Guidelines, Practices & Scheduling


To ensure the continued wellbeing of our employees the following guiding principles have been put in place:

guiding principles


1.  Implement practices to prevent the virus from entering the school.

2.  Respond to a lab-confirmed case in the school.

3.  Communicate with all stakeholders.

4.  Implement prevention and mitigation practices to reduce the likelihood that an outbreak occurs on campus.


In light of the Governor’s Roadmap to Restarting Louisiana, the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE), in conjunction with the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), have developed Strong Start 2020: School Reopening Guidelines and Resources in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis. The purpose of this guidance document is to support DeSoto Parish Schools and communities in developing their plans and strategies for reopening schools in the 2020-21 school year. As our schools’ work to operationalize these recommendations, it is critical to be intentional and prepared for change as the year unfolds with regard to public health needs. 

Guiding Principles for Reopening Schools

DeSoto Parish Schools will:

  • consider the safety and wellness of students and staff above all

  • respond to the needs of vulnerable and high needs populations

  • be adaptable and flexible with the ability to pivot from one learning modality to another based on public health needs

  • synergize multiple operational and academic factors to develop effective plans

  • ensure engagement with all voices represented in the schools

  • maintain consistent communication with students, families, and employees

This approach is built upon the guidance and recommendations of public health officials; it is aligned to the Louisiana Department of Education’s (LDOE) Strong Start 2020 from the updated version on June 30, 2020. It is designed to help DeSoto Parish Schools prioritize the health and safety of students and staff as we reopen school buildings and deliver instruction for the 2020-21 school year.

As statewide and local COVID-19 public health needs change over time, it is critical for all DeSoto Parish Schools to plan for a variety of learning scenarios for the 2020-21 school year. All DeSoto Parish schools will have considered multiple factors as we prepare to reopen, including community health needs, student and employee safety, operations, and teaching and learning strategies. 

DeSoto Strong Start 2020 is DeSoto Parish Schools effort to provide guidelines, recommendations, and best practices to ensure a safe and successful 2020-21 school year. Each school site has been given the authority and flexibility to meet the local needs of their individual school within the framework of this document. As the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic evolves, DeSoto Parish Schools will continue to provide updated guidance and recommendations to our schools on how best to navigate the academic, social, and emotional effects on students and employees.         


Per the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH), the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) and Strong Start 2020 from June 30, 2020, all public schools are directed to have three plans in place to ensure continuity of educational services should the state’s COVID-19 metrics change significantly requiring additional restrictions to control the spread of the disease. These Reopening Plans will be the foundation for a successful and agile academic school year. The three required Reopening Plans are: 

  • Phase 1: Distance Learning (Remote/At-Home Learning)

  • Phase 2: Hybrid Instruction/Traditional (Alternating Days)

  • Phase 3: Traditional Instruction (In-person)


reopening phases chart