Allen schools to take COVID policy cues from BESE

Published 6:07 pm Tuesday, October 12, 2021

OBERLIN — Allen Parish School Board Superintendent Kent Reed said the district has been advised by its legal team to wait for the outcome of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education meeting before deciding whether it will implement a policy allowing parents to decide whether to quarantine their child after exposure to COVID-19 at school.

BESE is scheduled to meet this week in Baton Rouge.

“We will keep an eye on the results of the meeting, and I will keep the board updated on any information pertaining to this topic,” Reed told board members Monday.

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Louisiana Department of Education Superintendent Cade Brumley announced the new option last month that would allow parents to decide whether students in close contact with COVID-19 should quarantine at home or stay in school.

The parent would also be given the opportunity for a no-cost COVID screening for their child. Students testing positive or who develop symptoms would be isolated until they have recovered and are no longer infectious.

Allen Parish schools already offer the free COVID-19 screening for all students at its health-based clinic at Oakdale Middle School, Reed said.

The new parents choice option can only be used in cases where students were in close contact to other students at school, not outside the school setting, Reed said.

In reviewing the school district’s COVID-19 numbers as of Oct. 11, Reed said there are five cases at Oberlin, two at Kinder Middle and one each at Oakdale Middle School and Kinder Elementary School. The district is also reporting nearly 18 close contact cases involving family members at home.

“As a district 18 close contact cases and 9 positive students, that is the lowest it has been all year, so we are in a good place,” he said. “Hopefully that trend continues.”