LOUISIANA, Mo. — Louisiana R-II is rolling out their plan for the 2020-2021 school year beginning Monday, Aug. 24.
Below is the letter sent out to family by superintendent Dr. Todd Smith on Wednesday, July 22…
Dear Louisiana R-II Families:
We appreciate everyone’s patience and input as we have worked through the creation of an opening plan for the 20-21 school year. Our plan has been created in conjunction with the Pike County Health Department. Creation of this plan has been developed with the latest resources available – and as we all know, things are changing daily. Our plan must be flexible as well. The information provided here is the skeleton of our opening plan. I know all of our stakeholders are anxious to see it – what is presented here is subject to change based on local Health Department and CDC guidelines. We have made our best effort to balance local direction with state and national guidelines. School will start as scheduled on August 24th. Buildings will be sending/posting updated registration days, times and procedures.
- Social Distancing
- We will make our best effort in all aspects of the students’ day to maintain social distancing.
- Classrooms, lunch rooms, dismissals and class changes will be social distanced to the best extent possible.
- Buses will have assigned seating, load from back to front and we will ask siblings to sit together.
- Each principal will provide more specific direction in order to accommodate the unique set up of each building. Watch Facebook pages and Registration materials.
- Daily Screening Procedures
- We will provide a checklist in each student’s registration packet.
- We will require families to use the form daily, and keep students home if they are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19.
- When in Doubt – Keep Them Out.
- We will not be taking temperatures at the door. Any student exhibiting symptoms may be screened as recommended by the Health Dept and CDC.
- If a student or staff member stays home with a fever, we will require 24hrs fever free without the use of fever reducing medication and a doctor’s note indicating the diagnosis is not COVID related to return to school. Students and staff must be fever free for 72 hours without a doctor’s note.
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Masks for students are encouraged at all times, but will not be required.
- Staff will wear masks anytime they are within 6ft of a student or other staff member.
- We will also encourage, but not require masks on buses.
- Daily Cleaning
- Staff will be trained on proper sanitation procedures during our pre-opening teacher days.
- Students will receive regular instruction on sanitation and hygiene procedures.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be plentiful in each building and students will be required to use them frequently throughout the day.
- Disinfecting will be continuous throughout the day.
- Virtual Instruction
- The District is in the process of purchasing enough Chrome books and Tablets for each student to have one to use. Should a student be quarantined, or school closed all together – instruction will be delivered electronically.
- Before the COVID 19 outbreak, Missouri had already required that each District offer an option for virtual education. That option is still in place. Each building has a procedure in place for any family that might wish to have their kids educated virtually. Eligibility and appropriateness are determined by the building principal and counselor.
- Visitors During the School Day
- Visitors to buildings will be extremely limited. Any visitor will be screened and required to wear a mask.
- Parents will no longer be allowed to walk their children to class in the morning.
- Mass Gatherings
- For this year, we will not have the traditional Open House night. Buildings will inform families of schedules and opportunities to make appointments to meet teachers.
- Assemblies, Music programs, room parties, dances, etc. will not be held until further notice.
- Our Activities Director will be providing guidance to athletes, families and participants for activities based on MSHSA guidelines.
- COVID -19 Procedures
- An isolation room will be designated in each building to house any student or staff exhibiting symptoms until they are picked up or go home.
- Any student or staff member testing positive will not be allowed to return until cleared by a doctor and the Health Department.
- If a case is reported, the Health Department may direct us to quarantine certain individuals, classes, or groups. Their guidance is anyone within 6ft for more than 15 minutes of a confirmed case.
- All of the precautions discussed are intended to limit exposure and be able to identify any potentially infected individuals. Our goal is to avoid quarantining large groups, or having to close completely.
- We are asking that all families consider transporting their children to and from school if possible. Space on buses will be limited. Any family that can transport their kids should do so.
- As mentioned earlier, we will have assigned seats on each bus and expect students to cooperate. Please discuss the importance of this requirement with your child.
- Riding a bus to school is a privilege. This year, more than any – we will need kids and family’s cooperation.
- Please consider having your child wear a mask on the bus.
Considering all of the unknowns of this Virus, there is no way for a plan to cover every instance. We will need everyone’s patience, flexibility and cooperation to make it work. The overall sentiment I have heard in the community is – Get the kids back in school. There is no doubt that face to face learning is the best option for kids. Our plan is focused on minimizing risk as much as possible while still returning to some sort of “normalcy”. This will be a community effort. I hope everyone understands there is no playbook for this – we are making decisions that we feel best balance the risk and reward.
I look forward to working with our staff, families and community to make 20-21 a successful academic year.
Dr. Todd Smith
Superintendent of Schools