St. Tammany Parish Public Schools is dedicated to protecting the health and well-being of our students and employees. As a result, we would like to keep the public informed by providing this list of answers to frequently asked questions. This is an extremely fluid situation and this list will be updated as information becomes available.
(Updated August 5, 2021)
Q: Are visitors allowed on campus?
A: Essential visitors are allowed in school campuses and offices. Essential visitors are considered personnel who are providing school related services to students and/or employees. All visitors must be symptom free to enter campus and are asked to sanitize their hands frequently while on campus. STPPS requires any visitors to wear a face mask while on school campuses or in any STPPS office per the state mask mandate.
Q: Will before and/or afterschool programs be offered this school year?
A: Schools determine if before and/or afterschool programs will be offered on their campus. Before and afterschool programs may continue but must adhere to physical distance protocols. If you are interested in before or afterschool programs, please contact your child’s school to see if it is available this school year.
Q: Why is there not a virtual option being offered this year?
A: Our schools will only offer an in-person, face-to-face learning environment this year. The STPPS Virtual School was a temporary response to COVID-19 last school year. Students learn best with direct instruction from a teacher. We have technology in place for students to continue learning through Google Classroom and Google Meet in case of quarantine or illness.
Q: If my child previously tested positive for COVID-19 and returned to school, do they have to quarantine if they are identified as a close contact with someone who tests positive?
A: According to the CDC, people who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again.
Q: If an employee or student is fully vaccinated, do they need to quarantine if he/she is a close contact?
A: An employee or student who is a close contact with a COVID-19 positive person does not need to quarantine if he/she at the time of exposure is fully vaccinated AND has remained asymptomatic since the exposure. If the individual develops symptoms, he/she should self-quarantine immediately for 10 days after symptoms begin or get a COVID-19 test.
Q: If my child has to quarantine, will he/she be able to work from home?
A: Should there be a need for a student, class, or school to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19, continuity of education will be provided through distance learning pending the return to class/campus. Google Classroom and Google Meet will be used as the learning platform for grades PK-12. Teacher webpages through the Student Progress Center will be maintained for parent/caregiver communication. Students will work independently, and teachers will be available for student support. Please reference the STPPS Technology Guides and Resources for support.
Q: Will absences resulting from COVID-19 reasons be excused?
A: Pursuant to BESE Bulletin 741, student attendance guidelines apply when a student misses school. Please reference the District Handbook for Students and Parents for additional attendance guidelines and procedures.
Q: Are face masks required this school year?
A: Per the governor's order, masks are now required to be worn in all STPPS schools and buildings for students in grades K-12 and all adults. Masks are highly recommended for children ages 2-4.
Q: Why were kids in pre-k not required to wear a face mask on buses for the 2020-21 school year but they have to wear them on buses for this school year?
A: Pre-k students have to wear face masks on buses for the 2021-22 school year in response to Federal Law through CDC guidance.
Q: Are neck gaiters allowed this year?
A: The CDC does not recommend the use of neck gaiters as a substitute for cloth face coverings. The effectiveness of neck gaiters is not known, and they should only be used until an appropriate face covering can be secured.
Q: Are face shields allowed instead of masks?
A: Face shields are not allowed to take the place of face masks or coverings. Wearing a face shield in addition to a mask of face covering for additional protection is allowed.
Q: My child has reasons for not wearing a mask to school during a mask mandate per the governor’s order. What can I do?
A: We will only accept medical exemptions during a mask mandate. If your child has a medical reason to not wear a mask, an official STPPS Medical or Disability Impact Exceptions Request Form (Spanish version) form has to be completed. No other mask exception form will be accepted.
Q: Are there social distancing requirements?
A: Yes. Social distancing will be maintained to the greatest extent possible. Masked individuals should stay 3 feet apart and stay 6 feet apart if unmasked while outdoors to avoid quarantine if identified as a close contact.
Q: How will schools handle COVID-19 positive cases? Will parents of the students and families affected be notified?
A: If a student or employee is identified as a close contact at a school campus or office, they will not be allowed on campus or isolated in a sick room until they can be sent home and the school/site supervisor will notify the employee/parent or caregiver. Specific directives will then be explained relative to each unique situation.Parents will be notified if their child is considered a close contact and may have been exposed to COVID-19, along with any next steps. Please see the Employee and Student School/Work Quarantine and Isolation Return Guide (Spanish Version) or more information.
Q: Will you enforce rules for wearing face coverings?
A: Yes. The safety protocols are set by policies and will be enforced like any other rules. Expectations will be clearly communicated, and school administrators will make every effort to enforce the policies and rules without disciplinary measures needing to be taken. Any disciplinary actions will follow the Uniform Discipline Code, which can be found in the District Handbook for Students and Parents.
Q: What will be the protocol for allowing children back to school if they or a family member test positive?
A: Please see the Employee and Student School/Work Quarantine and Isolation Return Guide for information about returning to school after being identified as a close contact.
Q: Does it violate HIPAA laws to provide medical reasoning in the mask exemption form?
A: No. It is not a HIPAA violation to provide medical information with a mask exemption form.
Q: Do Pre K students need to wear masks?
A: Masks are highly recommended for Pre K students in school buildings but are required on school buses. Masks will be removed during naptime.
Q: Will school principals make school-wide COVID case notification robocalls this year?
A: Schools will continue to notify all close contact individuals and those who need to quarantine. School principals will not make school-wide notification robocalls as it is not required under the current mandate.
Have questions about COVID-19? Email your questions to email@example.com.
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