August 6, 2020 – 6:30 p.m.


Via Zoom Teleconference & Streamed Live on St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools Facebook Page



Due to the public health emergency caused by the Covid-19 virus and in the interest of the health and safety of the public and the School Board, the St. John the Baptist Parish School Board will meet in special session via teleconference utilizing Zoom Video Conferencing. (See attached Certification of Inability to Operate Due to the Lack of a Quorum.)  The meeting will be streamed live on St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools Facebook Page so that members of the public may view the meeting in real time. All public comments regarding agenda items should be sent to: between 6:00 and 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 6, 2020.  Public comments must include all three (3) of the following:  1. First and Last Name; 2. Agenda Item Number you are commenting on; 3. Your comment.  All public comments will be read aloud before each agenda item is discussed.


The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board will meet on Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. via teleconference (Zoom).  The meeting will be open to receive Public Comment at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will be in recess until 6:30 p.m. to allow for Public Comment to be received and will reconvene in regular session at 6:30 p.m.


The agenda is attached for the meeting.


The President then read the agenda aloud and recessed the meeting for 30 minutes to allow for public comment. 




The Chair reconvened the meeting in Regular Session at 6:30 p.m. He called for a moment of silent meditation, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Dr. Keller.


ITEM 2. ROLL CALL OF MEMBERS: The Chair called for Public Comment.


PRESENT:         Holden, Burl, Keller, DeFrancesch, Jones, Johnson, Schum, Mitchell, Sanders

ABSENT:            Wallace, Triche


There were 9 members present and 2 members absent. 


ITEM 3.  Public Comment.  Ms. Iman Montgomery - Introduction to Policy EBBI – COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.


Ms. Montgomery presented the Policy EBBI-COVID-19 Public Health Emergency for introduction.





In light of  the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting public health emergency for  the

2020-2021  school  year,  the  Superintendent  is  authorized  to  develop,  implement,  and maintain  administrative  regulations  and  procedures  necessary  to  protect  employees, students, and others from the conditions giving rise to the declared emergency.


In  the  development  and  implementation  of  necessary  administrative  regulations  and procedures for safely reopening schools and for maintaining the safety of employees, students,   and   others   when   schools   are   open   during   a   health   emergency,   the Superintendent and staff shall rely upon the practices, guidelines, and suggestions of the Louisiana Department of Education in coordination with the Louisiana Department of Health. The Superintendent is authorized to develop and revise plans for reopening schools  or  maintaining  the  safety  of  employees,  students,  and  others  and  to  make required submissions to governmental authorities with regard thereto.


In  the  event  that  the  Superintendent  develops  or  implements  administrative  rules, regulations,  or  procedures,  or  alters  the  school  reopening  plan  in  any  substantive fashion,  he/she  shall  advise  the  Board  of  such  developments  no  later  than  the  next regular meeting of the Board.


The St. John the Baptist Parish School Board adopts and incorporates as if set  forth fully herein the  required  provisions  of  Chapter  4  of  Bulletin  741,  Louisiana  Handbook for  School  Administrators,  for  the  2020-2021  school  year  and  shall  abide  by  the required  health and safety standards included therein or in any amendments thereto.1


In  no  event  shall  the  Board’s  reopening  plan  for  the  2020-2021  school  year  be interpreted to include any standard less than that required by Chapter 4 of Bulletin 741, including the following standards:


A.       Group Sizes


1.                The  maximum  group  sizes  that  may  convene  indoors  in  a  single  room, irrespective of room size, or outdoors at any given time are as follows:

a.      Phase One – 10 individuals;

b.      Phase Two – 25 individuals; and

c.      Phase Three – 50 individuals.

These maximum numbers shall include students, teachers, and others who are present.


2.                Group Composition

a.      Younger students, who are not required to wear face coverings or not capable of maintaining a physical distance from other students or  adults,  will  be  assigned  to  static  groups.  This  includes,  at  a minimum,   students   in   grades   2   or   lower.   The   static   group composition  will  be  maintained  for  as  long  as  possible  over  the course of the 2020-2021 school year.

i.          Physical Distance means the act of an individual maintaining a space of 6 feet or more from another individual.

ii.         Static Group means a group whose composition of students and adults does not change.


b.         The  composition  of  a  group  may  change  if  students  are  able  to maintain  a  physical  distance  of  at  least  six  (6)  feet  from  other students and adults in a classroom or indoor setting, to the greatest extent possible.


c.         Students with disabilities will continue to receive special education and  related  services  in  the  least  restrictive  environment.  The reopening  plan  will  factor  in  any  additional  service  providers  who may  need  to  enter  the  classroom,  students  who  may  need  to receive  services  outside  the  classroom   (e.g.,  resource,  APE), and/or   students   who   may   need   to   receive   services   through alternate instructional methods.


B.       Physical Standards for the Use of School Facilities


1.         If a group convenes indoors, it must convene in a room enclosed by a wall or   partition.   This   includes   large   rooms,   such   as   gymnasiums   or auditoriums,  which  may  include  more  than  one  group  at  a  time  if  each group is separated by a wall or partition.


2.         If a group convenes outdoors, a wall or partition is not required but each group must remain separated from any other group(s). School principals are given the authority to create and implement recess schedules so that groups remain separated and do not exceed maximum group sizes.


3.         To the greatest extent possible, each school shall avoid crowding at entry and exit points of each building, classroom, and restroom and shall, to the extent possible, maintain group sizes and physical distance requirements.


4.         If  a  room  is  used  by  more  than  one  group  in  a  single  day,  high-touch surfaces contained in that room must be cleaned before and after use by each group.


a.         High-Touch Surfaces means surfaces that are touched frequently, such   as   door   handles,   bathroom   fixtures,   drinking   fountains, railings, desks, and other surfaces in school facilities or on school buses.


C.       Monitoring Students and Adults for Symptoms of COVID-19


1.         Upon arriving at the school or workplace facility, each employee, student, and  other  person  must  be  assessed  for  symptoms  of  COVID-19.  As defined   by  the   CDC,  such  symptoms  would  include  cough,  trouble breathing, and/or temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher. Procedures for assessment would include physical observation and taking of temperature of each employee, student, or other upon his/her arrival on campus. Each principal/workplace  supervisor  shall  determine  the  most  efficient  way  to accomplish such assessments at his/her school or work site.


2.         Each principal/workplace supervisor shall establish an area used to isolate anyone   exhibiting   symptoms   of   COVID-19.   Any  employee   or   visitor exhibiting   such   symptoms   will   not   be   allowed   to   remain   on   the campus/worksite and shall be asked to  immediately depart. Any student exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 shall be directed to the Isolation Area for observation until picked up by a parent/custodian or until the student is authorized  to  drive  or  walk  home.  The  Isolation  Area  must  be  cleaned after it is occupied by any individual exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.


D.       Environmental Cleaning and Personal Hygiene


1.         High-touch  surfaces  and  bathrooms  must  be  cleaned  multiple  times  per day.    School  bus  seats,  seat  backs,  handrails,  and  other  high  contact surfaces on school buses shall be cleaned after each use of those buses, i.e., after morning routes, afternoon routes, and special routes.

2.          Employees,  students,  and  school  or  workplace  visitors  should  wash  or sanitize their hands upon arrival at the school or workplace, at least every two  (2)  hours  thereafter,  before  and  after  eating,  and  before  exiting  the school facility.   In addition, students should wash or sanitize their hands before and after usage of indoor or outdoor playground equipment.


E.       Face Coverings


1.        While inside any school facility or on school buses, all students in grades

3  through  12  and  all  employees  and  visitors  are  required  to  wear  face coverings to the greatest extent possible and practicable.


a.         Face  Covering  means 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.


b.         The  face  covering  is  considered  part  of  the  school  uniform/dress code  for  both  students  and  employees  (see  Board  policy/student handbook/employee  handbook).  The  failure/refusal  of  employees and  students  to  wear  such  face  coverings  shall  result  in  their immediate separation from others and, for students, notification to the parent/custodian. Thereafter, the incident shall be treated  like all  other  violations  of  Board  policy  and/or  the  student/employee dress/grooming code.


c.         Face coverings shall be solid in color and shall contain no pictures, writings,    or    messages    of    any    kind.    Notwithstanding    this requirement,  face  coverings  that  contain  references  to  the  school system  (i.e.,  name  or  insignia)  or  individual  schools  within  the system (i.e., name or mascot), which are provided to students by the school system or by individual schools within the system, may be worn.


2.         While  inside  school  facilities  or  on  school  buses,  students  in  grades pre-Kindergarten through 2 may wear face coverings but are not required to do so.


3.        While  inside  school  facilities  or  on  school  buses,  children  under  two  (2)

years old may wear face coverings but are not required to do so.


4.         Face  coverings  need  not  be  worn  by  employees  or  students  who  are outdoors and who are able to maintain social distancing of at least six (6) feet.


5.         Notwithstanding the above, any individual who contends that he/she has a disability or condition which prohibits him/her from wearing a face covering inside school facilities or on school buses shall have the right to seek an exception to such requirement through the procedures outlined in Section J(1), (2), and (3) below.

F.        Hygienic Supplies


1.         Students,  employees,  and  school  visitors  shall  be  provided  adequate access  to  hygienic  supplies,  including  soap,  hand  sanitizer  with  at  least

60%  alcohol  content,  disinfectant  wipes  or  spray,  paper  towels,  and tissues. The quantity of hygienic supplies in each school or work location must  be  appropriate  to  the  needs  of  that  facility,  and  the  quantity  of hygienic supplies in individual classrooms must be appropriate to the role and the number and age of students or adults in such classroom.


2.         Students and employees are expected to bring their own face coverings with  them  to  school  and/or  work  each  day.  However,  disposable  face coverings shall be available at each school for students, employees, and guests who do not have their own coverings on a particular date.


G.       Transportation


1.         School  buses  used  to  transport  students  must  not  exceed  the  following maximum capacity requirements:


a.         Phase  One  –  25%,  including  adults,  of  the  maximum  capacity  of the bus as determined by the bus manufacturer;


b.         Phase  Two  –  50%,  including  adults,  of  the  maximum  capacity  of the bus as determined by the bus manufacturer; and


c.         Phase Three – 75%, including adults, of the maximum capacity of the bus as determined by the bus manufacturer.


2.         Passengers  on  a  school  bus  must  be  spaced  to  the  greatest  extent possible as follows:


a.         Phase  One  –  Passengers  must  ride  one  (1)  per  seat  except  that members  of  the  same  household  may  sit  in  the  same  seat  or adjacent seats. Every second seat on the bus must remain empty; and


b.         Phases   Two   and   Three   –   Passengers   must   be   dispersed throughout  the  bus  to  maximize  social  distancing  to  the  greatest extent possible.


H.       Student Programming Determinations


1.         Each   student   placement   determination   as   to   whether   distance   or in-person education program should be made after consultation with the parent or custodian.


2.         Each  student  placement  determination  should  take  into  consideration  a student’s unique academic, social, emotional, familial, and medical needs, as identified by the student’s parent or custodian.


3.         Documentation   of   efforts   made   to   communicate   with   parents   or custodians about student programming, together with the results of such communications, shall be maintained.


I.         Essential Visitors to School Facilities


1.         Essential visitors are individuals who must enter schools or early learning centers in order to conduct visits in according with Louisiana law or policy. Essential visitors include, but are not limited to, individuals who:


a.        Conduct observations;


b.         Observe  teacher  candidates  as  part  of  the  teacher  preparation quality rating system; or


c.        Provide essential support or services including, but not limited  to, early  intervention  services,  special  education  services,  or  mental health consultations.


2.         Essential  visitors  must  comply  with   the  minimum  health  and  safety standards  contained   in  this  policy  including,  without  limitation,  hand washing, temperature checks, and the wearing of face coverings.


J.         Medical or Disability Impact Exceptions


As provided in Section 401(E) and Section 403(I) of Bulletin 741, the Board recognizes that  there  may  be  medical  or  disability  impact  exceptions  to  one  or  more  of  these standards specific to a given student, employee, or other person, and such exceptions will be considered on an individual basis as set forth below.


1.         In order for a student to be granted an exception based upon a medical or disability issue:


a.         The parent or legal guardian of the student shall submit a written application, by letter, memorandum, or email, to the principal of the school in which the student is or will be enrolled.


b.         The application shall identify the specific provision(s) of Chapter 4 to which the exception is applicable.


c.           The   application   shall   include   documentation   from   a   qualified medical professional or healthcare provider identifying the medical or disability issue that the applicant contends  affords the need for the exception.


d.          The  application  shall  also  include  a  reference  to  whether  the exception is related to a service or accommodation afforded in an existing  Section  504  plan,  individualized  education  plan  (IEP),  or individualized health plan (IHP).


e.          If the application is related to an existing Section 504 plan, IEP, or IHP, the principal shall convene a meeting of  the  School Building Level Committee (SBLC) to review the application and the existing Section  504  plan,  IEP,  or  IHP  to  determine  if  an  exception  is needed or whether the plan can be modified to alleviate the need for  the  exception.  The  SBLC  shall  provide  its  recommendation  to the  principal,  who  shall  forward  that  recommendation  with  the application to the Superintendent.


f.          The Superintendent  or his/her designee  shall make a decision on the application within three (3) working days of his/her receipt of it.


g.          The  written  decision  of  the  Superintendent  or  designee  shall  be provided by letter, memorandum, or email to the applicant, and the decision of the Superintendent or designee shall be final.


h.           All documentation  related  to  the  application  shall  be  incorporated into the student’s school record and, if applicable, made a  part of the student’s Section 504 plan, IEP, or IHP.


2.         In order for an employee to be granted an exception based on a medical or disability issue:


a.         The   employee   shall   submit   a   written   application,   by   letter, memorandum, or email, to his/her immediate supervisor.


b.         The application shall identify the specific provision(s) of Chapter 4 to which the exception is applicable.


c.         The   application   shall   include   documentation   from   a   qualified medical professional or healthcare provider identifying the medical or disability issue that the applicant contends  affords the need for the exception.


d.         If    the    immediate   supervisor   of    the   employee   is   not   the Superintendent, the immediate supervisor shall promptly forward to the    Superintendent    or    the    Superintendent’s    designee    the  application for review and consideration, and the Superintendent or his/her  designee  shall  make  a  decision  within  three  (3)  working days of his/her receipt of the application.


e.         If the Superintendent is the immediate supervisor of the employee seeking an exception, then the Superintendent or his/her designee shall  make  a  decision  on  the  application  within  three  (3)  working days of his/her receipt of it.


f.          The  written  decision  of  the  Superintendent  or  designee  shall  be provided by letter, memorandum, or email to the applicant, and the decision of the Superintendent or designee shall be final.


3.         In  order  for  anyone  other  than  a  student  or  employee  to  be  granted  an exception based on a medical or disability issue:


a.         The  individual  seeking  the  exception  must  meet  with  the  school principal or worksite supervisor to discuss the reason for and basis of such exception and to determine whether there are any possible accommodations that can be made. In the event that a reasonable accommodation  cannot  be  identified  by  the  principal  or  worksite supervisor, then the individual seeking the exception can submit a written  application  to  the  Superintendent  or  his/her  designee  for additional consideration.


b.         In the application to the Superintendent or designee, the applicant shall  identify  the  specific  provision(s)  of  Chapter  4  to  which  the exception  is  applicable  and  shall  include  documentation  from  a qualified medical professional or healthcare provider identifying the medical  or  disability issue  that  the  applicant  contends  affords  the need for the exception.


c.         The Superintendent or his/her designee shall make a decision on the application within three (3) working days of his/her receipt of it.


d.         The  written  decision  of  the  Superintendent  or  designee  shall  be provided by letter, memorandum, or email to the applicant, and the decision of the Superintendent or designee shall be final.


K.       Meals


Standards  regarding  group  sizes  (Section  A)  and  physical  standards  for  the  use  of facilities (Section B) must be followed for meals in the cafeteria and elsewhere.


Breakfast and lunch for each student shall be prepared by the cafeteria staff under the direction of the cafeteria manager. The cafeteria manager shall be  responsible to see  that meals are distributed to students in such a manner as to limit contact between the cafeteria staff and students.


New Policy:   July 2020


Ref:    Louisiana   Revised   Statute   Annotated   Section   17:81,   17:439.1,   17:3391; Louisiana   Handbook   for   School   Administrators,   Bulletin   741,   Louisiana Department of Education.



Marissa Voros

Regarding agenda item 3

I do not feel it is safe to return to in person traditional schooling. I am concerned for the health and safety of myself as a classroom teacher and my coworkers who are going to be exposed to the virus on a constant basis. COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise in St John the Baptist Parish and as a member of the St. John Association of Educators, I think school should be delayed until the COVID-19 cases are no longer a concern for our well-being.


Erika Wright

Item # 3

I feel worried about our students and staff returning to any type of in-person teaching right now.  I'm concerned about the health of our community.  This situation continues to be life-threatening.  Today, Louisiana again has the highest per capita rates of COVID-19 in America.  Our schools have two new realms we have to contend with:  virtual teaching and a global pandemic.  Minimizing the pandemic in St. John must take precedence at this time. It’s just where we are in this fight.  I truly believe we should provide virtual teaching (in whatever way we are able) and focus on doing that to the best of our abilities. 


Alison Hull

Agenda Item #3

Comment:  I am concerned that the school board does not feel safe enough to hold a meeting together, but they feel certain that staff and students will be safe when school opens next week. What are your concerns about meeting in person? We have those same concerns only on a much larger scale because children are also involved. What is the hesitation with starting virtual and delaying the in person start? We are not prepared for this. Please do the right thing for the staff and students of St. John Parish.


Christopher Newman 

Is it me or does it seem like things are being rushed to get these kids back in school ,what is the hurry is it that hard to adjust the calendar start the school year later when all the equipment for the children,(ex computers for all children)equipment the teachers need and most of the concerns can be addressed before school starts.


 Alvin Scioneaux, Sr.


My suggestion is that SJBP school board establishes a website to inform the community of confirmed positive cases, quarantined cases tested, quarantined cases not tested, or other. If anyone gets sick during the school year, rumors will start and ciaos will begin. It is better to keep the community informed. No names need to be mentioned, but the school came maintain some order with factual information. The schools need to be as transparent as possible.


Erika Nieva

Last year my daughter was sixth grade and it was not good for us to understand how to use "Remind and Teams" Now we use it for 4 months until Christmas. Will you offer a class in Spanish to help us with these programs.  Thank you 


LaTunya Creecy

Is there going to be a special plan for students who were struggling BEFORE Covid-19? As far as extra help/ assistance to stay caught up or catch up with school lessons If so, which grades at which schools will help be coming from?

And will it be an actual teacher with proper credentials to teach?
Thank your time. 


Cindy Graham

Why is SBLC handling exceptions to the mask mandate for students with disabilities under IDEA and 504? Shouldn’t that be handled by the IEP or IAP teams respectively? It is not feasible for 24 students to be 6 feet apart in a classroom. The size of the room has to matter.  I noticed that there is a new calendar stating that 30 minutes will be added to each days schedule until December 2020 to account for the delayed start date. How does this effect 10 month employees who did not have a delayed start?


Nelann Taylor

Item 4:

The re-entry date of students should be pushed back if the district staff and faculty return date was pushed back. We are now attempting to complete a rush job of preparing teachers and students efficiently and it is a disservice to adequately prepare adults and children. Please address the concerns of the 80+ SJBPS employees from the recent Zoom meeting. A compiled survey came from over 50 respondents. We are concerned that decisions are being made WITHOUT US FOR US. Unacceptable. We practice to model equality and equity for our students and yet we do not demonstrate this for our teachers. More than half of the district employees (mainly teachers) are NOT comfortable with returning to their school sites and classrooms forcefully without ANSWERS!


Blaine Robertson, Association Representative

On behalf of the St. John Association of Educators, we have determined that it is not in the best interest of staff, students, or the community to begin school in-person until Louisiana experiences a two week period without a new COVID-19 case or at least until we see a significant drop in infection and fatality rates.  We take this position for a multitude of reasons, several of which are presented below:


MOTION BY:   DeFrancesch

SECOND BY:   Jones

No objections.

Roll Call:

9 Yeas – Holden, Burl, Keller, DeFrancesch, Jones, Johnson, Schum, Mitchell, Sanders

2 Absent – Wallace, Triche

The motion carried.






The agenda having been completed, and there being no further business, there was a


MOTION BY:    Jones

SECOND BY:   DeFrancesch

MOTION:         Motion for adjournment.

There were no objections.

9 Yeas – Holden, Burl, Keller, DeFrancesch, Jones, Johnson, Schum, Mitchell, Sanders

2 Absent – Wallace, Triche

The motion carried.

The meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.






_____________________________________                               _____________________________________

Dr. Lynett Hookfin, Superintendent/Secretary                                                        Patrick H. Sanders, President