    While they have prepared guidelines for reopening, Holloway said BESE is very open to making amendments if need be.

    “If (potential amendments) were to come up, absolutely we could have that discussion,” said Holloway. “We’re very open.”