Recap: RPSB September board meeting, recent COVID cases released

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 10:02 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2021 at 10:46 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Discussions on COVID-19 in schools continued at the September Rapides Parish School Board meeting.

The latest update on Rapides Parish Schools shows that from August 27 to September 2, 133 students were reported positive for COVID-19 and 16 instructional and support staff members. The full update can be viewed here.

There were two agenda items regarding COVID-19 discussed. The first was a motion to hear and discuss the current policy on who is quarantined when a student is determined to be ill from COVID or variant viruses, a motion by District A board member Wilton Barrios. The motion was stemmed from multiple board members receiving concerns and complaints about the current quarantine policy seeming to be inconsistent with some students being quarantined for longer or shorter periods than others. Superintendent Jeff Powell said the RPSB is following CDC guidelines for quarantining in schools, but Barrios brought up the inconsistencies that have been brought to the attention of board members. He also said there were complaints of some students being quarantined multiple times, saying the current policy seems to be keeping students out of school more than they should be.

A substitute motion was made by Barrios regarding the current COVID-19 quarantine policy and was approved by the board with a six to three vote. The substitute motion asks the superintendent to develop a policy on sending students home and develop a policy on the consistency of COVID quarantine by the September committee meeting.

Another agenda item by Barrios was a motion to prohibit forced COVID-19 vaccinations in Rapides Parish School employees and students. The motion was discussed among board members with Barrios and District I board member Sandra Franklin both saying that getting the vaccination should not be forced. The motion passed with a six to three vote among board members, with Linda Burgess, Steve Berry and Willard McCall voting “no”.

You can view the full September 7 RPSB meeting agenda by clicking here.

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