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 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 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 10 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Dr. Jim Wipke
I am excited to share that Ladue Schools will begin the 2021-22 school year on Monday, August 23, 2021, with in-person learning based on guidance provided by the CDC, St. Louis County Department of Public Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and our Medical Task Force. 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 quarantining
- 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!
Dr. Jim Wipke