COVID-19 GUIDELINES FOR SCHOOLS – August 2021

Due to the recent COVID-19 surge and the desire to return to schools for in-person instruction, the Office of Catholic Schools has carefully considered the safety protocols recommended by our local and state leaders, the Louisiana Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Louisiana Department of Education. In order to provide a safe environment for our students, staff, and families, the following guidelines will be in place for all schools:

  • MASK GUIDANCE:As per the mandate from Governor John Bel Edwards issued on August 2, 2021, students in K-12 will be required to wear masks until September 1, 2021. All adults, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, must wear face coverings while indoors.

The Emergency Order lists the following as exemptions to the mandate:

  • Anyone who has a medical condition that prevents the wearing of a face covering
  • Anyone who is consuming food or drink
  • Anyone who is trying to communicate with a person who is hearing impaired
  • Anyone who is giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience
  • Anyone temporarily removing his or her face covering for identification purposes

A student or staff wishing an exemption MUST provide a letter from their current health provider stating the exemption needed from the mandate. This letter must remain on file during the mandate period.

  • CLEANING/SANITIZING: Enhanced cleaning of common areas, restrooms, and entry/exit points. No shared drinking fountains.
  • HANDWASHING: Good handwashing techniques for students and staff should be prioritized. Handwashing or sanitizer should be used upon entering a new location, before and after lunch periods and at arrival and exit points.
  • STUDENT AND STAFF HEALTH GUIDELINES: Temperature checks will not be required. Staff and students are encouraged to maintain symptom checks prior to the school day. All students and staff should stay home when ill or exhibiting symptoms. Those with COVID-19 are required to stay home until they have recovered and have been determined to no longer be infectious according to CDC’s isolation protocols.

Schools may ask for employee/student vaccination status, to assist with quarantine protocols.

  • OPERATIONAL GUIDELINES: Limiting non-essential visitors to campus

Field trips are permissible. Face coverings must be worn on buses.

All school operational guidelines within LDOE’s Ready to Achieve should be considered as best practices when opening school campuses.

Note: Understanding that due to the increased surge of COVID-19 cases, this plan is developed under current guidelines and is subject to change upon additional information from the Louisiana Department of Health and BESE.

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STATEMENT OF NONDISCRIMINATION

Our Lady’s Catholic School, Inc. is an equal opportunity educational institution. The Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Lake Charles do not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, or national origin in accepting applications for student admissions or in the administration of educational policies, of scholarship and loan programs, and of athletic and extra-curricular programs.

Students are accorded, regardless of race, sex, and national origin, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to such persons in each school. This policy applies to all schools under Diocesan auspices.