MRH Return to Learning, Winter/Spring 2021
The MRH School District has created plans to aid in navigating the options for the resumption of instruction for the 2020-2021 school year. At this time, no decision has been made on which option(s) will be utilized in the 2nd semester.
Families, students and staff must feel safe in the knowledge that extraordinary steps are being taken to reduce the impact of COVID-19. This MRH reentry plan will be shared through all communication channels. This document is an overview; much more specific information about student and staff expectations will be shared by school principals in December.
The guidelines within these plans are based on data and recommendations by:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- The World Health Organization (WHO)
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
- American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
- The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
- The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS)
- The St. Louis County Department of Health
- Johns Hopkins University & Medicine; Harvard University
- The Missouri School Boards’ Association (MSBA)
- Work group of school superintendents throughout east-central Missouri
- Ittner Architects
- Other applicable international, federal, state and local agencies.
During the 2020-2021 school year, core services will take place under one of three scenarios which are still under review by the Board of Education. NO final decisions have been made as of July 20. Scenarios include:
- Students attend in-person for their entire schedule (Tier 1)
- Students attend in a blended educational environment with some at-school attendance and some virtual components (Tier 2)
- Students participate in full distance learning in case of a school or district closure. (Tier 3)
Models have been developed to maximize layers of protection and to allow implementation of safety protocols. The District’s operational status is determined in large part by statistics compiled within the MRH community by the St. Louis County Health Department. MRH monitors the statistics frequently. Any change in status is ultimately the District’s decision unless and until a mandate is issued by the St. Louis County government.
Families who do not want their children to attend on campus but would like to stay connected to their home school and remain enrolled as a full time student at MRH may choose a full virtual option. A full virtual option can be chosen on a semester basis. Instruction would be completed entirely online from home. Instruction would be provided through conditions outlined in the Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program.
Multiple layers of safety protocols will be used including:
- Planned, directional traffic flow
- Entrance and exit protocols
- Social distancing measures
- Physical barriers
- Disinfecting classroom surface
- Frequent handwashing and access to hand sanitizers
- Use of masks (required for students in grades 3-12)
Some operational aspects of the school day will be consistent across ALL District buildings under the blended instructional scenario.
Personal Protection/Health & Nursing
- Face masks required for all staff members
- Face coverings required for all students in grades 3 through 12; urged but not required for ECC students (by St. Louis County mandate, masks are not required for children under age 9). The District will provide each student a mask. Replacements for lost, damaged or forgotten masks will be available on a limited basis.
- Masks required for allowable visitors (those deemed essential to District operations)
- Daily health screening protocols in place for staff, students and visitors
- Discontinue use of volunteers indefinitely
- Extensive signage in place as visual reminders of universal precautions
- Secure waiting rooms for ailing students who must be sent home
- Reporting system in place for notification to authorities, families and employees of suspected COVID-19 cases within District spaces
- MRH will follow St. Louis County Health Department guidelines for exit and re-entrance of students who may be ill or at-risk of becoming ill with COVID-19.
Curriculum & Instruction
- Combined on-site and virtual learning will allow greater social distancing for students and staff
- District to ensure device access for all K-12 students
- Identify and provide online assessments/tools to monitor student progress and identify gaps
- Limit use of shared supplies
- Buildings will have marked arrival and dismissal locations
- Extensive signage will be in place to remind students and staff of best hygienic practices
- Directional, or “wayfinding,” signs will help manage foot traffic to minimize interaction
- Classrooms will be reconfigured to distance students and staff
- Occupancy limits will be placed on small spaces i.e. copy rooms, lounges, kitchenettes
- Foot-operated sanitizer stations will be installed
- Drinking fountains will be refitted to allow students to fill water bottles/containers
- Student visits to restrooms will be regulated to keep occupancy low
- Reception/administrative areas will feature plexiglass partitions
- Rules for community use of facilities will be enforced
- Visitors to buildings will be limited to only those who are essential to operations
- Increased cleaning protocol for all buildings, especially “high touch” surfaces, with the use of specialized cleaning products
- Breakfasts and lunches will be served in staggered shifts and in grab-and-go formats for MS/HS students to allow social distancing
- K-6 students will eat meals in classrooms
- Intensive cleaning will take place between meal shifts
- No communal condiment/silverware/water/ice stations available
- Students enrolled at MRH but not attending on-campus learning environments will have access to curbside meal pickup options.
- Additional and shorter routes created to reduce numbers of students per bus and to promote distancing
- Masks required during routes
- Hand sanitizer available for entry and exit
- Assigned seating with one child or family group per seat
- Specialized sprayers to efficiently disinfect bus interiors between each run
- Families encouraged to use private conveyance when/if possible
- Streamlined traffic protocols in place for families dropping off and picking up students
- Promote stress reduction activity
- Encourage students and staff to speak with people they trust about concerns
- Promote resources and help hotlines
- Student Services, in conjunction with partner social service agencies, will provide extra support to those in need
For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.