Calcasieu School Board to drop previous COVID restrictions

Marlisa Harding

Public schools in Calcasieu Parish are responding to Gov. John Bel Edwards’ recent decision to loosen nearly all COVID-19 restrictions, including the mask mandate. 

In a special called board meeting, the Calcasieu Parish School Board voted to establish its own local procedures for items that were once mandatory. The board voted unanimously to waive restrictions and requirements on group sizes, occupancy limits, band and theater restrictions, high-touch surface cleaning protocols and temperature checks. 

”These things will no longer be in effect at the end of the semester,” Karl Bruchhaus, superintendent said. “Summer and beyond — these things will no longer be in effect in Calcasieu Parish.”

The motion does include a commitment to “encourage individual hygiene practices, universal sanitization efforts and (to) allow masks on an individual, voluntary basis if not mandatory.”

Alvin Smith, district 10, said he received several calls on Thursday regarding a teacher’s right to require students to wear a masks while in their classroom.

Bruchhaus clarified saying, “No, that does not say anybody can make somebody wear a mask. But if an individual chooses to wear a mask, they are allowed to.”

Billy Breaux, district 13, added, “Like me, I have a heart problem. My wife would kill me if I walked around without a mask. So, that’s for me. But I can’t force someone to wear a mask.”

The Lake Charles Charter Schools also updated its COVID-19 protocols as Edwards’ announcements gives local leaders authority to make decisions in the best interests of their stakeholders. Superintendent Henry Mancuso said masks will continue for staff, teachers and visitors “when entering and leaving the school and when in the hallway for summer programs.”

When in the classroom, principals have the authority to make a decision on a class-by-class basis.

“For example, it is known that one geometry class will have five students. This is a situation that could permit face coverings to be removed.”

Such efforts, he said, are to ensure student and teacher safety, he said. 

“Summer school, summer remediation and summer bridge programs are extremely important for students who enroll. A healthy environment must be assured. An interruption or the need to quarantine could greatly impact the success of these summer programs.”

Charter school leadership will determine mask protocols for the fall semester in mid-July with the top priority being students returning safely, in-person, five days a week. ””face masksMGNonline

Local News

Below-freezing temperatures expected throughout weekend

Local News

Learn to Drive the Bus class scheduled for next week

Local News

Jeff Davis school campuses closed Friday

Local News

Tire fire at shuttered facility leads to prison evacuation

Local News

Redistricting plan would cost Jeff Davis minority district

Local News

Fiery crash leaves two dead in Sulphur

Local News

SW La. nightlife calendar: There’s always something to do

Local News

Tanika Randle: Bringing technology to life for her students

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Expect dissension at session

Business

Port of LC director to House subcommittee: More disaster relief needed

life

Dougherty Davis celebrating her 100th birthday today

Local News

Area braces for blast of cold

Local News

Hotel rooms available during course of freezing temperatures

Crime

Vernon high-speed pursuit ends in airborne crash

Business

New businesses coming to Westlake in 2022

Business News

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

Business News

George Swift column: Takeaway from Chamber banquet is that area in good hands

Business News

Lake Charles chosen once again to host World LNG & Gas summit

Local News

Redistricting main topic at annual Legislative Breakfast

Business News

Local group brings 150 gallons of gumbo to tornado-hit area of Ky.

Local News

Cold front expected tonight

Local News

Doctor: COVID not letting up anytime soon

Crime

15-year-old charged with making threat against Sulphur High

Local News

Severe storms headed to area Wednesday night