The health and safety of our students and staff have remained at the center of our work. Below you will find the district’s responsive steps for adhering to the health and safety considerations outlined in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Readiness and Planning Tool to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19.
- QR Codes for daily health screening for staff
- Student daily health screenings at home
- Parents should take their child’s temperature daily before sending them to school. If they have a fever of >100 degrees, please keep them at home and call your doctor and school nurse.
- Personal thermometers (distributed to families in need)
- Visual and verbal classroom screenings with referral to nurse as needed
- Hand sanitizer
- Hand sanitizing stations
- Portable handwashing stations
- Installed floor and wall social distancing decals
- Traffic flow restriction signage in hallways
- Tables/chairs socially distanced
- Removal of non-hard surfaced furniture
- Transparent desk dividers
- Face covering requirement and building signage
- Washable face masks provided to all staff and students with additional supplies in each clinic
PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
- Medical exam latex-free Nitrile gloves
- Vinyl rubber gloves
- Scrubs for nurses
- Washable isolation gowns (nurses)
- Face coverings
- N95 face masks
- KN 95 masks
- Surgical face masks (medical grade & non-medical grade)
- Washable cloth face masks (students & staff)
- Transparent face masks
- Face shields
- Students allowed to sit one per seat (max 21-25 with a sibling)
- Face masks required
- Parents must request service
- Assigned seating implemented
- Windows open weather permitting
- Driver wears a mask and face shield
- In house and contracted staff certified in sanitization procedures
- Quaternary based cleaning solutions used by trained staff at night
- Safe disinfectant for use by teaching staff in each classroom (alcohol based)
- Increased frequency of cleaning/sanitizing in high traffic and high touch areas
- Additional day custodial staff at the elementary schools
- Electrostatic sprayers used for emergency and large area sanitization
- Emergency response plan equipment and personnel in place
- Sanitizing wet wipes available to staff
- Disinfectant wipes available to staff
- Permanent plexiglass screens (70+) at frequent person to person points of contact
- Touchless water bottle fillers available (water fountains disabled)
- HVAC preventative maintenance increased from 2 to 3 times per year
- Upgrading to MERV13 air filters in large units
- Optimize the use of outside air when conditions allow
- Monitor building/system static pressure to prevent cross ventilation concerns
- Isolation areas in each building identified in each building
- Contact tracer training for all nurses and administrators through Johns Hopkins
- Rapid turnaround with failed contact and symptom screens by nursing staff with consistent follow-up for instruction
Quarantine Procedures per St. Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH)
Latest CDC Guidance
The St. Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH) is reviewing CDC guidance released this week that outlines two options to shorten quarantine for close contacts of people with COVID-19.
Please note that DPH is not changing its current guidelines which require that close contacts of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 quarantine themselves for 14 days from the last time they were around someone with COVID-19. As the CDC notes, “Any option to shorten quarantine risks being less effective than the currently recommended 14-day quarantine.” In other words, reducing the length of quarantine would increase the chance that some people who actually have the disease will be released from quarantine and infect others.
Community transmission is especially high in St. Louis County right now and hospital capacity is severely strained. Shortening our quarantine period would be especially risky under these conditions and will be approached with a great deal of caution.
DPH will continue to review the new CDC information and will announce when a decision has been made about whether to adopt any changes to the quarantine order, which can be found here or its home-quarantine instructions, which can be found here. Until such time, no one is authorized to end quarantine early in St. Louis County.
If you were around anyone outside your household during Thanksgiving, it is highly recommended to get tested for COVID-19. Testing will continue to be available at both our John C. Murphy Health Clinic located in Berkeley and our South County Health Clinic in Sunset Hills. Additional pop-up locations are also available. To make an apportionment today, do so online here.
Today (Dec. 4), Public Health-Primary Care Integration will be closed the remainder of the day. COVID-19 testing will continue as scheduled.
Screening and Protocol for Positive Cases
Algorithm Chart – Screen all students for potential COVID-19 symptoms or exposure.
Protocol for Positive Cases – Protocol for schools assisting the Health Department in Close Contact Identification for COVID-19 Cases among students.
- Additional signage throughout the buildings on safety, mitigation strategies and recognition of symptoms of COVID-19
- All staff educated on COVID, mitigation procedures and screening
- Dissemination of videos for students on handwashing, mask-wearing, social distancing and returning to the building
Social and Emotional Needs of Students Returning
- Focus on Four Priorities: Connection, Flexibility, Predictability & Empowerment
- Collaboration between SEB Team, counselors, administration, and teachers.
- K-5 teachers are receiving Second Step community rebuilding lessons and morning meeting activities. Elementary counselors are working together to deliver lessons to all students about exploring and handling feelings.
- CharacterStrong lessons for the secondary level developed specifically for this space
and time and Same Storm Different Boat lessons.
- Elementary and secondary bitmoji classrooms with links to a variety of
socio-emotional learning topics.
- Meeting with outside agencies who are ready to support students with mentoring
How Parents/Guardians Can Help?
Screening of your child(ren) is mandatory. Parents can help tremendously
by getting in a daily routine of screening their child(ren) and keeping them
home if they show any signs of COVID-19.
- The district can control the variables at school. However, parents should continue to monitor their child’s contacts and activities outside of school.
- Students should not gather in large groups outside of school where precautions, such as face coverings and social distancing, are not taken.
- Families should have plans in place for all three tiers in the event the district will need to transition based on COVID transmission data.
- While we will do our best to keep our schools open, we will be required to follow the mandates required for our communities, cities and state if COVID-19 cases increase.
- Please be patient with our teaching staff and district, as we are all working incredibly hard to do what is in the best interest of your children. We welcome your ideas and suggestions, but will also need your understanding as we work through this 2020-21 school year together.