Close contact definition updated in the Employee and Student School/Work Quarantine and Isolation Return Guide. - (Spanish Version)
Masks required in schools and support sites for all students in grades K-12 and all adults.
At this time, face masks are highly recommended but not mandated on school campuses and in offices indoors if six feet of social distancing is not possible.
The St. Tammany Parish Public School System continues to keep the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff as our highest priority. As a school district, we are closely monitoring the coronavirus situation and taking guidance from the Louisiana Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Safe STPPS health and safety guidelines provide an overview of COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place throughout STPPS.
While it is not all encompassing of all protocols and procedures, it provides stakeholders a concise overview. The plan and protocols will be evaluated and adjusted as the situation evolves and we receive new guidance from health and government officials.
Safety Protocols and Operational Standards
STPPS adheres to national, state and local guidance and requirements for safety protocols and operational standards to help keep our schools safe and our students, families and employees healthy. School administrators use these standards to implement protocols at the school level. The situation is being monitored and adjustments will be made as needed.
The procedures and protocols are subject to change as updated guidance is provided by governing authorities and public health officials.
School Campuses and Offices
- Signage with COVID-19 information that promotes everyday protective measures and describes how to stop the spread of germs will be posted in highly visible locations throughout school campuses and offices.
- For class changes and other transitions throughout the school day, areas of the hallways (i.e. lanes) will be designated as flow paths to minimize congregation of students, visual cues such as floor markers and signs will indicate directional flow, and additional time for transitions will be provided if needed.
- Before and after school programs will be operating under normal guidelines with current safety and cleaning measures in place.
- Parents/caregivers are encouraged to use MyPayments Plus for any and all school related expenses and fees to minimize physical contact.
- Buses will resume to 100% capacity but face masks are currently required for all students PreK-12th, drivers, and passengers unless a Medical or Disability Impact Exceptions Request Form (Spanish Version) is on file. This includes athletic teams, field trips, and extracurricular event usage. Face masks for school buses will be provided for those who do not have one for the duration of the mandate.
- Bus drivers and all passengers shall self-screen for symptoms of COVID-19 from home before entering the bus.
- All drivers will maintain a seating chart to aid in close contact tracing if necessary.
- Hand sanitizer will be available upon entering the bus.
- Windows will be lowered to facilitate air flow as weather conditions permit.
- Buses will be cleaned at the end of each day.
School Campuses and Offices Closure
- If it is determined that a school campus or office was the focus of a COVID-19 infection, the Superintendent, in consultation with the Office of Public Health, will determine if the school/office should remain open and if any quarantines are required or recommended. A positive case of COVID-19 does not necessarily warrant classroom, campus or office closure.
Students will be served breakfast and lunch according to nutrition guidelines. Meal service operations will vary from school to school.
- For the 2021-2022 school year, breakfast and lunch will be free for all students. To be eligible for other government benefits such as the Department of Children & Family Services P-EBT, please complete the online free/reduced meal application.
- Handwashing should occur before and after every meal by students, teachers, and cafeteria staff.
- Disposable utensils will be used for breakfast and lunch.
- Cafeterias and high-touch surfaces such as kitchen countertops, cafeteria and service tables, door handles, carts and trays will be routinely cleaned throughout the school day.
- Floor markers and signage will remain to encourage social distancing in the cafeteria serving lines.
- Students are allowed to bring food from home.
- Parents/caregivers are not allowed to drop off food to their child during the school day or eat meals with their child at school.
Due to international travel requiring quarantine upon return to the United States for any individual who is not fully vaccinated, all employees and students who intend to travel internationally should notify their supervisor and/or school administrator of the travel as soon as possible but no later than 48 hours prior to departure. Employees and parents/caregivers of students should refer to the most current information at cdc.gov/travel.
Are you considered fully vaccinated? Check the guidelines here: When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated | CDC
After traveling internationally, you may have been exposed to COVID-19. You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread the virus to others. You and your travel companions (including children) may pose a risk to your family, friends, and community after your travel.
Only 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 wear a face mask and be symptom free to enter campus. Visitors are asked to sanitize their hands frequently while on campus.
COVID Guidelines Specific to School/Work Attendance, Quarantine and Isolation Return
View the guide for the return to school/work for students and employees. - (Spanish Version)
Teaching and Learning
Teachers and staff will report to campus daily as allowed by state health guidelines to provide instruction and support services.
Assessing Learning Needs and Intervention Strategies
Additional instructional support and targeted interventions will be provided as needed to students at-risk of not graduating on time, students with exceptionalities, early grades, English Learners, and other students identified as being behind academically by teachers and parents.
STPPS will work with families to ensure continuity of education through distance learning during isolation or quarantine and opportunities for make-up work when students miss school due to sickness.
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. It is imperative for parents/caretakers to communicate with their school administration anytime their child is absent from school.
Absences fall under four categories:
- Exempted and Excused: The student is allowed to make up the missed work and the absence is not counted against the attendance requirement. Examples are extended illness documented by a doctor or to celebrate religious holidays. There is no limit to these absences.
- Non-Exempted and Excused: The student is allowed to make up the missed work, but the absence is counted against the attendance requirement. An example is personal or family illness documented by a parent’s note.
- Unexcused: The student is not allowed to make up the missed work and the absence is counted against the attendance requirement. An example is skipping school.
- Suspensions: The student is allowed to make up the missed work, but the absence is counted against the attendance requirement.
Communication and Technology
Chromebooks will be provided. Teachers will be available via email for assistance. District updates will be provided through the District website, social media channels, robocalls, and STPPS app notifications.
Teacher webpages and the Student Progress Center will be updated frequently.
Band, Music, Theatre, Choir
Band and vocal music will follow the National Federation of State High Schools Associations and the National Association for Music Education Guidance.
Indoor events can be held in accordance with the guidance found at Open Safely: Public Health Guidance (COVID-19) | Department of Health | State of Louisiana (la.gov).
Physical Education and Athletics
There are currently no restrictions for Physical Education. These classes may occur indoors or outdoors. Equipment will be cleaned daily when used. There are currently no restrictions for athletic team practices and competitions. All athletic teams will follow current guidelines and recommendations put forth by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association.
Students with Exceptionalities
Students with exceptionalities will continue to receive special education and related services in the
least restrictive environment. Special Education consultants will be working with parents to ensure an appropriate learning model.
Wellness and Mental Health
Individual needs will be addressed by providing support and services to enhance the social and emotional well-being of employees and students.
- Access to Mental Health Providers (MHPs) will continue to be provided.
- Healthy eating, exercising, getting sleep, and finding time to unwind will be promoted.
- Employees and students will be encouraged to talk with people they trust about their concerns and how they are feeling.
- Purposeful relationships within the classrooms and family will be addressed and prioritized.
- Communication will be developmentally appropriate and accessible for all students, including those with exceptionalities.
Facility Safety Measures
- Shared water fountains will be closed. Bottled water will be provided and water bottle filling stations will be available.
- It will be ensured that ventilation systems operate properly and circulation of outdoor air will be increased as much as possible.
- Two separate areas will be designated to isolate sick individuals or individuals who exhibit COVID-19 symptoms from those who are well and require medical assistance for routine needs.
- The well-visit room will be used for medical assistance for routine needs.
- The sick room will be used to isolate students and adults who exhibit one or more of the symptoms of COVID-19.
- Employees and students will continue quarantine or isolation measures due to close contact or positive/presumptive positive for COVID-19.
- Custodial staff will continue with routine cleaning protocols as well as cleaning all high touch surfaces routinely at least twice per day.
- Playground equipment, athletic equipment, locker rooms and training rooms will be cleaned routinely.
- Buses will be cleaned at the end of each day.
All employees, students and visitors shall self-screen for symptoms before coming onto school
campuses and into offices using the recommended guidance below. Parents and caretakers are expected to screen their student before allowing them to attend school and/or before entering the school bus.
- Symptoms include a fever of 100.4°F or higher, new loss of taste or smell, new cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, new headache, sore throat, runny nose or congestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and muscle or body aches. If a student has any of these symptoms and/or has a reasonable belief of possible exposure to COVID-19, they should stay home.
If a student develops symptoms once on campus, then the student shall be sent to the sick-visit room to self-isolate.
- A parent or caretaker will be contacted to pick up the child immediately.
- If a student is a licensed driver, they will be allowed to drive home subject to parent/caretaker permission.
- Students should isolate from others at home and contact a healthcare provider.
If an employee develops symptoms at work, then he/she should immediately self-isolate, notify his/her principal/supervisor, return home, isolate from others at home, and contact a healthcare provider.
For more specific information regarding COVID-19, please see Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | CDC.
Due to the most recent mandate by the State of Louisiana Governor’s office, STPPS will adhere to the following policy regarding masking in school buildings, on buses, and in all STPPS offices:
- Masks are required of all individuals 5 years of age or older (and anyone in kindergarten if under the age of 5) while inside the school facility, regardless of vaccination status. Employees, students, and visitors should bring their own mask.
- Unvaccinated individuals ages 2 – 4 years old should wear a face mask, if tolerated.
- While outdoors, all fully vaccinated and unvaccinated adults and students do not need to mask if they adhere to physical distancing requirements.
- Face masks are also currently required on buses for all students in PreK - 12th, drivers, and passengers due to federal regulations. Masks should be brought from home.
- For information regarding proper mask usage, please see CDC mask recommendations.
- Student face masks can be patterned, have the school or STPPS logo, or can be monogrammed as long as they comply with the dress and personal grooming policy stated in the District Handbook for Students and Parents. District Handbook for Students and Parents.
Face Mask Exceptions:
The following conditions are required in order for an employee or student with health issues or other concerns to be granted a face mask exception based upon a medical or disability issue:
- If a student is unable to wear a face mask, the Medical or Disability Impact Exceptions Request Form (Spanish Version) shall be completed and submitted to the school site.
- The accommodation request form shall include documentation from a qualified medical professional or healthcare provider identifying the medical issue or disability that indicates the need for exception.
- The Superintendent, or designee thereof, shall review for consideration and render a decision upon receipt of the form.
- The written decision of the Superintendent, or designee thereof, shall be provided to the applicant and the decision shall be final.
Employees and students should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer frequently throughout the day especially before and after eating and before and after using outdoor play or athletic equipment. Schools will be supplied with hygienic supplies.
Social distancing should be maintained to the greatest extent possible. Floor markers will be visible for cafeteria lines to help students maintain physical distancing while waiting to be served.
American Health Care Association
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
COVID Guidelines Specific to School/Work Attendance and Return for Students and Employees - (Spanish Version)
District Handbook For Students and Parents
Horizon Free & Reduced Apps (horizonsolana.com)
Louisiana Department of Public Health
Louisiana High School Athletic Association
Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE)
My Payments Plus
Student Medical or Disability Impact Exceptions Request Form - (Spanish Version)
Student Progress Center
Traveler Restrictions | CDC
When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated | CDC