ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- St. Louis area schools received guidelines they must follow to return to in-person learning for the 2020-2021 school year.
The document, compiled by education and medical experts in the St. Louis area, was distributed to superintendents and was scheduled to be made public Tuesday.
Five main parameters for schools to follow, as laid out in the document, are:
- Establish a plan for daily screening for illness or exposure to the novel coronavirus.
- Minimize interaction—stagger lunch times, alternate common space usage and keep students in cohorts to the extent possible.
- Keep students physically distanced in a classroom, to the extent possible.
- Avoid large gatherings that mix multiple groups and do not allow for social distancing. For the short-term, avoid assemblies and pep rallies.
- Develop contingency plans to respond to changes in the level of transmission in the community. Protocols should be developed for hybrid and virtual learning that can be activated if the circumstances dictate.
The document is separated into "must" and "may" sections, as schools will be tasked with creating individual plans that best work for them.
County and City leaders say face coverings will be required in school buildings and on buses.
The reopening guidance was created this summer by health officials and superintendents to help each district craft its own reopening plan. Those individual plans will be announced on July 20.
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said superintendents are being very flexible with their plans, and in many cases, will still offer virtual learning to those who choose to use it.
He added parents should expect both masks and social distancing guidelines.
"There will be new guidelines for student athletics, there will be new guidelines for assemblies, all these things will be consistent with the fundamental principles of social distancing, wearing a mask, frequent hand washing, and staying home when you're sick," he said.
Rockwood School District conducted a community feedback survey which said the majority of parents who responded had some level of comfort with sending their students back in the fall.
According to the survey, about three percent said they plan to keep their children home.