Start Strong FAQs Updated 9/30/2020

  • Jump to Section:

    Athletics/Extracurricular 

    Q: Can children enrolled in Virtual Jefferson participate in extracurricular activities?

    A: Yes. Any student who participates will remain a student at his/her 2020-2021 approved school. 

    Q: Will there be field trips?

    A: Field trips will be discontinued at this time.

    Q: What guidance has been provided for athletics and extracurricular activities?

    A: Athletic decisions will be made in compliance with the Louisiana High School Athletic Association’s guidance

    Q: Can my child play sports?

    A: During Phase 2, non-contact sports and limited contact sports, including baseball, cheerleading, gymnastics, softball and volleyball, are allowed.

    Q: Can my child participate in band and choir?

    A: Some band and vocal music activities may resume in Phase 2 as long as additional safety measures and appropriate physical distance recommendations are in place. Indoor or outdoor activity that involves playing wind instruments (to include all woodwind and brass instruments as well as recorders or any other instrument where the sound is produced by blowing into the instrument) is not permitted. Vocal singing indoors or outdoors is not permitted. Percussion, string, and keyboard instruments are permitted with the appropriate physical distancing measures taken.

    Q: Should locker rooms be closed?

    A: Locker rooms may remain open as long as users are wearing masks, maintain physical distance, and high touch surfaces are cleaned frequently. 

    Attendance

    Q: Will my child’s attendance be taken every day?

    A: At this time, current Louisiana laws and policies relative to compulsory attendance, instructional minutes, and state assessments remain in place. Attendance restrictions are set by the state of Louisiana. Attendance will be recorded daily for all students. This applies to students who will be on campus or at home.

    Before and After School Care

    Q: Can before and after school care programs continue?

    A: Yes. Before and after school care programs will continue, but must adhere to maximum group sizes and physical distance protocols to the maximum extent possible. 

    Cleaning and Disinfecting

    Q: How often will schools clean facilities?

    A: Schools will conduct frequent cleaning throughout the day with a focus on high touch surfaces.  Commercially available cleaning solutions, including EPA-approved disinfectants, will be used.

    Q: How will schools ensure desks are cleaned between classes? 

    Commercially available cleaning solutions, including EPA-approved disinfectants, will be available for teachers to use if a room is used by more than one group in a single day. Teachers may need to share the responsibility for disinfecting student desks in between groups as school custodial staff may not be able to conduct disinfecting for every classroom change. 

    Q: Will schools provide additional cleaning supplies, such as disinfectant wipes, for use in classrooms?

    A: Yes. Every school has been provided beginning of the year hygienic supplies including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, disinfectant wipes or spray, paper towels, and tissues.  The quantity of hygienic supplies will be appropriately provided to employees, according to the role and the number and age of students or adults served by that employee. Like every year, schools will purchase additional supplies throughout the school year as necessary. 

    Q: How often will bathrooms and other frequently used shared areas be cleaned?

    A: Bathrooms and other frequently used shared areas will be cleaned every other hour, with a focus on high touch spaces - door handles, sink handles, soap dispensers and other areas that are touched frequently.

    Q: Will a classroom be disinfected/cleaned more than once a day? If a class goes to PE/Library, will it be cleaned when students leave and before they return?

    A: Providing a safe environment for our students and employees is of paramount importance. When groups of students change classes, student desks, tables and door knobs must be sanitized after every change. Teachers will be responsible for cleaning and sanitizing teacher and student desks, tables and/or hard, non-porous surfaces throughout the school day. Plant staff will be responsible for cleaning and sanitizing classrooms at the end of the school day.

    Q: When will teachers have time to teach in between being safety enforcers and cleaning up after students if they are required to do so?

    A: Throughout our professional development, we have demonstrated how teachers can maintain order in the classroom while continuing to deliver quality instruction. We have released a classroom sanitizing protocol that teachers must follow when groups of students change classes. This includes a BETCO disinfectant that must sit on the surface for 60 seconds before being wiped down.

    Q: Are the custodians going to be trained on how to clean and properly disinfect high-touch surface areas?

    A: Yes. All of our custodial staff have been trained in proper sanitizing treatments. Additionally, all teachers will receive sanitizing protocols for their classrooms.

    Q: Do classrooms have biohazard receptacles in place in the event a student has a nosebleed, sneezes, or vomits in their mask?

    A: No.

    Q: Have custodians been trained on how to handle biohazard material?

    A: Yes. All of our custodial staff have been trained in handling biohazard material.

    Q: What is the backup plan when the school and system run out of supplies? We are one of thousands of school districts trying to obtain the same supplies as everyone else.

    A: Schools have the necessary cleaning and sanitizing supplies and the district has a process to purchase and distribute these supplies to schools on a recurring basis and as needed.

    Q: What supplies will be given to teachers to keep in the classroom?

    A: Teachers will receive hand sanitizer, disinfectant, gloves, and brown paper towels.

    Face Coverings

    Q: Do all students, faculty and staff need to wear face coverings? 

    A: Yes, all students in grades PK-12, employees and essential visitors must wear a face covering.

    Q: In what areas are face coverings required?

    A: Face coverings must be worn in all areas of the school, including buses, arrival, classrooms, hallways, common areas, restrooms, dismissal, and any other transitions within the school building.

    Q: What is a face covering?

    A: Based on the LDOE’s definition, a face covering is a piece of material used to cover both the nose and mouth for the purpose of forming a barrier to droplets or airborne particles that are coughed, sneezed, or exhaled when talking. Face coverings are meant to protect both the wearer of the face covering and surrounding individuals. Coverings must be worn over the nose and mouth and secured under the chin. Bandana scarfs, gaiters or ski masks are not permitted.

    Q: Do face coverings need to be worn at recess and outside?

    A: Yes. We encourage students and employees to keep face coverings in place during the entire school day, except when eating or drinking. 

    Q: Can employees and students wear face shields instead of a face covering?

    A: No. The CDC does not recommend using a face shield as a substitute for a covering. Employees and students are allowed to wear a face shield in addition to a face covering if they want.

    Q: Can students and employees be exempt from wearing a face covering?

    A. For individuals with health or other concerns that make wearing a face covering difficult, exceptions will be considered on an individual basis. Students and employees can use this district-provided exemption process.

    Q: Can speech therapists remove facial coverings for speech therapy?

    A: Yes, speech therapists may remove face coverings briefly to demonstrate articulatory movements or for lip reading capabilities. They should practice social distancing measures of staying 6 feet apart and cleanse hands and equipment before and after activities.

    Q: Will some special education students be exempt from wearing face coverings?

    A: It depends. For individuals with health or other concerns that make wearing a face covering difficult, exceptions will be considered on an individual basis. Students and employees can use this district-provided exemption process.

    Q: What happens when a student refuses to wear his/her face covering?

    A: If a student refuses to comply with wearing a face covering, disciplinary action will be taken using the uniform dress code policy and the parent will be notified immediately of the infraction.

    Q: If a student reports to school without a mask, will s/he be given one?  

    A: The expectation is for all students and employees to report to school with a face covering. All students and employees will receive a washable/reusable cloth face covering at the beginning of the year. However, if a student reports without one, schools will have a disposable mask available.

    Q: If a student has a note exempting him/her from wearing a mask, can a teacher refuse to teach them?  

    A: No.

    Hand Washing/Bathrooms

    Q: How often will students wash or sanitize their hands?

    A: Students will wash or sanitize hands upon arrival at school, at least every two hours, before and after eating, before and after using outdoor play equipment, and before exiting school. 

    Q: Where do students wash their hands as they enter and exit the school?

    A: This will vary by school. 

    Q: Will there be additional handwashing stations outside of restrooms?

    A: Not at this time. In addition to sinks in the restrooms, there will be hand sanitizer available for students and employees to use.

    Q: Who ensures that students properly wash their hands when teachers are not allowed in the restrooms with students present? 

    A: Signs will be posted on bathroom walls to remind students and employees to follow proper handwashing procedure by washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

    Q: Do schools need to provide warm water for hand washing?

    A: No, the use of soap and scrubbing of the hands works to kill the virus. Schools may use hand sanitizer when hand washing is not available. 

    Q: How should schools proceed with restroom breaks?

    A: Schools can break static groups to use the restroom. There will be limited capacity to restrooms, and signage will be posted to remind students and employees about the restroom capacity. Schools can also mark hallways with tape to demonstrate where students should stand in line to maintain proper social distancing.

    Q: How is the school district protecting the safety of students and employees if students aren’t monitored to make certain that they are washing their hands at all, much less for 20 seconds?

    A: Signage for proper hand washing will be placed in all restrooms. Additionally, each teacher will be given a gallon of hand sanitizer and can enforce hand sanitizing upon entering the classroom if there are concerns with students’ hygiene and hand washing practices.

    Q: What are the instances that hand sanitizer may be substituted for soap? 

    A: Signage for proper hand washing will be placed in all restrooms. Additionally, each teacher will be given a gallon of hand sanitizer and can enforce hand sanitizing upon entering the classroom if there are concerns with students’ hygiene and hand washing practices.

    Hybrid Learning

    Q: What days of the week will my child be at school and what days will he be at home learning virtually?

    A: Students learn in-person on campus two or three days a week (using an A/B schedule of Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday and rotating Fridays) and learn virtually at home two or three days a week.

    Q: How do I know if my child follows an A or B schedule?

    A: The school your child attends will determine what schedule each of their students will follow. Your child’s school will contact you about the A/B schedule.

    Maximum Group Size

    Q: What is the maximum group size allowed in Phases 2 and 3?

    A: Phase 2 is 25 including adults and Phase 3 is 50 including adults.

    Q: Are partitions required for multiple static groups within a large, indoor area (i.e. cafeteria/library)?

    A: Yes, partitions should be used between static groups in a large indoor area. Partitions must be at least 6 feet high. Hanging dividers are acceptable, as long as they meet all other safety regulations.

    Q: Are schools allowed to host large group assemblies or gatherings?

    A: Assemblies will be limited to maximum group sizes (25 for Phase 2 and 50 for Phase 3) and with appropriate physical distancing in place. All attendees must wear a face covering.

    Physical Standards/Social Distancing

    Q: In the past, teachers were told to keep classroom doors closed for safety, but now they are hearing to keep doors open for circulation for virus purposes. Safety breaches can occur during a pandemic. How is the school district keeping students and staff safe from both risks?

    A: We should minimize points of entry into the building and classrooms to the extent possible, including the closure of doors. Students and employees should always wear a mask and maintain social distance to the maximum extent possible to minimize the potential for transmission within the classroom.

    Q: Circulating air is not easy when not all classrooms have windows, windows that open, or air conditioning systems that function at full capacity. How is this protecting the safety of students and employees?

    A: Windows are to remain closed to minimize points of entry into the building for the safety of our students. The air conditioning systems in all Jefferson Parish facilities pull in fresh, outside air as opposed to recirculated air. If an air conditioner is not operating, please notify leadership or plant staff so we can address the issue as quickly as possible.

    Q: Will teachers be provided a plexiglass shield on their desk for when they talk/counsel students?

    A: At this time, we do not have plexi-glass shields for every desk. Every classroom teacher will receive a face-shield as an added layer of protection for when counseling students. Students and teachers should maintain social distance to the maximum extent possible.

    Q: Can students be seated at tables?

    A: Yes, students may be seated at tables as long as partitions are used to separate individuals at the table, or they are physically distanced to the maximum extent possible. 

    Q: Can Pre-K students bring their own nap mats?

    A: Yes. Students should be encouraged to bring their own nap mats.

    Q: Will there be water fountains? 

    A: Schools will close shared water fountains, but may keep bottle filling stations open. Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottles.

    Q: How will schools handle the sharing of supplies?

    A: Students will be discouraged from sharing electronic devices, toys, books, and other games or learning aids. 

    Q: What is the safety protocol for itinerant teachers? They see many students at many different schools. How is the school district protecting the safety of those students when the teacher travels from school to school and being with students from different schools each day? How is the school district protecting teachers in those situations?

    A: We are minimizing the number of schools an itinerant staff member services on any particular day. In addition, mitigation measures such as temperature checks, masks, washing hands/hand sanitizing when switching schools will be followed.

    Q: School employees are trained in CPI (restraint) techniques. Those techniques require the employee to be in close physical contact with students. How is the school district protecting the safety of students and employees in those situations?

    A: CPI emphasizes de-escalation techniques that should be implemented before staff contemplate retaining a student.

    Q: If a student is exempt from wearing a face covering, or if the face covering slips off while a school employee appropriately uses CPI, how is the school district protecting students and employees?

    A: CPI emphasizes de-escalation techniques that should be implemented before staff contemplate retaining a student.

    Q: Will school employees still be required to change diapers for certain students?

    A: Yes, changing diapers will be an expectation for certain students as it has been in previous years. These staff members will be provided additional PPE.

    Q: How are teachers supposed to implement social distance requirements inside the SPED classroom when so many students have accommodations that require or allow close contact?

    A: Staff members such as teachers and paras in the severe profound classes have received additional PPE.

    Q: Will substitutes be allowed on campus?

    A: Yes. Like we did last year, we are working with Kelly Services to provide substitute teachers when needed.

    Social Distancing and Static Groups

    Q: How should students be spaced within the classroom to achieve physical distancing?

    A: Student desks should be spaced 6 feet apart to the maximum extent possible. Desks will be arranged facing the same direction where possible. Unused furniture and items in classrooms can be removed to allow for extra space.

    Q: What are static groups?

    A: Static groups are small groups of students/faculty that remain together throughout the day without mixing with other groups.

    Q: How do pre-k through 1st graders social distance walking six feet apart? Who will monitor?

    A: Walking in a socially distant line will take some practice, but is achievable with creativity. Teachers will monitor their students as they walk to the bathrooms and on campus.

    Symptom Monitoring/Positive Case Protocol

    Q: What is the procedure if there is a positive test from a student or staff member? 

    A: If students or employees test positive for COVID-19, they should stay home and notify their school or immediate supervisor. They should complete 10 days of isolation from the onset of symptoms OR from the test collection date if asymptomatic. The individual must be without fever for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication, have improvement of symptoms, and have medical clearance to return to school.

    Q: What is the policy/procedure if a student or employee exhibits COVID-19 symptoms and is presumed positive without getting a test?

    A: The individual will be considered COVID positive and must complete the isolation requirements stated above.

    Q: What is the policy if a student/employee has been in close contact with someone who tests positive?

    A: The individual must complete 14 days of quarantine from the date of last close contact with a COVID-19 positive case.

    Q: Will COVID-19 testing be provided by the district for employees? 

    A: Yes. We teamed up with Ochsner to provide symptomatic Jefferson Parish Schools employees access to our Rapid Testing Program. For more information, symptomatic employees should contact their nurse or principal/supervisor. At this time, students are not included in ths Rapid Testing Program. For the most up to date information on COVID testing sites, please see this link

    Q: Will students/employees be notified if there was a COVID-19 positive individual at school?

    A: Yes. The school will notify employees and parents of students who were in close contact with the affected individual. The individual’s information will be kept confidential. 

    Q: What is considered “close contact”?

    A: Close contact means less than 6 feet apart for greater than 15 minutes.

    Q: Will positive case information be tracked? 

    A: All positive case information will be tracked across schools to facilitate contact tracing and help identify clusters. 

    Q: Under what circumstances will a class/school be shut? 

    A: The school superintendent, in consultation with the Office of Public Health, will determine if the school should remain open or close for a period of time. A positive case of COVID-19 does not necessarily warrant classroom or school closure. Determinations regarding school/class closures will be made on a case by case basis using guidance from our local health officials.

    Q: What if a student becomes ill at school and a parent/guardian is unable to pick the student up?

    A: The student will be isolated in a safe and secure place to wait until s/he gets a safe way home. 

    Q: Who monitors the isolation area?

    A: The nurse or other school employees will help monitor any students in the isolation area.  Appropriate PPE will be provided for isolation area monitors. Students and employees will be required to wear a face covering and social distance while in the isolation area. 

    Q: Will a teacher get hazard pay if they sit in the isolation room?

    A: We have hired CNAs who will be helping to monitor the isolation area in addition to the school nurses.

    Q: What is the criteria to be sent to an isolation room? Who will enforce this?

    A: Students who are symptomatic or have a high temperature during arrival will be sent to the isolation area.

    Q: Will more than one student be placed together in the isolation room?

    A: Yes. More than one student is allowed in the isolation area. Students and employees will be required to wear a face covering and social distance while in the isolation area. Surfaces in the isolation area will be cleaned and disinfected after every use.

    Q: Will I be notified when there is a positive case at my child’s school?

    A: Yes. Parents will be notified via email as the school is made aware of the positive case. 

    Q: Will I be notified if my child comes in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19?

    A: Yes. All parents whose child comes in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be notified via email and a phone call as the school is made aware of the positive case. Close contact is defined as being within six feet for longer than 15 minutes. Your child must quarantine for 14 days if s/he comes in close contact. Students will continue learning virtually to the extent possible while in quarantine. Now more than ever, it’s imperative that schools have the most up-to-date contact information for their families. Parents should make sure they share their most updated contact information with their schools.

    Q: How will teacher absences be handled? Does the school district have a sufficient number of substitutes lined up, considering that teachers may be absent while being tested for COVID-19 and may test positive and be absent for a considerable period of time?

    A: Schools have a process for handling staff absences.

    Technology

    Q: Will every student receive a device?

    A: We are working towards a 1:1 device ratio for our K-12th grade students by the start of school. 

    Q: How will my student receive a device?

    A: Schools will distribute Chromebooks using the Technology Tracking System. This will allow Chromebooks, laptops and other technology to be distributed at school sites. Families must sign the JPS Computer User Agreement prior to receive the device. 

    Q: Will the district provide connectivity if my family needs it?

    A: Yes. The district will support families with connectivity if they need it. We also partnered with Cox Communications so qualified families can easily access discounted, low-cost home internet. More information is available at jpschools.org/internetoffer.

    Q: How will the district support my student’s privacy while online learning?

    A: The district complies with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), among other regulations, to provide Internet safety for our students and employees, restrict access to inappropriate material, and implement protection measures to block and filter internet content and access.

    Temperature Checks

    Q: Who will enforce the 100.4 temperature screenings and inform the parent their child cannot attend school with that temperature or needs to be picked up from school?

    A: If a student exhibits COVID-19 symptoms on campus, s/he will be isolated in a safe and secure place while waiting for pick-up. In most instances, the school nurse will be the one calling the student’s emergency contacts for pick-up.

    Q: Are temperature checks required prior to entry into PK-12 facilities?

    A: Yes. All students, employees and essential visitors must have a temperature check upon arrival to the school facility. 

    Q: What thermometer will schools use for taking temperatures?

    A: Schools will use a touchless, infrared non-contact thermometer. While the CDC core temperature is 100.4℉, the equivalent temperature when taken with an infrared non-contact thermometer is approximately one degree lower than a core temperature. Therefore, if the temperature taken at school using our touchless thermometer is 99.4℉ or higher, that is the equivalent of a 100.4℉ temperature.

    Q: What happens if someone has a temperature upon arrival?

    A: Anyone registering a temperature of 100.4degrees or higher, or 99.4℉ or higher if using an infrared non-contact thermometer, will not be admitted to the facility. Parents or guardians will be contacted to pick up their student. It is encouraged that parents check their student’s temperature at home before sending them to school. 

    Q: Do temperature checks have to be taken prior to entry into the facility or can temperature checks occur in a homeroom classroom?

    A: Temperature checks may be taken prior to entry into the facility or within a homeroom classroom by a homeroom teacher. Any student registering a temperature of 100.4℉ degrees or higher must have their parents or guardians called and sent home until they are fever free.

    Q: Who takes students' temperatures?

    A: This will vary by school. All employees responsible for taking temperatures will receive training about the district’s temperature protocol.

    Q: Where will the students’ temperature be taken? Where do they wait?

    A: This will vary by school. Temperatures may be taken upon school arrival or in the homeroom.  

    Q: If waiting outside in hot temperatures, how does one know if their temperature is high because they were standing in the heat, or that they are really ill? How much time passes before they are checked again and where do they wait?

    A: If the temperature is 100.4℉ or higher, the temperature screening can be repeated only one time after having the student wait in a cool area for at least five minutes.  If the second reading is still 100.4℉ or higher, the student should be isolated from others and sent home as soon as possible.

    Q: Will parents have to wait for their child’s temperature to be checked?

    A: This will vary by school. To minimize traffic congestion, parents may not be required to wait for a student’s temperature to be checked. 

    Q: If a student’s temperature is 100.4℉ or above, what is done with the siblings or students who share the same address? 

    A: If a student has a fever, but is not presumed COVID positive, the absence will follow normal protocol and siblings may remain at school. If a student is presumed COVID positive or tests COVID positive, anyone who has been in close contact with that individual should remain home and quarantine for 14 days. 

    Q: How will the school ensure temperature checks are done in a safe, socially distant, and timely manner?

    A: There will be multiple stations for temperature checks during arrival times to avoid long lines and group gatherings.

    Transportation

    Q: Are bus drivers taking temperatures?

    A: No. Parents should ensure that their child reports to the bus stop free of COVID-19 symptoms. If a student is sick and exhibits COVID-like symptoms (fever of 100.4 or higher, persistent cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea), s/he should stay home and consult a doctor. 

    Q: What is the maximum number of students allowed on transportation buses?

    A: During Phase 2, buses will be limited to 50% of the manufacturer’s capacity. During Phase 3, buses are limited to 75% of the manufacturer’s capacity. Passengers on a school bus must be spaced to the maximum extent possible. Passengers must ride one per seat, and every other seat must remain empty. Members of the same household may sit in the same seat or adjacent seats.

    Q: Are buses required to have hand sanitizer available?

    A: Yes. Students will sanitize hands at boarding time.

    Q: Are students required to wear face coverings on the bus?

    A: Yes. All adults and students must wear face coverings on the bus.

    Q: Is it necessary to keep the windows down on a bus if it is air conditioned?

    A: Yes. Weather permitting, windows will be lowered to maintain maximum air flow.

    Q: Will a child who isn’t wearing a face covering be allowed to board the bus?

    A:  Bus drivers will be issued a limited supply of disposable face coverings to students who report to stops without a mask. However, this cannot be a daily occurrence from the same student and will have to be addressed with the parent. 

    Virtual Jefferson

    Q: I’ve signed up for Virtual Jefferson. What’s next?

    A: Families enrolled in Virtual Jefferson have been contacted by their school. If you have not received any communication from your child's school, please contact the school immediately. Additionally, please verify your email address and cell phone number with the school secretary to ensure you are receiving school communications timely. Families will be contacted in the next week to receive information about schedules, resource pickup and other pertinent information.

    Q: Will students enrolled in Virtual Jefferson receive a laptop?

    A: Yes. Schools will have a 1:1 device ratio for all students. 

    Q: Will students enrolled in Virtual Jefferson be given internet access?
    A: JP Schools will ensure all virtual students have internet access at home. Additionally, JP Schools has partnered with Cox Communications to expand their Connect2Compete low-cost, home internet program in response to COVID-19. Qualified families will receive service rates of $9.95 per month. More information is available at jpschools.org/internetoffer.

    Q: Will students enrolled in Virtual Jefferson be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Will class times follow the traditional school schedule? Must students report for a specific time?
    A: Yes. Students must report to class virtually every day at the designated class time during the school day. Your child’s teacher will take attendance every day.

    Q: Will students enrolled in Virtual Jefferson have an opportunity to engage their teachers and ask questions?
    A: Yes. Teachers will engage students daily in learning and provide feedback on work.

    Q: What should children enrolled in Virtual Jefferson wear?
    A: Students must wear his/her uniform shirt and their choice of pants or shorts during virtual class. Masks will not be required for virtual learning.

    Q: Will Virtual Jefferson students still receive school meals?

    A: Students participating in Virtual Jefferson will have the option to pick up a breakfast and lunch meal from their school on Tuesdays and Thursdays at specific times. Meals picked up on Tuesday will be for Wednesday and Thursday and meals picked up on Thursday will be for Friday, Monday, and Tuesday. Meals are provided only for the days that students are scheduled for virtual learning. Students are encouraged to be present at the time of meal pickup. If the student is unable to be present then a Parent Pick-up Form will need to be completed.

    Q: What does a teacher do if there are technical issues with a laptop?

    A: Teachers experiencing an issue with their laptop (camera, mic issues, etc) have two options. They can either 1) call the Technology Help Desk for assistance at 349-8585 or 2) fill out a Help Desk Request Form here.