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Central schools prepare for Thursday reopening

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CENTRAL - Students in Central are next to head back to school.

Teachers and staff worked on Wednesday to put the finishing touches on their classrooms as the community school system continues to review its reopening plan.

It will be the first time students step foot on campus since April when Governor John Bel Edwards shut down in-person classes due to the initial wave of COVID-19 cases.

“Well, I can tell you this, we’ve been working on this plan for really for two months now,” Central Superintendent Dr. Jason Fountain said.

The time for planning is over with half of the student body coming back to campus on Thursday. The second half will have their first day of school on Friday.

“We’ll check temperatures, they’ll come in socially distanced. Third graders and above will be wearing their masks, of course, their face coverings,” Fountain said.

Starting on Monday, all students grades Pre-K through sixth will be back on campus five days a week. Those students will be divided into static classes with no more than 24 students and one teacher in accordance with the Louisiana Department of Education’s minimum requirements for reopening.

“Where they basically stay with the same group all day. And they’ll travel with them, K through sixth,” Fountain said.

Seventh through twelfth graders will follow the hybrid model, which consists of two days of in-person classes and three days of virtual. Around 850 students opted to go 100% virtual for the first semester. That is about 18% of the enrolled students in Central.

Fountain says they are working to align their in-person and online curriculum so they can be as in sync as possible. That coordination will especially be needed if and when when a student or teacher tests positive for COVID-19.

“If a student or a teacher tests positive, then, now the guidance is they can return in 10 days from the date of testing positive if their symptoms have not been present for the previous 24 hours without medication. So, no fever, things like that. But if someone is exposed to a person who has tested positive, then they have a 14-day quarantine,” Fountain said.

Even with updated guidance from the Louisiana Department of Health, Fountain still sees a lot of grey areas.

“If a teacher has to be quarantined or isolated, same thing with a student, I can’t give you a ‘if-then’ right now because there are so many scenarios that are possible. I think we just kind of have some rules in place that we’ll kind of try to follow. And then as the situations arise, we’re just going to have to make decisions, do our best, of course always in consultation with the LDH. And then move forward from there,” Fountain said.

For more specific information regarding transportation, school lunches and recess, click here.


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