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Cedar Creek releases reopening plan

In-person classes to resume Aug. 13 with new health policy
Friday, July 24, 2020

Cedar Creek School will hold its first day of classes on Aug. 13, and a newly adopted health policy will govern the “team approach” that administration, faculty, students and parents will take to reopen school during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The school is offering distance-learning options on a case-by-case basis to students who need it, but Head of School Andrew Yepson said there’s been little interest thus far.

“In situations where a family has a medical condition, then we will offer distance learning for those families as needed,” he said. “But most everybody I’ve talked to is ready to get back to school.”

The plan comes a week after the Lincoln Parish School District released its own plan for school reopening based on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s minimum standards. The Cedar Creek plan also adheres to these standards, with some stricter policies in place in some areas.

Like in the public schools, all students in grades three through 12 will be required to wear a mask while at Cedar Creek, with exceptions made for medical conditions for which masks may pose a health risk. Pre-K through second grade may wear them, but won’t be forced to do so.

Students and employees will have their temperature checked multiple times throughout the day, and if they present any of a sizable list of signs and symptoms in the school’s illness section of the policy, they will not be allowed on campus.

“In any case of symptoms of illness, you must stay home from school or work,” the policy reads. “Students and staff who show or develop signs of illness while at school or a school activity or have a fever of 100 degrees or higher will be isolated from others and immediately sent home.”

The school is depending on parents to keep their students home if they show any of the listed symptoms, which range from a fever to a sore throat. Once symptoms develop, clearance from a doctor is required to return to school.

“If they go to the doctor, and the doctor says it’s just a sore throat and gives them a release, it’s fine,” Yepson said. “But we want to direct everyone to the doctor first to make sure they don’t have COVID.”

Students or employees who test positive for COVID-19 or have a member of their household test positive must provide a negative test result to administrators before returning to campus. And that’s only after 14 days in quarantine, with at least the last 72 hours free of symptoms.

Frequently touched surfaces on campus will be cleaned throughout each day. Hand sanitizer stations have been installed, and students will be encouraged to use them and wash their hands frequently.

These and other procedures are subject to change as guidelines from BESE, federal, state or local governments continue to update.

“I’m very confident that we’re doing everything we can to make sure we have a safe environment here at school,” Yepson said.