North High closure update
3/4/2021 -- The below letter was sent to North High families from the principal, Dr. Tori Cain.
March 4, 2021
North High Students & Families:
I realize this temporary closure is both unexpected and disappointing. Thank you for your patience as we work through this together in order to maintain the health and safety of the North High community. In making a decision of this magnitude, these are some of the factors that were considered:
- Across Parkway’s other 27 schools combined, there are six student cases and seven staff cases at this time. The district’s total enrollment is over 17,000 students and there are over 3,000 staff members.
- Many indicators are showing positive health trends in our schools and across the region including decreasing numbers of cases and transmission and positivity rates. You can see current data for our schools and the region on our Community Health Dashboard here.
Over the past two days, increasing numbers of students at North High reported positive test results for COVID-19 or symptoms of COVID-19. The most current information includes:
- North High has 519 students attending school in-person with a total enrollment of 1,100. About 40 percent of our students are currently enrolled full-time in Virtual Campus and do not attend school in-person.
- Yesterday, 31 percent of in-person students (161 students) were absent from school due to a positive test result, quarantine, symptoms of illness or concerns about health and safety.
- We are aware of 15 known positive cases of COVID-19 among students reported in the past two days. More students are reporting symptoms and/or are awaiting test results.
- About 20 percent of students have been identified as a close contact to date and are under quarantine by the St. Louis County Department of Public Health.
Based upon this information, along with guidance from the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, the decision was made to temporarily suspend in-person classes through the end of Spring Break. North High will resume in-person classes on Monday, March 29. Until then, here is some information which may be helpful:
On Friday, March 5, students will engage in online learning and they will follow the typical, daily start times for classes.
1st block: 7:35 am
2nd block: 9:08 am
3rd block: 10:41 am
4th block: 1:03 pm
A complete calendar of the class start times during the school closure can be found here.
Starting this evening, cleaning crews will begin a methodical deep-cleaning of the building, which will utilize special cleaning procedures and also will be repeated through the weekend. In addition, both ventilation and air circulation have been increased throughout the facility.
While students will remain at home through Spring Break, North’s administrators, support staff, and some teachers will begin returning to campus on Monday, March 8. If you are needing assistance with a Chromebook or other technological issue, please contact Parkway’s HelpDesk at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-415-8181.
Thank you for your understanding as we all make this adjustment together. We look forward to being together again, soon.
Tori Cain, Ed.D.
3/3/2021 -- The below letter from Superintendent Dr. Marty was sent to families at North High School.
March 3, 2021
Dear North High Parents,
The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority. This letter is to inform you that a significant number of individuals at North High School have tested positive for COVID-19. Currently, we have about 20 percent of our students in quarantine due to exposure.
We have conducted an investigation, completed contact tracing and reported to the St. Louis County Department of Public Health.
Due to the high volume of positive cases and required quarantines at North High, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health has indicated we need to temporarily close North High. This closure will begin immediately and continue through March 29.
- All events, after-school activities, athletics and practices are canceled tonight and through the end of the closure.
- Our teachers are ready to transition to full virtual learning during this temporary closure. Teachers will continue instruction online, so there is no disruption in the delivery of our curriculum during this time.
- All North High students will participate in asynchronous learning tomorrow, March 4. From Friday, March 5 through the end of the closure, students will participate in distance learning with teachers online. Students will follow their normal school day schedule starting at 7:35 am on Friday, March 5.
- Students will return to in-person classes on Monday, March 29, 2021 following Spring Break.
If students need to pick up any essential items from school, we can escort them into the building to pick up items from 11 am - 3 pm tomorrow, March 4. Students should enter on the tennis court side of the building.
We know you have questions about this situation and the contributing factors that led to the closure. Due to health privacy laws, we cannot share the details of individual personal health matters. What we can tell you is our investigation indicates these positive cases and exposures were related to large group activities with students outside of school.
If you or your child develops COVID-like symptoms or becomes sick, you should contact a healthcare provider so you or your child can be evaluated and get tested immediately. More information about the symptoms of COVID-19 are available on the CDC website here. Information about COVID-19 testing locations is available from the St. Louis County Department of Public Health and area healthcare providers. Because the virus can still be spread person-to-person, please keep children who are sick or have been exposed to COVID-19 at home.
We are very disappointed to have to share this information with you. We know this is a significant disruption for our students, families and staff and we appreciate your understanding. Our first priority is the health and safety of our students and staff. We will continue to be in touch and provide more information as needed. Please feel free to contact your grade level principal if you have questions or concerns.
Thank you for your support and understanding.
Dr. Keith Marty