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Dear Webster Groves School District Families:
With the first diagnosed case of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the St. Louis area, I’d like to take a moment to update you on what the district is doing to help ensure the health of students and staff here. As you may have heard, there is some concern about contacts made by family members of the St. Louis County woman diagnosed recently with the disease. In addition, we have received some questions about the district’s preparedness and response efforts.
As we’ve said earlier, the district is in regular contact with the St. Louis County Department of Public Health and we are following state and federal recommendations for school districts. At this point, their recommendations continue to be that schools focus on identifying and sending sick students and staff home, educating children and families about good hygiene and increasing cleaning and disinfecting hard surfaces, including desks, doorknobs, computers, tables and other equipment used daily by students and staff. Special disinfectants also have been used to clean the air and surfaces in the evenings at schools when they are unoccupied. In addition, school nurses are receiving updates and information about COVID-19 and how to identify potentially ill students.
Last week, the district participated in a meeting with other area school districts and professionals from the county Health Department, the Centers for Disease Control and others to determine next steps should there be a significant outbreak. While there is no recommendation at this time from health officials to close schools, I’d like to assure you that we are prepared to do so, if that becomes necessary. We are making plans on how to continue educating our students in that event.
In light of the upcoming spring break, WGSD encourages families to share all personal travel plans up to April 15, 2020 via this link
We would respectfully ask that families and staff be mindful of where and how you travel, with respect to this communicable disease.
The reason for asking this is for us to better plan for possible absences due to the Coronavirus infection and/or quarantine. It would be our goal to utilize this information in order to help us better prepare for a continuity of learning for our students.
If you choose to travel to a country with a CDC Level-3 Health Notice, the WGSD will require you to isolate your child(ren) for 14 days until you are cleared by a medical professional before returning to school.
Just as in previous springs, there are many student activities planned through the end of the school year. With regard to district-related student travel and field trips, we have established the following guidelines that will be in place through the end of the school year. All activities are subject to change on a moment’s notice because of developing events and/or guidance from authorities.
Local and in-state travel is allowed at this time, based on consideration of the venue/crowd density, and/or the ability to reschedule
Out of state travel with ground-based transportation will be determined on a case-by-case basis, with central office approval
Out of state/country travel with air, rail, or water transportation will not be permitted
The school district, too, has many opportunities planned for the remainder of the semester for students to showcase their learning and talents to their families, friends and the community, including graduation for the class of 2020. At this point in time, we are continuing to plan and prepare for all of these events. However, please know that these events may also need to be modified, delayed, or postponed on a moment’s noticed, based on the latest developments with the outbreak. The district will explore ways to provide alternative methods to conduct public gatherings in the event that conditions dictate we do so.
Should the situation change, we will inform you immediately. We appreciate all of your efforts to help keep your children and our schools healthy. If you have questions or concerns, please let us know.
The district has put together a website with information about preparedness and the virus, which you can see here https://www.webster.k12.mo.us/Page/23092