HCR's Rosie Reader

Special Edition, Health and Safety of our Students

Hello Amazing Highcroft Community!

I hope you are all safe and well. We certainly continue to enjoy your children.

We have seen an increase in community spread of COVID - 19. We all have so many emotions, fears, and questions as we send our children to school. I am hoping to assuage any fears you have and provide information for your consideration.

I also want to draw some attention to things we've identified as changes we can make to improve safety and health as we are always looking to do better.

Layers of Protection

Per CDC recommendations, Parkway School District uses layers of protection to keep students and faculty safe. These safety measures include requiring face masks, social distancing to the best of our ability, restricting non-essential visitors in the building and on campus, encouraging screening and testing of students and faculty, encouraging vaccinations of all eligible students and staff, and setting routines and time aside to maintain clean and healthy habits.

What we're doing to improve health and safety!

We are always looking for ways to improve. We have looked again at our seating in the Cafe and will be moving more tables to nearby areas to spread kids out more. As well, classes will be eating snacks outside.

Upgraded HVAC system to keep kids safe

Commercial HVAC units, unlike residential units, are designed to allow for outside air to be brought into the system and filtered. Due to COVID, Parkway has increased the amount of outside air allowance to the maximum setting. In Parkway's case, we use a high-quality, high-density MERV 8 filter. Our filtration system is specifically designed to remove outdoor allergens that might aggravate someone's allergies. We do not open outside windows, as it introduces allergens that may bother someone's allergies by not allowing them to be filtered out by the HVAC system. It also increases the humidity in the room, potentially causing several issues, including potential mold problems and overworking the HVAC system to remove the humidity, which is already maxed out by the amount of outside air we are already specifically pulling into the building. Parkway's Facilities Department (specifically our HVAC group) has worked very hard to ensure that students and staff are getting the optimal air quality during these unprecedented times.

Standard Cleaning Procedures

Parkway follows strict clean procedures to keep kids safe and healthy. Please review the linked document.

What happens if my child is a close contact with a positive case at school.

We will collaborate with the St Louis County of Department of Public Health and use current guidance to determine isolation or quarantines needed as a result of the contact tracing investigation.

Properly wearing a mask, regardless of vaccination status, will decrease quarantine and avoid disruptions in learning.

How will families be notified of a postive COVID-19 case?

Parents will be notified if they or their child are determined to be a close contact with a positive case. You can also visit the Community Health Dashboard to see the new numbers of cases and quarantines for our schools. This district-wide dashboard is updated each day to reflect new information after contract tracing is complete.

Quarantine and Isolation

There are different types of quarantine which are determined by a cohort of medical professionals including the school nurse, Cathy Hubert, the Director of Health Services, Diane Brown, and the Health Department. These medical professionals review contact tracing completed by the administration, all appropriate classroom instructors, all appropriate specialists, parents, and lunch aids.

  • Modified -The St Louis County Health Department has added an option for K-12 students attending school to have a modified quarantine in some cases. A modified quarantine applies to students who attend K-12 schools and are exposed to COVID-19 in the classroom setting. Modified quarantine is allowed in schools because mitigation practices like masking and other health practices are in place.
  • Modified Quarantine Looks Like: Students may come to school as long as they don't have symptoms, wear a mask, maintain six feet of social distance for lunch and wear their masks during recess. Students may not attend after-school activities including Adventure Club.
  • Standard Quarantine - student was either exposed at home or was in three to six feet depending on the situation. Also included are unvaccinated adults who were exposed.
  • Isolation - students positive for COVID - 19

What determines if a quarantine is modified or standard?

St Louis County Health requirements for quarantine are used when exposure occurs in the classroom and masking and health mitigation practices like social distancing are in place. St Louis County Health determines, based on the requirements, if the quarantine is modified or standard.

The determination of which cases qualify for a modified versus standard quarantine takes into account the following:

  • Masking practices of the positive individual and the close contact
  • Social distancing of three feet or greater
  • Whether the positive case has respiratory factors at the time of exposure
  • Length of time of exposure
  • Number of secondary cases from the contact

Instructional Delivery Models

If a student needs to quarantine, s/he will access their learning through Schoology. This includes core academics and special areas.

If an entire class needs to quarantine, but the teacher does not, students will be instructed using a combination of Schoology and live zoom instruction including core academics and special areas.

How can you help?

  • Keep your child at home if they experience any symptoms of COVID-19 or if they have had recent exposure, or if you are awaiting test results.
  • If your child tests positive, notify Nurse Hubert immediately.
  • Help your child understand the importance of following health and safety protocols
  • Activities of students and families in the community can significantly impact student health and the health of classmates.
  • Send your child with extra masks.