January 12, 2022
Dear Ladue Schools Parents/Guardians,
COVID positivity rates are at an all-time high. Taking into account recommendations from the CDC, St. Louis County Department of Public Health, and our Medical Task Force team with respect to COVID exposure protocols, we are updating our contact tracing practices in order to streamline our COVID communication efforts.
What does this mean for your family?
- Middle school and high school families are asked to visit our website for the most updated COVID information.
- FGC, elementary schools and LECC, will be notified as cohort groups of positive classroom cases.
Streamlining contact tracing and communication efforts will allow more time for our school nurses to focus on keeping COVID positive cases out of our schools, making sure students do not return too early after isolation (they need to be symptom-free), caring for our students showing symptoms during the day, and communicating with families affected by COVID. Focusing on these four areas over the next few weeks will allow us to keep our school environment as healthy as possible and our community safe.
If an individual tested positive for COVID and has been verbally cleared to return to school or work, on the first day back, the individual must:
- Report to the school nurse’s office before reporting to class. The nurse will verify if the individual is symptom-free.
Please note, streamlining our contact tracing and communication efforts will also help parents better manage the sheer volume of school-to-home emails.
Stay safe and be well.
January 3, 2022
As a follow-up to my letter dated Jan. 2, we were informed as of 4:30 p.m. today by the St. Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH) that students and staff are no longer required to provide a clearance letter or release-from-isolation letter in order to return to school or work. However, if someone tests positive for the COVID virus, they will need to be symptom-free before returning (isolation will range between 5 and 10 days based on the severity of the case and the duration of the symptoms).
In addition, at 5 p.m. today, we received notice that the FDA approved the booster for 12- to 15-year-olds. The next step is approval by the Centers for Disease Control, which usually takes about 24-48 hours, and shortly thereafter, the booster for this age group will be made available to the community.
If you have any questions, please contact your building principal, school nurse, or you may email email@example.com.
January 2, 2022
Dear Ladue Schools Families:
Happy New Year! It is my sincere hope our Ladue families were able to safely spend time with family and friends over the Winter Break.
I am writing this letter to our families to not only welcome you back to the second semester which starts for our students on Tuesday, January 4, but also to assist you with questions you might have in terms of our return to school. I have organized this letter into a few categories so I can succinctly communicate our efforts to keep all of our students and staff safe and healthy while providing each of you with needed information.
Over Winter Break, we have been closely monitoring the recent spike in COVID-19 transmissions in our region and across the country. We are aware of the updated CDC guidelines, and public health advisory issued by the St. Louis County Department of Public Health as well as staying in communication with our Medical Task Force team of local medical professionals.
What parents need to know:
When we return to school this week, we will stay the course with our normal schedules, and activities but we will also stay the course with our universal safety precautions, in other words, the mitigating measures we had in place before the break.
- Mitigating Measures:
- As a reminder, all students and staff will wear properly fitting masks covering the mouth and nose, consistently and correctly in Ladue Schools and on our buses.
- The buildings have been sanitized over break. We will continue to utilize our hand sanitizing stations, handwashing stations, social distancing when applicable, as well as other mitigating measures that were also in place prior to Winter Break.
- How families can help Ladue Schools:
- Get vaccinated and the booster to lessen the effects of COVID-19. To schedule an appointment for a vaccine or booster, visit www.revivestl.com to find a convenient location.
- When outside of school and on the weekends for added protection, we also encourage wearing a mask when running errands or in large crowds.
(We are hearing the boosters for 12- to 15-year-olds will be approved soon. Click here for additional information shared on Jan. 3, 2022.)
- If your child is sick:
- Keep your child home if they are sick or if they have COVID-related symptoms.
- Immediately contact your school nurse and family doctor for further guidance.
- Schedule an appointment or have your child(ren) tested for COVID-19 at local health care agencies, Walgreens, or CVS. If you use a rapid home test for your child(ren) and your child receives a positive COVID test result, please report this information to your building nurse. The more data we have, the better we can understand the impact on our learning community and plan for everyone’s health and safety. This will allow us to keep our COVID dashboard up to date and make informed decisions about the health and safety of our school community.
- Not all situations are the same, you will need to work with your school nurse through any illness.
- If your child tested positive for COVID:
- Notify your school nurse if your child or someone else in the household has tested positive for the COVID virus.
- For positive cases, isolation will range between 5 and 10 days based on the severity of the case and duration of the symptoms.
- The St. Louis County Department of Public Health requires that if someone tests positive for the COVID virus, they will need to be symptom free and have a note of clearance from either their primary care provider or the county health department to return to school or the workplace. If you are having difficulty in getting this note of clearance please contact your school nurse.
- If you are wondering whether or not to send your child to school please contact your school nurse. We all have the same goal in mind, to keep our students in a safe learning environment where they are not contagious.
- Exclusion from school due to exposure to the COVID virus:
- Exclusion times will vary based on symptoms and individual situations.
- The recent St. Louis County Public Health Advisory provided updated guidance for exclusions.
- An individual vaccinated more than six months ago and who has not received a booster would need to be excluded for five days after their last exposure or if they were in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. The individual may qualify for a modified exclusion, which will be determined on a case-by-case basis by our school nurses.
- LECC students – The St. Louis County Department of Public Health has not issued any changes in isolation, exclusions, or health and safety guidelines for this age group.
As always, we want to thank our students for their cooperation and amazing resiliency. Parents, we want to thank you for your ongoing support and partnership with getting through the first semester. We look forward to a fantastic second semester and our students finishing the school year strong and healthy. Please let your principal or us know if there is anything we can do to further support your child(ren). If you have questions, please email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, we are Ladue, and we are stronger together.
Dear Ladue Schools Community,
I hope each and every one of you has had a wonderful summer and is safe and healthy. As I have mentioned to many of you before, last year certainly was a year to remember and as we prepare for this upcoming year, I am pleased that we will incorporate all that we have learned. In doing so, I am thrilled that in a few weeks we will welcome our students back to school on a normal schedule, five days per week, beginning on Monday, Aug. 23.
Throughout this past year and in the last few months, my Administrative Team and I have been making preparations for the 2021-22 school year. A major part of our preparation is and has been to work with medical experts and professionals in seeking their recommendation/guidance. This has included our continued work with our Medical Task Force Team, local health officials, the CDC, and neighboring school districts. Our ultimate goal is to keep our students and staff safe and in healthy learning environments. Therefore, we will implement COVID-19 mitigation strategies across Ladue Schools to ensure a safe learning environment for students and staff.
As reported by the CDC, vaccines have proven to be quite effective but there isn’t one specific measure that eliminates the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This is why health experts recommend a layered approach – one that incorporates the use of vaccines, masks, social distancing, use of outdoor spaces, and sanitization.
The CDC, St. Louis County Department of Public Health, American Academy of Pediatrics, and our Medical Task Force Team all indicate wearing face masks is the best mitigating strategy for reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus and variants until more individuals are vaccinated. In fact, 450 local doctors wrote a letter to parents with their recommendations/guidance on how to return to school and keep our children safe. This letter has already been shared with you through district communications.
Masking is in effect across the Ladue School District
- All adults and children must wear masks while indoors or on our school buses, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status. It is recommended that masks also be worn outdoors when large groups are present or when the situation is such that people are in close proximity for 15 minutes or longer.
- Last year, masking was a key piece of the COVID-19 mitigation protocols that enabled in-person school to be successful.
- We will encourage outside learning opportunities and mask breaks.
- We will continue to receive updates on the latest data available to monitor the level of community transmission; we will make changes as necessary.
- We will be monitoring and discussing the mask mandate and making adjustments as the health of our region improves.
- To date, roughly 85% of our staff is fully vaccinated.
- To help our school community get healthy, the district has hosted 16 vaccination clinics to date.
Our Return to School Plan allows key stakeholders to learn more about the safe learning environment for students and staff when school resumes. If you have questions please feel free to email us at email@example.com and the appropriate personnel will be in touch with you.
The Ladue Schools community continues to be second-to-none; we appreciate your patience and support this coming school year. The very nature of the pandemic is fluid. Therefore, we, too, will remain fluid in our approach and make adjustments as necessary.
We are delighted that this coming school year will look and feel more traditional. As mentioned earlier, we will have normal schedules and regular activities will take place such as sports programs and back-to-school events.
Please be on the lookout for future communications from your building principal with details on your school’s plan. With that all being said, we will remain vigilant in following our mitigating strategies to keep our students and staff healthy and safe.
Thank you for your time and your continued support of Ladue Schools. I hope you and your family enjoy these last few weeks of summer!
Be safe and be well.
I am excited to share that Ladue Schools will begin the 2021-22 school year on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, with in-person learning based on recommendations/guidance provided by the CDC, St. Louis County Department of Public Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and our Medical Task Force Team. However, for families that prefer for their student(s) to remain in an online classroom, the district will make Launch and other online academic options provided by MOCAP available.
We appreciate your collaboration as we worked to make the Ladue Online Academy (LOA) an option next school year. After gaining feedback from parents, however, we learned there was not enough enrollment interest to constitute holding classes at any grade level as part of LOA.
If you have any specific questions or would like to discuss your virtual options, please call Dr. Amy Zielinski, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, at 314-983-5307.
The 2021-22 Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan is divided into the following sections:
- Review of Survey Data
- Health and Safety of Students and Staff
- Universal and correct wearing of masks
- Physical distancing
- Handwashing and respiratory etiquette
- Cleaning and maintaining health facilities
- Contact tracing and exclusion
- Diagnostic and screen testing
- Well-being of Students and Staff
- Efforts to provide vaccinations to students, teachers and staff
- Appropriate accommodations for children with disabilities
- District Operations
- Cleaning and maintaining health facilities
- FAQ/Resources and References
We are committed to your children and providing them with the high-quality Ladue Schools education you expect. We understand the tremendous responsibility we have to serve our community, and I can promise you we are going to do everything possible to ensure our students are safe and well-served.
As I begin my third year as Superintendent of Ladue Schools, I am excited about the 2021-22 school year and continuing to See, Serve and Connect with our students and community. The first day of school is Monday, Aug. 23.
Thank you for your ongoing support of the Ladue School District!