Dr. Jamison's Weekly Message
August 14, 2021
MRH Response to KCPS vaccine mandate
Dear MRH Families:
Thank you for your continued support and advocacy, on behalf of your children, as we collectively continue to monitor the impact of the Delta variant in our community. The District has become aware of Kansas City Public School's requirement for all staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, or agree to weekly testing for the 2021-2022 school year. The District's administration, in conjunction with the Board of Education, is currently reviewing EEOC laws and our current staff vaccination percentages in aggregate from the district level and by our individual buildings. An update regarding the district's approach will be shared in the coming weeks. I encourage you to watch our live streamed board meetings for updates, and continue to reach out with any additional questions, comments, or concerns. We appreciate your advocacy and commitment to partnering with the district to not only ensure the safety of your children, but all students in our community.
Bonita E. Jamison, Ed.D. | Superintendent
Maplewood Richmond Heights School District
August 6, 2021
What school will look like on August 24...a video message from Dr. Jamison
August 5, 2021
Return to Learning Message from Dr. Jamison
Dear Maplewood Richmond Heights Families:
As your new Superintendent, I welcome you to the 2021-2022 school year! We hope your summer proved to be productive, yet relaxing. We are excited to welcome students back to school on August 24, 2021 and remain committed to offering in-person instruction 5 days a week in accordance with our district calendar. As we approach the start of the year, we recognize that students benefit most from in-person learning and that supporting a safe continuation of in-person learning during the 2021-2022 school year is critical.
Like you, we continue to watch and learn about the patterns, trends and variants of COVID-19 in our county, state and nation. In addition, we have reviewed the Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools released from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and anticipate that the St. Louis County Department of Health professionals will update their guidance for schools within the next week.
We anticipate releasing our MRH District Return to Learn Plan for the 21-22 school year on Friday, August 6 based on the recommendations and guidance of the CDC and St. Louis County Department of Health. Our mitigation measures will continue to prioritize the health and wellness of our students and staff aligned to the guidelines and recommendations of the health professionals. Currently, health professionals continue to emphasize and support vaccination, coupled with masks, as the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic.
No school district can offer complete protection from exposure to COVID-19, but the commitment to health, which our learning community has exhibited, will greatly reduce the risk of exposure in MRH buildings. To protect the health of students and staff, Maplewood Richmond Heights will maintain the following layered mitigation measures:
- Use of face coverings (regardless of vaccination status);
- Social distancing of at least 3 feet;
- Use of plexiglass;
- Use of daily health screenings;
- Practice frequent hand washing and provide access to hand sanitizer;
- Practice routine cleaning and disinfection; and
- Prohibit visitation of nonessential visitors.
Students who are vaccinated protect themselves from the risk of missing school and preferred activities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines state that if your student is fully vaccinated, they will not be required to quarantine if they are exposed to someone who tests positive for the virus, as long as they are not showing symptoms.
We recognize you may have more questions at this time and to help answer your questions about children and the COVID-19 vaccine we encourage you to watch the webinar hosted by two pediatric infectious disease specialists with St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Dr. Rachel Orscheln and Dr. Jason Newland. In the webinar, they will answer questions about how families can navigate the return to school.
Lastly, St. Louis County Department of Public Health is offering an extensive back-to-school immunization and vaccination effort for COVID-19 and routine immunizations. The health department will offer no-cost immunizations for children aged 3 to 18, and free COVID-19 vaccinations for ages 12 and up. The effort will continue through September 17th, Monday-Friday (8 a.m. to 4 p.m) at three locations.
- South County Health Center, 4580 S. Lindbergh Blvd. in Sunset Hills
- John C. Murphy Health Center, 6121 North Hanley Road in Berkeley
- North Central Community Health Center, 4000 Jennings Station Road, in Pine Lawn
We value your support and partnership as we work to keep our entire Maplewood Richmond Heights community healthy and safe. Be on the watch for additional information regarding town hall meetings in the coming weeks to answer any additional questions you may have. Working together, we can all “Live Well, Learn Well”. I look forward to seeing you on August 24, 2021!
With Blue Devil pride,
Dr. Bonita E. Jamison, Superintendent
July 1, 2021
Welcoming Our New Superintendent
Dear Maplewood Richmond Heights Community,
I am overjoyed and privileged to have the opportunity to serve as your superintendent of schools. In order for us to begin our work together it is important to begin to know one another as people and not just by our titles or roles.
A little about me: I am a first-generation college graduate with three children (two sons and a daughter). All of my successes in life, and my strong belief in the moral obligation to serve others, can be attributed to the relationships I have had with my teachers. They believed in me and helped me to believe in myself. In addition, I have had other significant adults in my personal and professional life who served as mentors and cheerleaders. In all of my roles -- parent, family member, congregation member, assistant superintendent, etc. -- I have always focused on developing strong relationships and being of service to others. As we begin to acquaint ourselves through a variety of meetings which will take place before the school year starts, I look forward to becoming personally connected and exchanging ideas about how we can continue to improve the District to better serve our school community.
During my time as an educator, I have found that public education can provide opportunities to meet students on an individual basis where they are and propel them toward their passions. I believe that as an educator it is my moral imperative to help our children prepare and develop post-secondary plans to ready them for whatever path they choose into adulthood. It is my belief that collaboratively, we can reimagine the future of Maplewood Richmond Heights schools using our current cornerstones to underpin our work. All of my experiences have helped me realize the power of collaboration and the value of listening as a means to better understand the perspective of all stakeholders in any decisions we make.
Finally, please know that I believe it is critical to connect with and serve our school community. I look forward to meeting with each of you in the coming months. I feel honored to join the Maplewood Richmond Heights Board of Education, those selfless leaders who care so deeply about our students, staff and community... as do I.
Until we meet, please stay safe and well.
Dr. Bonita E. Jamison
Superintendent of Schools