Mar 12, 2020

BATON ROUGE, La. – Acting State Superintendent Beth Scioneaux issued the following message to school leaders regarding the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.

Dear Colleagues,

The Louisiana Department of Education recognizes that the continued spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is impacting our communities, our schools, and our early childhood centers. 

To ensure our education leaders are equipped with the most important, up-to-date information and resources, the Department has created a dedicated page on its website focused on preventing and responding to COVID-19 in schools and early learning centers. All information and resources, including the FAQ documents shared last week, will be continually updated. 

Access the Department’s COVID-19 webpage here. 

Key Guidance 


Seat Time and Attendance

  • Pursuant to current policy, Distance Education is allowed under current BESE policy and instructional minute requirements for awarding Carnegie credit may be waived as provided by law. If distance learning is utilized, attendance of all school students shall be verified each school day and at the beginning of each class period by the teacher keeping such record. 
  • In addition, the Governor has the authority to suspend state school attendance laws on a temporary basis during a declared emergency situation. The Department will remain in close contact with schools and the Governor’s office to assess impact and potential necessary waivers.

Special Education

  • If a school closes for all students, then the school/school system is generally not required to provide services to students with disabilities during the closure.  If online learning is used for all students during a closure, the school/school system must consider how it will provide online services for its students with disabilities.


  • As with past events, such as hurricanes and floods, the Department of Education will address potential assessment issues on a case-by-case basis and will make accommodations, as appropriate. 


  • Out of an abundance of caution, the following events or convenings will be postponed or canceled:
    • College and Career Readiness Commission (3/13 meeting postponed; new date TBA)
    • Accountability Commission (3/16 meeting postponed; new date TBA)
    • Superintendent Advisory Council (3/19 meeting canceled)
    • Special Education Advisory Panel (3/25 meeting canceled)
    • Student of the Year events (More information about virtual interviews will be sent to participants next week.)
    • Spring 2020 Counselor Institutes (April 2020; rescheduled as virtual institutes)
  • The 2020 Teacher Leader Summit is scheduled for May 27-29 and will continue as planned at this time. We are closely monitoring the situation in collaboration with state health officials and will re-evaluate these plans should the situation change. In the meantime, we recommend those with plans to attend the event refrain from making non-refundable travel arrangements. The Department will ensure prompt updates should the status of the event change.

Thank you,

Beth Scioneaux
Acting State Superintendent

#  #  #  #  #  #