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Rapides Parish School Board releases back to school plan

Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 4:57 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 4, 2022 at 5:14 PM CST
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RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - Rapides Parish students will head back to the classroom on Friday, January 7. Ahead of that, the school board has released a back-to-school plan as we continue to see the spread of the Omicron variant across the state.

There are no major changes stated in the plan. Masks are not being mandated in schools, but they are encouraged and optional. Parents are asked to keep their children at home if they show any signs of illness.

Social distancing will be practiced with limits on large gatherings at schools—things like spreading students out during lunch and adjustments at events like pep rallies and assemblies.

Superintendent Jeff Powell said the biggest change this semester has to do with the CDC’s adjusted quarantine guidelines for those who test positive but are asymptomatic.

“Parents still have the option to quarantine their child that’s identified as a close contact, as someone who tests positive,” Powell said. “If a parent wants to send their children to school still, even after they’ve been identified as close contact, they can do so as long as the child wears a mask for 10 days and submits to daily temperature checks. The one big change is we are going to be following the new CDC guidelines quarantining for those who do test positive but are asymptomatic. Those folks now only have to quarantine for five days, and we will be following those guidelines.”

The school board will continue to monitor positivity rates. To read the full back-to-school plan you can head over to the Rapides Parish School Board website.

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