Returning to Work
July 20, 2020
Dear Parkway Staff and Families,
I've made a lot of difficult decisions during my 40 years in public education, but none have been as challenging as the ones we have made this year. Nevertheless, we persevere because we know our schools and learning are essential in the lives of our children.
As educators and parents, we all want our children to return to school. More importantly, we are craving a return to normal. At the same time, we face a current reality that requires us to prioritize health and safety.
As a parent of four, grandparent of nine and a life-long educator, I share all of your concerns. I think of my own grandchildren who have unique needs and the services, programs and activities that are important to them at school. I think of our parents who are balancing work schedules and child care. I often think of our teachers who balance commitments to our students while also supporting their own families. I think of the health concerns of many who also want to be in school to work and learn. In Parkway, we must weigh the unique needs of 17,000 students and 3,000 staff members and provide support, options and flexibility to care for everyone.
After several months of study and planning by our excellent team of educators and health professionals, Parkway will offer two options for teaching and learning this school year which are outlined below. I have also shared a video update for you here.
Option 1 contains our In-Person Learning (Plans A and B) with learning at school either five or two days per week, depending on the plan being implemented and, of course, the level of illness in the community. It also contains Plan C that is completely virtual and would be implemented only if it becomes necessary to close our schools. If this plan is implemented, students will receive instruction online at home until the level of community illness improves. At this time, we plan to open school on August 24 using Learning Plan B, which includes a blended schedule of learning both at home and at school. We will continue to closely monitor the health of our region and must acknowledge that this plan may need to change before school starts given the health of our community and any new local or state guidelines. We will keep you updated.
Option 2 is a full-time online experience through our new Parkway Virtual Campus. Students who choose this option will attend school 100 percent online during the first semester.
Later today, families will receive an email asking to choose learning options. Teachers will also receive an email asking you to choose whether you prefer to teach in-person or virtual. Please provide this information no later than Sunday, July 26. We recognize this is a short time to make these decisions. This will allow us to develop staffing and student schedules and share more information with you as soon as possible so you can make plans.
Teachers and staff, we have answered many of your questions related to health, safety and learning here. We have answered parent questions here. We will continue to provide updates and answer your questions. You can also refer to the learning schedules and plans we shared last week. Both options were designed to offer choices for families that maximize learning for students and follow local, state and CDC guidelines.
In the coming weeks, please reach out to us or your principal with questions. Thank you for your ongoing support and patience.
Dr. Keith Marty
Superintendent of Parkway Schools
May 15, 2020
Dear Parkway Staff,
As you may know, the stay at home order has been lifted for St. Louis County and new health guidelines are in place starting May 18. Therefore, we want to share our plans for 12-month employees returning to offices and buildings. We have developed a phased-in approach to continue to protect your health while resuming operations of the district.
The first phase of our return to work plan will begin May 26 and remain in effect through June 30.
- Starting May 26, some 12-month employees will begin returning to work.
- In order to protect the safety and health of all employees, some employees will continue to work from home, report to work occasionally or report to work full time, depending on their job classification. Your supervisor will provide details on expectations.
- Administrative offices and schools will remain closed to the public through June 30.
- All district and school events remain canceled through June 30.
As we return to our buildings and offices, we will use the following health precautions consistent with new St. Louis County health guidelines.
- All employees will wear a cloth face covering when working close to others. You may bring your own cloth face covering to work or one will be provided to you. If your job requires close contact with potentially infectious people or surfaces (e.g. custodians and health services staff) adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided to you for use as needed. Please see more information on how we can protect ourselves and others when using face coverings.
- We should each do a daily self-evaluation health check before reporting to work. This self-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.
- Please keep at least six feet between yourself and others and avoid in-person meetings through June 30. Limit working near others and wear a face covering when using common spaces. When you are working alone or in distant spaces, you do not need to wear a face covering.
- Clean your hands and disinfect frequently touched items. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- For more information on return to work plans and additional resources for employees, please follow our employee update webpage here.
For more information on these plans, including time entry, vacation/sick/comp time, benefits and more, please follow our resources and information page here: https://www.parkwayschools.net/Page/10266
We know many are ready to return to work and resume normal schedules, but you also may be concerned about your health and safety. Please know that we are putting many health precautions in place to protect you. If you have a specific concern or need, please reach out to your supervisor or the Human Resources department.
We are currently developing plans for July and August, as well as a Re-Entry Plan for all staff and students this fall. As these plans are finalized, we will share all of this information with you along the way.
Thank you again for all of your hard work, flexibility and patience over the past few months. Most importantly, thank you for your dedication to our students. I am so proud of all of you and how Parkway has stepped up during this time as we remain focused on our students and committed to our mission.
I hope to see you more soon,