The St. Landry Parish School Board meets in regular session on Thursday, and is scheduled to discuss requiring all staff provide status of vaccination.
On the agenda is an item to consider "a request authorizing the Superintendent to implement a plan requiring that all St. Landry Parish School System employees show proof of vaccination for COVID-19 and submit to weekly COVID-19 testing."
We reached out for more information from Superintendent Patrick Jenkins.
First and foremost, he wants everyone to know this is not a mandate; he is not requiring teachers and staff to get vaccinated.
The superintendent says he is asking the board to approve the requiring of all St Landry Parish employees to show vaccination status and submit to weekly testing.
Jenkins says this will help in the decision making process of whether or not a teacher/staff member can remain in a school if there is direct contact, in accordance with CDC guidance. And, he says, it ensures human resources will be the only department to have access to the information.
Jenkins says he's asking for weekly testing for staff, regardless of their status, in the event a staff member is asymptomatic.
Weekly testing for students is voluntary and only will be done with parental consent, Jenkins says.
The superintendent says he believes this is a good idea especially because those under 12 cannot be vaccinated and lessens the risk of exposure from someone who is asymptomatic.
Compensation is available for those who get tested. That would be $25 for initial test; $10 for each additional. Employees must test at least three times a month to be compensated. Compensation is coming from testing company, Orion.
Jenkins tells us that staff/student safety is the priority and the hope is to create an safe environment where students can remain in person all year.
Also at tomorrow's meeting, board members are set to discuss an extension of the COVID leave policy that was in place last year.
The meeting starts at 5 p.m. at the Board's Resource Center, 1013 Creswell Lane.
For the COVID leave, the revision would extend the current policy to December 31 - and make it retroactive to August 1.
The policy in place now expired in March. To read the policy, click here.
Also on Thursday, the board is scheduled to meet as a committee of the whole at 2 p.m. to discuss a master facilities plan.
Other items on the board meeting agenda include:
Discussion and/or action to approve the job description and salary schedule for Transportation Manager. - Mr. Matthew Scruggins
Discussion and/or action to approve a St. Landry Parish School Board 2020 Reapportionment Resolution.
Discussion and/or action to approve to amend the Addendum to the Employee Dress Code Policy to temporarily allow teachers and paraprofessionals to wear surgical uniforms.
To read the agenda and back-up materials for some items, click here.