St. Louis area schools changing policies due to COVID | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools



As COVID-19 cases rise, schools in the St. Louis area and Metro East are switching to virtual learning or requiring masks again.

ST. LOUIS — As students return from winter break, several school districts in the St. Louis area are changing their COVID-19 policies due to a rise in cases across the community.

On Monday, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced the number of cases and the positivity rate in the county was “the worst it’s ever been in the pandemic.”

The county health department reported a seven-day rolling average of 1,696 new cases per day and 23.2% positivity rate.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force also reported a record number of patients with COVID-19 and child patients in hospitals. The number of coronavirus patients in task force hospitals climbed from 735 on Thursday to 964 on Monday.

As COVID-19 cases surge, schools in the St. Louis area and Metro East have temporarily modified some of their policies.

Here is a full list of schools across the area making changes:

Belleville

Students in the Belleville Township High School District 201 will move to remote learning Tuesday, Jan. 4 through Friday, Jan. 7. The plan will be re-evaluated over the weekend.

School district officials said they had to make the change because of too much staffing and teacher absences.

Brooklyn

Preschool through 12th grade students in the Brooklyn Unit School District 188 started class on Monday, Jan. 3 via remote learning and will do so for two weeks.

East St. Louis

Students in the East St. Louis School District will begin remote learning Tuesday, Jan. 4. The district said it hopes to have students return to in-person learning after the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

“I received a call from the East Side Health District indicating that the numbers has skyrocketed in our serving zip codes,” Superintendent Arthur Culver said. “They strongly suggested that we consider actually go on remote for the whole month of January. We decided to take a look at things in two weeks to see whether or not the numbers improve.”

Edwardsville

Sixth through 12th graders in the Edwardsville School District went back to online learning this week. School officials said they are going to take this week to monitor things.

Edwardsville said the surge in COVID-19 cases has left them with not enough teachers to serve their students.

“We have a lot of staff that is out right now with COVID or in quarantine and we will not be able to provide adequate services for students,” said Mary Ann Mitchell, communications coordinator for Edwardsville School District.

Kindergarten through fifth grade students, FLS and CASTLE students will still attend classes in-person.

Granite City

Granite City School District #9 hasn’t announced changes to in-person learning, but it is temporarily adjusting its policy for athletic events.

Spectators, including parents, are not allowed to attend home games at Granite City High School and Coolidge Junior High School. The school said livestreams will be available on the NFHS Network or Facebook.

Kirkwood

Last week, the Kirkwood School District announced it would require masks at all schools in the district when students return to classes after winter break.

The district said rising cases and hospitalizations were part of the decision to go back to requiring masks. 

Previously, the school board voted to adopt a mask recommended environment.

Lindbergh

When students and staff in the Lindbergh School District return for the second semester on Wednesday, Jan. 5, they will be required to wear masks.

The district said it will extend universal masking until at least Wednesday, Jan. 19. School officials will review building data on Jan. 19 to determine if individual K-12 buildings can move to a mask-optional plan.

Vianney

St. John Vianney High School delayed the start of its spring semester and plans to have students learn virtually during the first week.

Sapna Jos, director of communications for the school, told 5 On Your Side the start of classes has been delayed until Jan. 5 and classes will be virtual from Jan. 5-7. 

Jos said the school will evaluate at the end of the week whether students should return to in-person learning on Monday, Jan. 10.

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