ST. LOUIS COUNTY — The Parkway School District board voted Monday to allow students to return to in-person learning next month.
All students who have chosen in-person learning can begin attending classes on Jan. 19, the start of the second semester, district Superintendent Keith Marty said in a letter.
The schedule will include a handful of virtual or “distance learning days” on some Mondays for K-12 students, which will allow “for detailed cleaning of our schools and to complete contact tracing from the weekend,” Marty’s letter said.
Preschool classes will be open every day.
All students and staff will have to complete a daily health screening and wear masks all day. Students will stay in small groups and practice social distancing, and hand washing and cleaning will be emphasized, the district said.
Families are encouraged to provide their own transportation to school.
Marty said the decision was based on data from Parkway and other districts showing that in-person learning has not significantly contributed to the spread of COVID-19 due to “strong safety measures” being used.
The district said the “virtual campus” is full and there’s now a waiting list.
Parkway, like many districts, started the school year online then allowed students to return to classes beginning in October with a mix of in-person and virtual learning.
Last month, in response to rising coronavirus cases, the school board voted to have middle and high school students return to distance learning on Nov. 30.
School resumes Jan. 5 after the winter break with two days of virtual learning.
The district’s COVID-19 dashboard says there have been 29 positive cases since October and 1,032 students have been quarantined.
As of Nov. 4, there had been at least one positive COVID-19 case in 22 of the 23 elementary and middle schools, the district said.