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Important Update from Dr. Marty

June 18, 2020

Dear Parkway Staff,

The following update from Dr. Marty will be shared with all Parkway parents later today. In addition, we have included important updates for all staff below. Thank you and we hope you are enjoying a wonderful summer.

Update for 12-Month Employees
Parkway will continue its current summer operations plan and work schedules for 12-month employees until further notice. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your supervisor.

Update for Teachers
Teachers will receive an important update next week. We will ask you to share your personal interest in teaching virtually or in-person next year. Please look for an email from us with more information and plan to complete a survey so we can make plans based on your individual preferences.

Return to School Plans
Using the feedback from parents and staff, a steering committee has been working on plans and options to ensure a safe and caring learning environment for all. The feedback you provided through surveys is leading and informing this work.

Click here for an initial summary of our reentry plan. On July 20, we will share a comprehensive plan for reopening school in August.

Please see the community update for Parkway parents below.
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Dear Parkway Parents and Staff,

Thank you for your overwhelming response to our parent and staff surveys as we plan for a return to school in August. We received participation from over 11,000 parents and staff. Your feedback is helping us tremendously as we plan and prepare for the upcoming school year. 

We have some important updates to share with you today. Below, you will find:

  • Results of the return to school survey
  • Plans for returning to school this fall
  • Plans to begin high school athletics summer workouts and open facilities on July 1
  • Option for virtual learning for the 2020-21 school year

In addition to the updates below, please watch a video update from Dr. Marty here.

What we Heard
Here is a summary of what we heard from the parent and staff surveys. All of the survey results can be found here.

  • Parents differ on preferences for learning next year if social distancing is needed. A blend of in-person and online learning is preferred by 44 percent of parents. In-person learning at school is preferred by 42 percent of families. Online learning for the entire school year is preferred by 14 percent of parents.
  • Teachers and staff shared similar, mixed preferences regarding learning this fall. About 50 percent prefer a blended approach, 35 percent prefer in-person learning and online learning was preferred by 12 percent of teachers and staff.
  • About 14 percent of parents, consistently across grade levels, would choose an option to learn online for the entire school year. Additionally, another 30 percent may consider online learning. About 700 Parkway teachers shared they would prefer or consider teaching online only next year.
  • Parents and staff shared the two most important actions that would make them feel more comfortable at school are increased cleaning and increased health hygiene routines (hand-washing, etc.)
  • Parents and staff were split on preferences for students and staff wearing masks at school. Depending on the group, 37-47 percent would feel more comfortable with students and staff wearing masks at school.

We recognize that your preferences may change over time so there will be additional opportunities for parents and staff to indicate preferences this summer.

Return to School Plans
On July 20, we will share a comprehensive plan for reopening school in August. 

Using the feedback from parents and staff, a steering committee has been working on plans and options to ensure a safe and caring learning environment for all. The feedback you provided through surveys is leading and informing our work.

Our plans are designed to be flexible so we can quickly adjust as needed. Again, more information and detailed plans for August will be announced on July 20 when we have the most updated information available. We are planning for multiple options, but want the best information to make decisions about in-person learning for the start of the school year. 

Virtual Learning Option
Based on significant interest from parents and staff, Parkway will offer an option for families to choose an online learning experience for the 2020-21 school year. Virtual, distance learning will be taught by qualified Parkway teachers. Online, distance learning will be an improved learning experience from emergency online learning in the spring. This will include more live instruction from teachers for students who choose this option for the school year. In July, you will have the opportunity to choose if you prefer to enroll your child(ren) in virtual learning for the fall. Look for more information and details then, including what school will also look like for families who choose in-person learning.

High School Athletics and Activities Begin July 1

  • Voluntary summer workouts for high school student-athletes will begin starting July 1. Your high school athletics department and coaches will share more information.
  • Athletic summer workouts will follow the guidelines and recommendations for youth sports outlined by the St. Louis County Health Department and the St. Louis Sports Medicine Task Force in partnership with Mercy, BJC HealthCare/Washington University Physicians and SSM Health/SLU Care.

Most Outdoor Facilities Open July 1

  • Outdoor spaces including tracks, fields and tennis courts will be open for community use starting July 1. Please be aware we will be using many outdoor spaces for student-athletes to participate in summer workouts with social distancing. 
  • Parkway playgrounds with high-touch surfaces will remain closed through the summer. A few playgrounds will be accessible for Parkway-Rockwood Community Education programs and limited to students in those programs, consistent with St. Louis County Health guidelines.

Community Rentals

  • Indoor use of schools and buildings will be available to Parkway-sponsored programs and activities only, on a limited basis, through the end of the summer. Indoor facility rentals by non-Parkway sponsored community groups will be unavailable during this time so we can accommodate student activities and allow space for social distancing.
  • Rental can be requested for outdoor spaces, including Parkway fields and tennis courts. Middle and high school fields will be reserved for use by student-athletes for workouts and therefore, not available for rental. For more information, click here.

As we continue to plan for next year, we will focus on maximizing learning for our students while also maximizing the health of our community.

Thank you for your ongoing support and willingness to participate in these community conversations on behalf of our students and staff.

Dr. Marty