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BATON ROUGE, La. - The Louisiana Department of Education released guidance for school systems to follow as we enter the next school year.

Under Phase One:

- Maximum group size is 10 people, including adults.

- Students must refrain from contact and high-risk sports.

- School buses will operate at 25% capacity. One person per seat, every other seat must remain empty. Members of the same household can sit with each other.

Phase Two:

-Maximum group size is 25 people, including adults.

-Students must refrain from contact and high risk sports.

 -School buses will operate at 50% capacity.

Phase Three:

- Maximum group size is 50 people, including adults.

- Contact and high-risk sports will be allowed within defined groups.

- School buses will operate at 75% capacity.  

For ensuring personal hygiene, adults and students third grade and up should wear a face covering. Students and teachers are asked to wash hands at arrival and dismissal, every two hours, before and after eating and before and after using outdoor playground equipment.

"I think systems will almost have to treat this [face coverings] as part of the school uniform, if they decide to go with these guidelines. The Department of Education, nor the Department of Health, is an enforcement agency on masks or bussing children. So much is going to depend on the local school system adhering to their own plans,” said State Superintendent Cade Brumley at Thursday night’s senate meeting.

The department does not have the authority to mandate these rules. They're simply best practices being offered. To preview the 20 page guidance for the start of school, click here.  

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