Return to School

Mehlville School District’s Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services

Mehlville School District returned to in-person instruction for all students on Monday, April 19, 2021. The district offered in-person instruction throughout the 2021-2022 school year, and intends to offer in-person instruction throughout the 2022-2023 school year. The district will follow COVID-19 mitigation strategies in accordance with its board-approved policies and resolutions. 

In addition to on-campus instruction, the district will continue to offer At Home, a full-time virtual program for students in grades kindergarten through 8. This program is offered to Mehlville School District students and students throughout Missouri through the Missouri Course Access Program. High school students may choose to attend virtual classes.

What follows serves as a guide to how we will safely maintain in-person instruction throughout the 2022-2023 school year.

Face coverings
On Aug. 4, 2022, the Mehlville Board of Education modified its COVID-19 resolution to make face coverings optional at all of our schools and office buildings, and inside buses and other vehicles. Students and staff are welcome to wear face masks for their health and safety.

Social Distancing
Students will spread out as space allows. Students are taught social distancing practices, and outside spaces will be used as much as possible. Additionally, schools have access to physical barriers, and they can use student cohorts/pods when distancing cannot be achieved.

Hand-washing and Respiratory Etiquette
Students and staff have access to soap and water and hand sanitizer throughout the day, including before and after lunch and after recess. Students and staff are encouraged to cough or sneeze into a tissue, dispose of the tissue and wash their hands. If no tissue is available, students and staff are instructed to cough or sneeze into their elbow. Additionally, students and staff should remain home when they do not feel good. Signs throughout our schools reinforce hand-washing and respiratory etiquette.

Cleaning and Ventilation
Custodians and other school staff will continue to clean high-touch areas on a frequent basis. Specifically: door handles, push bars on doors, drinking fountains, cafeteria surfaces, restroom surfaces and stairwell handrails will be cleaned multiple times a day. Teachers and students will clean desktops and table tops throughout the day. Each night custodians will clean the following items: pencil sharpeners; bathroom surfaces, urinals and toilets, floors and stall dividers; desktops and tabletops; stairwell handrails; door handles and push bars. Custodians will use cleaner and disinfectant as recommended by the CDC.

HVAC systems at each building are set to provide increased intake of outside air to provide better air circulation.

Contact Tracing and Quarantines
District-directed contact tracing and exclusion from school for close contacts ceased on Dec. 23, 2021, in accordance with Judge Daniel Green’s ruling in Shannon Robinson, et. Al., v. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Any time we are notified that someone who has recently been on campus tests positive for COVID-19, a letter will be sent to the parents of all children who shared a classroom with the positive person. Additionally, if we become aware that more than 1.5% of a school’s population tests positive for COVID-19 during the prior week, the district will notify the entire school.

Screening and Testing
We continue to ask our students and staff to refer to our wellness checklist before coming on campus each day. This is especially important for our unvaccinated students and staff. Students or staff who answer YES to any of our wellness checklist questions will have a discussion with their principal or supervisor to determine whether it's safe to come to school.

Mehlville School District recommends students and staff with COVID symptoms get tested. COVID-19 tests are widely available throughout our community.

Vaccinations
Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to prevent contracting the novel coronavirus and experiencing severe symptoms.

While this vaccine is not required by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, our school nurses recommend families consider this vaccine for all eligible children.

Mehlville School District has hosted four sets of vaccine clinics to date: one for staff in March and April, and one for students ages 12 and up in May and June, and two for kids ages 5-11 in November and December 2021. Mehlville School District will host a back-to-school COVID-19 vaccine clinic for staff on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022. We will consider hosting future vaccine clinics for our community as needed.

Accommodations for students with disabilities
Accommodations are provided as necessary and as agreed upon in the student’s Individual Education Plan.

Continuity of Services
Should Mehlville School District, a school or a classroom close temporarily due to COVID, we will pivot to a virtual learning model. Every kindergarten through 12th grade student has a district-provided Chromebook and access to Google Meets for each of their classes. Additionally, counselors, specialist teachers and therapists can meet individually and with small groups in our virtual learning model. Should we experience an extended closure in the 2022-2023 school year, we will consider providing families with the opportunity to pick up grab-and-go meals at local schools.

Review of Our Safe Return to In-Person Instruction Plan
This plan is reviewed by district staff any time St. Louis County Department of Public Health and the CDC update their COVID-19 health orders and recommendations but no less frequently than every six months. The district takes into account parent, staff, student and community feedback related to this plan. In May 2020, the district conducted a ThoughtExchange to gather public comment and feedback on the 2020-2021 school year. You can see the results of that feedback here. A Return to School Committee, composed of teachers and school leaders, have guided and provided feedback on this plan and changes the plan since May 2020. Additionally, COVID mitigation strategies have been discussed at monthly Mehlville Board of Education meetings that include public comment periods since August. They were also discussed with parent leaders at the December 2021 President’s Council meeting. Anyone with questions or comments on this plan are encouraged to email [email protected].

This plan was last revised on Aug. 5, 2022.

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