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Return to School Update

July 16, 2020
 
Dear Parkway Staff,
 
Later today, we will share an update on our plans with all Parkway families. We wanted to share this information with you first, as well as important updates specific to you. 

We also have a great deal of information to share in the coming days and weeks ahead as we plan for safer learning environments this year. We appreciate your patience as we work to meet the needs of each member of our staff and community.

Thank you,
Dr. Marty

Reopening our Schools and Offices
On August 3, Parkway will begin Phase III to reopen our schools, offices and buildings. This phase of our reopening includes:

  • Employees will be able to return to work starting August 3, as directed by their supervisor.

  • Schools and buildings will be closed to outside visitors through August 16.

  • Some employees, depending on position and department, will continue to work on staggered schedules at the office and/or at home, when possible. Your supervisor will provide additional details.

  • In an abundance of care for yourself and others, we recommend staff avoid unnecessary travel or large group gatherings two weeks prior to the start of school.

Health Screenings and Precautions for Staff
We will use the following health precautions consistent with current St. Louis County health guidelines. The two most important steps and evidence-based strategies you can take to keep yourself and those around you healthy are simple: maintain at least six feet of distance between yourself and others, and wear a face covering.

All Parkway employees will be expected to do the following when working in-person:

  • Wear a cloth face covering or mask. You may bring your own cloth face covering to wear at work or one will be provided to you. 

  • Complete a daily self-evaluation health check before reporting to work. This screening outlines that you should not enter a building if, in the past 14 days, you have experienced: a fever (100 or higher), a sense of having a fever, chills, a cough, sore throat, headache, new loss of smell or taste, or new muscle aches. Do not come to work under any circumstances if you are sick. If you have had contact with someone who is sick, contact your supervisor. More information about health screenings will be shared in the coming weeks. 

  • Please keep at least six feet between yourself and others and avoid in-person meetings when possible. Limit working near others and wear a face covering.

  • Wash your hands frequently and disinfect high-touch items. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Enroll your Children in Parkway
As we recently shared, we are excited to offer all non-resident Parkway full-time regular employees and non-resident Special School District (SSD) full-time regular employees who are assigned to Parkway buildings full-time the opportunity to enroll their children in Parkway Schools beginning in the 2020-21 school year. If you are interested in enrolling your non-resident child in Parkway Schools, you can begin the special assignment process by completing this form.


Parkway Virtual Campus
Next week, we will ask teachers to share your preference to teach in an in-person or virtual schedule. We have more information here on the new Parkway Virtual Campus and expectations for teachers as you consider your preference. We will share a great deal of information next week as well when we announce our plans for August.

 
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Dear Parkway Parents, Students and Staff,

As we get closer to the first day of school on August 24, I know you are ready to learn more about our plans. Today, I want to provide you with an update on the plans we’ve developed to support our students, staff and families as we continue to face uncertain times. 

Our Return to Learn Plan is designed to provide families with learning options - you can learn more about your options here as well as what to expect in the year ahead. Dr. Kevin Beckner, Parkway’s assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, explains more about your learning choices in a video here.

On Monday, July 20, we will announce our plans to start school. Parents then will need to choose to follow Parkway’s in-person learning schedule or choose a full-time online experience in the new Parkway Virtual Campus.

You will receive an email asking you to indicate your choice for each child in your family. It’s essential that parents make these choices in a timely manner so we can plan accordingly for teachers, staff and classroom/course enrollment to support our students. We know these decisions will be challenging, so we’ll do our best to help by providing the details you’ll need to make an informed decision. 

Safety and Health
We will be implementing new procedures for safety and health this year. These procedures will impact how we live, learn and work together and will require us to support each other as a community.

Based on guidance from health officials and feedback from parents and staff, these new procedures have been built around the following priorities:

   
 
  • K-12 students and staff wearing cloth face coverings at school

  • Increased cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces throughout the day

  • Monitoring symptoms and temperatures at home before attending school

  • Maintaining social distancing whenever possible; keeping students in small groups and limiting the mixing of groups; staggered times for movement throughout the building

  • Hand hygiene practices and education, including scheduled time for frequent hand washing and access to hand sanitizer throughout the building

  • Increased circulation of outdoor air when possible

  • Rearranging furniture to allow for social distancing whenever possible  

  • Cleaning buses between routes, wearing masks on buses, opening bus windows to increase air circulation, encouraging driving to school if possible

  • Adjusting large events, activities and gatherings for social distancing

  • Limiting the presence of visitors in Parkway buildings


Have a Question?

Next week, we will launch a new webpage featuring the latest information for parents and staff. This will include answers to questions we anticipate many of you will have. We realize you may have unique questions or concerns that will not be addressed. Rest assured, we will make ourselves available to help you get the information you need. Additionally, our principals will be sharing details specific to your child’s school.

I am grateful to our teachers, leaders, staff and health professionals who provided a great deal of input and collaboration on our plans, as well as our families, who shared an enormous amount of helpful feedback in all of our surveys and along the way.

Depending on the spread of illness in our community, it’s important to know we may need to activate some or all of our plans at different times during the year. Flexibility and patience will be essential for everyone. We will monitor the health of our region closely and make adjustments as necessary.

Yes, this school year will be different for schools across the country. In Parkway, many important things will remain the same - our care for each student, family and staff member; our tradition of academic excellence; and our commitment to meet the needs of Parkway families as best we can each day.

Warm regards,

Dr. Keith Marty
Superintendent
Parkway Schools