Dear Pattonville families and staff,
As we have mentioned in previous communications, our intention is to bring students into our classrooms for in-person learning as soon as possible. In consultation with the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, we have determined it is safe to bring students in preschool through second grade (PreK-2) back for phase 2 of in-person learning. Early childhood will begin on Monday, Sept. 21, and K-2 will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 22. We hope to expand in-person learning to other students as soon as possible. County health officials shared today that children ages 5 to 9 currently have a significantly lower positivity rate for COVID-19 than children ages 10 and up. The county health department continues to recommend virtual instruction for middle and high school students, who make up the bulk of new youth cases in St. Louis County.
What this means for your family
- For families with children in PreK-2 who selected in-person instruction this fall, this means:
- Students (K-2) with the last names beginning A-K will attend in-person classes at their elementary schools on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- Students (K-2) with the last names beginning L-Z attend in-person classes on Wednesdays and Fridays.
- Families who have students with different last names are grouped by the last name of the oldest child.
- All students participate in virtual instruction on Mondays.
- Early childhood students will receive a separate communication from the early childhood program regarding the structure of their in-person classes. Read the update here.
- Transportation will be provided. More information will be shared separately on bus routes and safety protocols for impacted families.
- Students’ temperature will be checked at school.
- For families with children PreK-2 who selected the Villemade Virtual Academy:
- There is no change. Students continue to participate in 100% virtual instruction through the end of the first semester (Dec. 22).
- For students in grades 3 through 12:
- There is no change. Students continue with 100% online virtual instruction at present.
What we need families to do
Pattonville has been working for months on health and safety precautions to prepare for the return of students to in-person learning. You can review these precautions on our Pattonville Returns website at https://bit.ly/PSDReturns2020web. For families of students returning to in-person learning on Sept. 22, we need your help with the following:
- All students ages 2 and older must wear a mask while on the bus and at school, per the county health department’s mandate. Mask breaks will be allowed when appropriate and it is safe to do so.
- All families must review the COVID-19 symptom list each day. If your child exhibits any of the following symptoms, please keep them home and notify your child’s school office: Fever of 100 or more/chills; cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; sore throat; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; and diarrhea.
- If your child has been tested for COVID-19 but has not received a test result yet or has been asked by their doctor or county health department to isolate or quarantine at home, please keep them home from school and contact your child’s school office.
What you need to know about extracurricular activities
This morning, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced updated youth sports guidelines, which can be found online at http://bit.ly/SLCOactivitiesupdate9-9-20. The updated guidelines impact high school fall activities in the county. If your child participates in a fall sport or activity, Jason Sellers, Pattonville High School activities director, and your child’s coach or sponsor will reach out to you with more sport/activity-specific information in the near future. (Note: Sellers' update can be found here: https://phs.psdr3.org/news/51-phs/251-announcement-regarding-fall-athletics-activities.)
Communication on COVID-19 cases
Pattonville will communicate with families and staff regarding positive COVID-19 cases in the district only if they are personally impacted or determined to be at risk as per CDC guidelines. Federal privacy laws protect student and staff confidentiality; therefore personally identifiable information on any individuals testing positive or being asked to isolate or quarantine will not be shared. Families and staff can also view an overview and history of cases using the district’s COVID-19 dashboard, housed on our Pattonville Returns website at https://bit.ly/PSDReturns2020web. At this time, we are only tracking COVID-19 data related to staff. We will add student data to this dashboard for grade levels attending in-person instruction.
As with any new situation, the virtual start to the school year has had some challenges, but it’s also had many successes. I’ve been impressed by our students, staff and families' hard work and dedication to make this possible and keep instruction engaging for our students. We are looking forward to our first step in bringing our youngest students back into the classroom and will take every precaution to keep students and staff safe during in-person learning. As always, thank you for your patience and continued assistance as we work together to support our students and their learning.
Tim Pecoraro, Ed.D.