Lafayette Parish parents want more communication on Covid-19 cases in schools


LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — As cases of COVID continue to surge in Louisiana, parents have cried out for answers about being notified when a student tests positive.

Local school districts have been given the power to set COVID-related policies best for the school system.

Therefore, the type of notification a parent can expect will more often be based on the parish.

The Louisiana Department of Education has issued guidance for school districts that anyone in close contact with a COVID positive student may be contacted as part of the Office of Public Health’s contact tracing process.

In St. Landry Parish, Instructional Technology and Media Specialist Tricia Fontenot says the SLPSB district has an app with a text messaging feature.

“The administrator works with the school nurse, establishes the close contacts, and sends those parents a notification through text messaging,” Fontenot said.

Fontenot says it’s a system of notification that seems to be operating as the school district anticipated.

“It’s a great way to identify specific groups. Whether it’s a group of girls in a P.E. class, then we can actually send a text message to those families,” Fontenot stated.

In St. Martin parish, the superintendent explains their process for notifying parents about COVID positive cases and close contact.

“Under normal circumstances, someone from the school system is contacting the parent, a personal call and those students who test positive and are a suspect case are given a letter with instructions to follow,” Superintendent of St. Martin Parish Schools, Allen Blanchard explained.

Blanchard says in cases where large numbers of students need to be quarantined, and the need is identified late in the day, then some parents may receive an automated call,” Blanchard added.

“Due to the fact that it’s the end of the day and a lot of calls have to be made and they need to be made quickly so parents can make arrangements,” Blanchard stated.

In terms of Lafayette Parish Schools (LPSS), parents informed KLFY News about the kind of notification system they were alerted by.

One parent said she received robocalls for confirmed classroom COVID cases.

Another parent explained to KLFY News she received a call from a LPSS school nurse her child was in close contact and the need to quarantine.

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