Dear Pattonville families and staff,
In my last communication to you on Jan. 19, I indicated we would update you in February on our learning structure for the future. As we have monitored cases of COVID-19 in our community and in our schools, we have determined it is appropriate to move to phase 1 of in-person learning for our younger students. Our data mirrors Centers for Disease Control (CDC) studies in Missouri and the U.S. that show in-school transmission of COVID-19 is rare. Because of the safety procedures used in schools, most COVID-19 cases result from an exposure in gatherings outside the school environment. With this in mind, we are planning the following upcoming changes:
- Early childhood - Starting Feb. 22, classes will resume normal operations. More information will be forthcoming from the Pattonville Early Childhood Center for impacted families.
- Elementary and Remington students - Starting Feb. 22, all K-5 students in the district and K-8 students at Remington who selected in-person learning for the second semester will begin attending classes five days a week.
- Middle school students - Starting March 1, all 6-8 students who selected in-person learning will begin attending class five days a week.
- High school students - There is no change to the in-person learning model at this time.
- Villemade students - There is no change to the virtual learning model at this time.
Since December, Pattonville has been participating in a CDC program studying COVID-19 transmission and mitigation strategies in schools. Pattonville partnered with the CDC on the project to evaluate the district’s strategies for keeping students and staff safe while attending school during the COVID-19 pandemic. One thing we’ve learned from this study and others is that proper mask wearing by students and staff is the number one strategy preventing the spread of COVID-19. (Find out more about the CDC project here or watch a video featuring infectious disease expert Dr. Jason Newland). Mask wearing will continue to be an important requirement as we bring more students back. Other health and safety precautions will also be in place, including physical distancing to the extent possible, keeping students in pods or cohorts whenever we can and providing personal protective equipment and physical barriers in classrooms and offices.
Our students, staff and families have done an excellent job working through the phases of learning this year, and we’ve been fortunate to be able to maintain a sense of consistency for our students and families since last fall. We are grateful for the way our school community has come together to support our students through this challenging year, and we look forward to welcoming students back for more days in the weeks ahead.
Tim Pecoraro, Ed.D.