OBERLIN – The Allen Parish School Board has released an updated return to school plan for 2020-2021 based on guidelines from state and health officials.
The update, released online to the public Thursday, came a day after the School Board announced schools would reopen for in-person and at-home learning on Aug. 20.
Under the plan, students will return five days a week to in classroom learning on Aug. 20. An at-home learning option will be available for parents who would prefer for their child to not attend faceto-face.
Families choosing the athome learning should visit the School Board website atby Aug. 5 to formalize their decision for the at-home learning option.
A copy of the 10-page return to school plan and a video from Superintendent Kent Reed are posted on the School Board’s website and Facebook page and is a fluid document designed to respond to updated guidances from the state on health and safety for students and staff.
“There was a lot of hard work, a lot of discussion and months of planning to put this together to try to prepare for a good, solid opening to the school year,” Superintendent Kent Reed said. “If we fall flat on our face and things don’t work out and we have to shutdown school three weeks out it won’t be from the lack of trying.”
In Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan, all students will be allowed to return to full-time, in-person learning. Classrooms will be limited to 24 students.
“Parents in Allen Parish have told us they would like for their kids to go to school so we’re going to put forth our best effort and kids will be allowed to go to school five days a week,” Reed said.
Students returning to school will follow safety guidelines of social distancing, hand washing and face coverings.
The at-home learning option will be offered for all grade levels with attendance based upon weekly completion of course requirements. Students are also required to log in daily to complete course assignments.
“We’re going to try to educate your kids from home, but if they don’t have internet (at home) we strongly urge parents to send their students to school,” Reed said.
All students will be issued Chromebooks and enrolled in Google Classroom. Wi-Fi hotspots will be provided in school parking lots for students with slow or no internet access to download and upload assignments. Devices issued to students will automatically connect at any site.
The plan also calls for buses to operate at 50 percent capacity with a seating chart to maintain social distance among passengers. Children from the same household will sit together and masks will be required for all passengers, regardless on age.
Pick up and drop off times may differ from previous years due to sanitation between routes and multiple routes having to be made.
Because of the multiple routes, limited bus capacities and social distancing, the district is imploring parents to drive or walk students to school.
Meals will be served in cafeterias, classrooms or in other areas of the school adhering to social distancing protocols.
Breakfast will be a hot meal or a to-go bag with offerings differing by school. Only one meal option will be offered at lunch to include a hot meal or a to-go bag.
Meals will also be available for pick up at assigned schools for students participating in at-home learning. Parents or guardians will be required to complete a school food service meal pick-up form weekly before meals can be picked up. The forms are available on the School Board website, under cafeteria.
All adults and students in grades 3-12 will be required to wear a masks. Masks are optional for students in grades pre-K through 2.
Students with breathing difficulties or other medical restrictions who have a doctor’s excuse may be exempt from wearing a mask.
Two masks per student will be issued by the School Board.
Face masks should have no graphics or wording that will cause a distraction in school. Solid colors are preferred.
Students are also encouraged to bring their own water bottles. Refillable bottle stations will be available at each school.
The plan also includes daily screenings for temperatures and other symptoms for students and employees.
Procedures will be in place to respond to potential coronavirus cases on campus. Parents will be asked to pick up their child from school if they have symptoms. A symptomatic students will be isolated until they can be picked up by a parent or guardian.
Students and employees will be required to stay home if they are sicks, positive for COVID-19 or were in direct contact with someone who has the virus.
Shared materials including computers will be cleaned after each use and rooms visited by multiple groups of students will be sanitized daily between each group of students.