NEW ORLEANS — The Louisiana Department of Education released new guidelines on Thursday for reopening public schools amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The education department said each local district will ultimately decide how schools will reopen, the guidelines encourage schools to prepare for three possible reopening scenarios: traditional, hybrid, or distance/ remote learning.
State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley said the guidelines were developed by talking with experts on the virus, public health officials and school leaders, and educators.
The guidelines include recommendations and best practices for bus capacity and student group size, student symptom monitoring, face coverings and food preparation, and meal service.
Included in the guidelines: high-touch surfaces including desks and doorknobs should be cleaned before and after each group’s use. “High-risks” sports would be avoided until at least Phase 3 reopening. Space on school buses could also be limited depending on the phase of reopening.
Schools should also assess students for symptoms, including temperature checks, when they arrive and throughout the day. Students who have a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit should not be admitted into the school.
Bands and vocal music can resume in Phase 3, with physical distancing recommendations, the guidelines say.
“We understand next year will be a new challenge for all of us as we educate through COVID-19,” Brumley said. “I have confidence in our collective talents to overcome these challenges.”