REOPENING SCHOOLS DURING COVID-19

In many cases, schools are where students feel safe, eat healthy meals, enjoy active play and receive critical health services. By putting in place resources and programs to support the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC), schools can reopen with a strong start. We know, as school leaders, you are on the front-line of this crisis.

Well-Ahead is here to help by connecting you to a curated set of resources, training opportunities, and technical assistance to support the whole child during COVID-19.

Strategies to Support the Whole Child While Reopening

  • Implement CDC’s school-based COVID-19 guidance to prevent the spread.
  • Support the management of students with chronic conditions and special health care needs.
  • Ensure safe physical activity and physical education while social distancing.
  • Create a positive social emotional climate for students and staff.
  • Implement strategies to ensure meal and snack programs continue.

Prevent the spread of COVID-19

LDH COVID-19 Resources

 

Children's Hospital of New Orleans Tools

 

Frequently Asked Questions from School Systems

Please check the Louisiana Department of Health FAQs and LDOE's Strong Start FAQ’s frequently. Please note that the school related questions on the Louisiana Department of Health FAQs is located half way down the FAQs page. Please are two of hte top questions that have been submitted by school sytems. 

How can my school safely assess students and staff for COVID-19?

According to the LDOE Strong Start Guidance, whenever possible, schools should ensure a school nurse or health care professional is available to support screening and isolation procedures. Consistent with the CDC's recommendation, individuals who have a fever of 100.4°F or above or exhibit other signs of illness must not be admitted to the facility. The LDOE Guidance for Staff and Student Monitoring One Pager provides information on symptom monitoring. For more information on symptom monitoring, you can view LDOE’s list of FAQs or read page 10 and page 15 of the LDOE Strong Start Guidance.Screening steps:

  • Ask the student or parent/guardian to confirm the student has not taken fever-reducing medication in the last 24 hours and does not have shortness of breath, sore throat or a cough.
  • Make a visual inspection of the child for signs of illness, particularly shortness of breath or cough.
  • If a student registers a temperature of 100.4 or higher, their temperature should be taken a second time 5 to 10 minutes later

What are the procedures for isolating sick individuals?

According to the LDOE Strong Start Guidance, it is important to establish a space to isolate students who become sick, and to be prepared with a cleaning and disinfecting process. Schools should create an area that can be used to isolate a sick student and ensure proper adult supervision of an isolated child as needed and based on age. If a sick child has been isolated in the facility, clean and disinfect surfaces in the isolation room or area after the sick child has gone home. School systems can use an assurance statement to ensure parents are aware of their obligation to immediately pick up sick students from campus. In the event that a student, staff member or visitor to the school is or is presumed to be positive for COVID-19, contact regional or local public health officials to determine any additional steps related to communication, quarantining practices, enhanced cleaning or disinfection processes, or school facility closure. State of Louisiana contact tracers will conduct contact tracing activities, including school-based contacts. The LDOE Guidance for Staff and Student Monitoring One Pager provides information on symptom monitoring. For more information on symptom monitoring, you can view LDOE’s list of FAQs or read page 10 and page 15 of the LDOE Strong Start Guidance.

Students with chronic health conditions

Physical activity and physical education

  • SHAPE America COVID-19 Resources page includes school systems to create a plan for physical education, take home resources, at home fitness, distance learning resources and more!
  • For classroom physical activity, visit Go Noodle. This program provide free movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts. Available for free at school, home, and everywhere kids are. Schools can also purchase GoNoodle Plus for a school wide subscription. It is important to note that Go Noodle does not serve as a replacement for physical education.
  • Playworks provides tips for recess in 2020 – 2021 school year. In addition, the Peaceful Playground has developed a suite of free and for purchase resources to support Covid-19 6′ Distancing Playground.

Social, emotional, and mental health

Meal and snack programs

  • LDOE Child Nutrition Division created a list of Meal Services by Parish During COVID-19 and provides information on each parish meal options.
  • Louisiana Fit Kids’ COVID-19 Resources page provides links to USDA guidance, guidance for Child Nutrition programs, and information on waivers.
  • Well-Ahead developed the Eat to Win materials to encourage students to each fruits and vegetable, so that they're eating to win at school and in life! These resources can be used during classroom meal service or non-traditional meal service.

Need Help? Connect with COVID-19 Support Contacts

Virtual Training

Emily Pineda, Well-Ahead Louisiana

COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies

Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE)

Support Students with Chronic Conditions

Children’s Hospital New Orleans

Safe Practices for Physical Activity and Physical Education

Stephen Guccione, LDOE

Support the Emotional Well-Being of Students

LDOE, Behavioral Intervention Support

Safe Practices for Meal and Snack Programs

LDOE, Division of Nutrition Services

 

Virtual Trainings for Reopening During COVID-19

Well-Ahead Louisiana, in partnership with Louisiana Department of Education and Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center, will soon launch a self-paced virtual training to help your school open safely. Registration for the virtual training series will be opening soon! 

What are the learning objectives for the trainings?

COVID-19 Mitigating Strategies

  • Objective: Learn strategies for how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as assessing and isolating students, faculty and staff.          
  • Audience: School system lead for COVID-19

Students with Chronic Health Conditions & Special Healthcare Needs

  • Objective: Learn how to plan for the safe return of students with chronic health conditions and special healthcare needs.           
  • Audience(s): School nurse supervisors, school system nursing program leads, or school-based health clinics leads

Physical Activity and Physical Education

  • Objective: Learn how to incorporate physical education and physical activity in school while implementing social distancing practices and in the event of school closures.    
  • Audience(s): School system for physical education and physical activity leads

Social, Mental and Emotional health       

  • Objective: Learn how to support the social, emotional, and mental health needs of faculty, staff and students.            
  • Audience(s): School system lead for COVID-19, School system social, mental and emotional health leads

What is required for the trainings?

Each training course include the following components for particiapte to complete. 

  • Reading Material
  • Training Videos
  • Short Assignment & Quiz

Will participants receive a certificate of completion?

After completing all components of the training course, participates will be able to download a certficate of completion. 

Stronger Together: Examples from Louisiana Schools 

 

Creative Ways Schools are Supporting the Whole Child

  • Prevent the Spread: Livingston Parish Public Schools developed a fact sheet for temperature check and isolation.
  • Physical Education: Lukeville Elementary is planning physical education activities.
  • School Meals: Calcasieu Parish keeps the school community updated by their Facebook page.
  • Chronic Conditions: Webster Parish shared steps for supporting students with special needs in their reopening plan.
  • Social Emotional: Natchitoches Parish included a mental health checklist for teachers in their reopening plan.

Louisiana School Systems' Strong Start Plans 

Caddo Parish | Calcasieu Parish | Jefferson Parish | Lafourche Parish | LaSalle Parish | Lincoln Parish | Livingston Parish | Natchitoches Parish | Orleans Parish | Plaquemines Parish | St. Bernard Parish | St. Charles Parish | Webster Parish