FAQ 2021 - 2022
How will you ensure proper cleaning and disinfecting of schools and classrooms?
Schools will follow safety and disinfection guidelines developed by the public health authorities. At school, we will be cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces multiple times throughout the day. High-touch areas throughout the school building include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, toilets, faucets and sinks. We will adjust custodial staffing schedules as needed to allow for more custodial support during the day to clean and disinfect.
What happens if a student or staff member who has attended school is diagnosed with COVID-19?
Parents and staff will be notified immediately if they have had close contact with anyone who is diagnosed with COVID-19. We will follow the guidance of public health authorities in making decisions to close classrooms or schools, or to quarantine specific groups of students or staff.
Will students or staff who have been in contact need to quarantine? Will the school/ classroom close?
We will be in close consultation with the St. Louis County Department of Public Health to make decisions about the need for individuals or groups of people to be quarantined or tested for COVID-19, depending on the exposure.
Our response and subsequent immediate action steps will be dependent on the situation.
How will I be contacted if my child is in close contact with someone with COVID-19?
The school will immediately communicate with close contacts of a positive, or presumed positive, case. when contacted, close contacts will receive information on what actions to take, depending on mask usage and vaccination status.
What is modified quarantine?
Modified quarantine is restricted to exposures occurring in classroom settings because mitigation practices can be assured and the evidence demonstrates that these settings are relatively lower risk. As always, new scientific evidence and/or current local outbreak conditions may change or discontinue the implementation of modified quarantine at any time, as determined by the Health Department.
Modified quarantine allows certain close contacts who have been exposed to COVID-19 while in school to continue essential academic activities, such as in-person classroom learning, during their quarantine period as long as specific criteria surrounding mitigation strategies are met, including the use of a universal masking policy. Outside of essential academic activities, a student must remain quarantined inside his or her home for the full quarantine period. The child may not participate in any school or non-school sports or activities.
The goal of modified quarantine is to allow students to continue their classroom learning without disruption when it is safe to do so. Although sports and extracurricular activities promote physical and socio-emotional growth in children, safely maintaining consistent classroom learning is essential to children’s cognitive and academic development. Because of the possible exposure to another group of students, before/after care is not permitted for students participating in modified quarantine.
I'm interested in getting the vaccine for my child, myself or family member. Where can I access it?
You can view a list of upcoming vaccine events in St. Louis County https://stlcorona.com/ or visit Missouri's Vaccine Navigator https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/find/#navigator/ to see where vaccines are available.
Does WGSD require the vaccine for staff?
The vaccine, currently approved for emergency use authorization, is not required for staff.
Can staff ask students about their vaccination status?
No. WGSD is committed to being considerate of students' privacy related to their individual decisions about getting the vaccine. District health professionals may ask for information about vaccination status during contact tracing, but parents are not required to disclose this information. For purposes of contact tracing, if proof of vaccination is not provided, staff will proceed as if the student is not vaccinated.
When are staff required to wear masks?
Masks are required indoors for all staff regardless of vaccination status. A staff member may remove the mask when alone in an office or separate space. Face coverings are not required outdoors, but are recommended in crowded settings.
What if COVID numbers spike?
We are committed to offering in-person instruction to every student, every day. With students and staff wearing masks, getting vaccinated if eligible and staying home if ill, we are confident we will be able to keep students in the classroom following a typical schedule. The district will continue to monitor COVID data and make decisions that best meet the needs of our students while maintaining a safe and healthy learning environment for all.
Will schools hold assemblies, gatherings and activities?
Yes. We will utilize the protocols and mitigation strategies in place throughout our buildings in order to hold such events, which we feel are important to our students' well-being. Students, staff and visitors will be required to wear masks while indoors and possibly outdoors if the school or district feel it's important because of crowding.
How can I access information about the virus cases in the district?
The COVID-19 dashboard on our website will provide information about positive cases in the district. It will launch with regularly updated information the first week of school.
What support will be in place for my student if he or she tests positive for the virus or is required to quarantine?
The district is currently reviewing options to ensure that students can continue to access educational resources if they are required to quarantine or are sick with COVID-19.
What are my options for virtual learning?
Virtual learning options are available through Missouri state-approved virtual providers (i.e. Launch and Edgenuity). For more information regarding virtual options and enrollment for 21-22, please contact Dr. Kris Denbow, Special Projects Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will breakfast and lunch be conducted?
Schools will identify spaces for students to eat while maintaining physical distancing. Some students may eat in locations that are not in the cafeteria. Additionally, lunch schedules will be staggered to permit more space between students as they eat. Each school will communicate specific details.
Will meals be provided to students if they are using a virtual learning plan at home?
We are working with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to establish meal service logistics for students when they are using a virtual learning plan at home. We will continue to share more information.
Will Adventure Club or other childcare be available? What safety precautions will be used?
WGSD will offer before- and after-school childcare. The safety precautions and strategies we employ during the school day will be in place at Adventure Club.
My child has an underlying health condition. Can my child attend school?
If concern exists, families should consult with a physician prior to having their child attend school.
Will elementary children have recess?
Yes. Outdoor physical activity is very important for students. We will be encouraging students to engage in physical activity that allows for physical distancing while playing outside.
Will students need to wear face coverings while outside?
Wearing face coverings outdoors will be optional. Physical distancing must still be observed.
Will there be any school events in the evening or on weekends?
Large gatherings may be restructured, rescheduled or canceled as needed in order
to maintain physical distancing guidelines and reduce the risk of exposure.
Will WGSD allow visitors and volunteers at school this year?
Nonessential visitors and volunteers will have restricted access to our buildings this year. WGSD will closely follow public health advice and communicate any decisions made that affect visitors and volunteers. Plans may vary during the school year, depending on the level of community spread illness. Visitors will be required to wear a mask and to perform a health screening questionnaire.
Parents/guardians who come to school to drop off or pick up a student will not enter the school building. Each school will communicate the specific procedure for this process.
Can students who have an IEP or 504 enroll in the state virtual program (MOCAP)?
Yes. A student's IEP team will collaborate with families in deciding whether a student would attend the MOCAP program.
Will my student be provided a face covering?
WGSD encourages families to provide cloth face coverings for their students as they are able but will provide face coverings as needed to ensure that students and staff are able to safely be in buildings.
What if I don’t want my student to wear a face covering?
All staff and students will be required to wear face coverings in school buildings. Students who don’t use face coverings will be able to participate in a virtual program.
For additional questions, please call 314-918-4006.