BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Education continues to work with our partners at the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) and Children’s Hospital of New Orleans (CHNOLA) to review the latest CDC guidelines surrounding school operations. On July 8, 2021, the Department released “Ready to Achieve!” a set of updated operational guidance for K-12 school systems to use in the 2021-2022 school year. This document serves as a guidebook to best practices for a safe return to in-person learning for the upcoming school year.
State Superintendent, Dr. Cade Brumley said, “Our school operational guidance serves as best practices. These are not mandates. The State of Louisiana has not issued a mandate relative to the use of facial coverings by students or faculty on a school campus or inside a school facility. School system leaders should continue to work with the local medical community to determine what works best based on local context. It’s also important to understand that our guidance is a blueprint based on the best information available now.”
Guidelines within this document address the following mitigation measures to prevent COVID-19 in school settings:
- Group sizes within classroom settings should be determined by the CDC’s most recent recommendation of 3 feet physical distance between students.
- Policies related to the use of facial coverings within the school setting should be adopted by local school governing authorities. LDH’s current recommendation, based on CDC guidelines, is that all unvaccinated adults and students in grades 3 through 12 should wear a face covering to the greatest extent possible and practical within the local community context.
The LDOE has also communicated the Federal requirements of the January 29, 2021, CDC Order that requires face masks to be worn by all people while on public transportation, which includes all passengers and all personnel operating conveyances, (regardless of capacity) traveling into, within, or out of the United States and U.S. territories. This Order includes school buses.
In addition to the Ready to Achieve! guidelines, the LDOE maintains a continuously updated FAQ document that addresses additional questions surrounding best practices for school operations. The Department is committed to ensuring students and faculty a safe and successful 2021-2022 in-person school year and will continually update the guidance to reflect CDC guidance surrounding mitigation strategies within the school setting.