Return to School Second Quarter Frequently Asked Questions
Elementary and Middle School Return to In-Person FAQ
Why are we using a transition period for a few weeks?
Our students have not been in school since March and we want to ensure a safe and successful return. So we have designed a short transition period of a few weeks for K-8 students. The benefits of using a transition time are:
- We know younger students will need time to adjust, including new routines, sleep and schedules.
- This provides opportunities for students to learn and practice new health precautions at school like wearing a mask all day.
- The transition time allows us to continue to monitor health conditions and any changes in health trends before a full-time return to school.
What days will my child attend school during the transition?
During the transition weeks, students will attend school part-time in two groups. You can see the transition calendar here. We will share the dates your child(ren) will attend during the transition by October 13. Families will be kept together with the same days of attendance for grades K-8.
Why are we not using a part-time blended schedule for a longer period?
Our teachers have done a fantastic job providing direct instruction and support to students each day online. Students would have less time with teachers in a blended schedule than what they are receiving now during distance learning, which is a concern. We also know independent learning days at home will be challenging for students, particularly our youngest learners and working families.
What does learning look like when they are not at school?
On days students are not at school, their teachers will be working with the other group of students at school. Students will be provided assignments and other work to complete independently at home. They will be required to complete any assigned work but will not have a defined schedule to follow on those days.
Is it possible my child’s teacher(s) will change for the second quarter?
As we previously shared, we need to re-assign teachers for the second quarter based on your choices for in-person or virtual learning which means some students will have new teachers. We are working to avoid these changes as much as possible. Our elementary schools are providing opportunities right now for students to learn from and get to know all teachers in their grade level.
Your school will provide more information on teacher assignments. Elementary parents will be notified of their teacher assignment on October 19 and middle school parents will be notified on October 21. When students return to school for their first in-person day, they will be assigned to the teacher(s) they will have for the remainder of the year.
Can I change my child's learning plan?
As we've shared, we aim to provide consistency for students throughout the remainder of the year. This means allowing elementary and middle school students to stay with the teacher(s) they are assigned when we return and avoid further teacher changes for students throughout the year. Additional changes can impact students' teachers and disrupt an already challenging year. We will accommodate requests to the best of our ability, and we will only be able to do so if such a change does not impact other students' teachers, alter staffing needs, or cause a class to exceed class size limits.
What health and safety precautions should I expect?
It’s important to know school will look different this year with new health and safety procedures for students and staff.
- All students and staff will complete a daily health screening before coming to school. If your child has any symptoms, including COVID-19, flu or cold symptoms, you should stay home and call your school.
- Students and staff will wear masks all day at school. We will practice social distancing, stay in small groups and avoid mixing groups whenever possible. Furniture, seating and classrooms will be rearranged to allow for maximum social distancing.
- It’s important to know when we return to school five days a week with all students attending every day, there will be times when social distancing is not feasible throughout the entire school day.
- Learn more about health and safety precautions at school.
Will my child use their Chromebook both at school and at home?
Every Parkway student has been provided a Chromebook to support learning at home and at school.
- Students in K-2 will have 1:1 Chromebooks in the classroom. The devices will be sent home with these students in the event of alternate schedules or virtual learning.
- Students in grades 3-12 will have 1:1 Chromebooks they can take to and from school each day.
- Students enrolled in Parkway Virtual Campus have received a Chromebook for use at home.
If parents need access to reliable internet, how will this be supported?
Parents still in need of reliable internet access can contact a building administrator or counselor. Requests will be filled as quickly as possible based on the availability of resources.
What if I need technology support?
Parkway’s Technology Help Desk will be available to support students, parents and teachers during normal school hours, Monday-Friday. The Help Desk team can be reached at email@example.com or (314) 415-8181. Parents and students can also use the self-help topics and information here for support.
What are the plans for bus transportation?
In order to effectively plan for bus routes that allow for maximum social distancing, families need to request bus service this year. Due to social distancing guidelines, it is highly recommended families provide their own transportation to school. If a child currently has transportation written into their IEP plan, the IEP team will work with families to make the most appropriate decision for your student.
How will school arrival and dismissal look with more families driving to school?
School arrival and departure times will remain the same. Arrival and dismissal can provide a challenge with large numbers of students congregating, making it difficult to physically distance. Therefore, schools will communicate a plan that allows for multiple entrances that are safe for students to use during arrival and dismissal. Signs will be placed at all entrances and exits reminding students to physically distance themselves from their peers. Students will be asked to walk directly to their homeroom or first class when they arrive each morning. Congregating in communal spaces will not be allowed.
What health precautions will be taken to minimize the risk for my children on the bus?
- Bus drivers, aides and students will wear face masks on school buses
- Seats will be assigned to students with the goal of one student per seat, when possible, and no more than two students per seat
- Buses will be cleaned and disinfected at regular intervals; high-touch surfaces on the bus such as handrails and seats will be disinfected after every route
- To limit student contact, students will enter the bus and fill seats from back to front; at school or stops, students will exit the bus from the front to back; students in the same family will sit together
- Drivers and aides will remind students of safe riding practices; signage also will be on the bus to remind students about safe practices
- Windows will be open, when possible, to increase the circulation of open air.
Director of Transportation Will Rosa details some of the changes here.
What can I do to help minimize the risk for my children on the bus?
Every student should wash their hands before getting to the bus stop in the morning and afternoon. Hand sanitizer will also be available on school buses. Please ensure your child is wearing a face mask.
How will Parkway Transportation staff establish protocols to disinfect?
All personnel will be trained in sanitizing and disinfecting protocols. Facilities and buses will be disinfected multiple times throughout the day.
Will students be able to ride home on buses with their friends?
No. Students can ride to and from school only on their assigned routes. This practice will limit exposure and allow us to track who is on the bus each day/route.
Recess and Outdoor Learning
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 the playgrounds be open? Will all students go to recess at different times?
Yes, our playgrounds will be open for students to use during recess. We will be encouraging opportunities for students to go outside. It will be necessary to stagger groups of students on the playground in order to maintain social distancing whenever possible. Frequently touched surfaces on playground equipment will be disinfected by our custodians on a regular schedule and students will be instructed to wash their hands after recess.
Will students need to wear masks while outside?
When social distancing is possible, students will not be required to wear a mask outdoors. When students are interacting closely with others, face coverings will be required.
Will students have more outdoor activities and learning?
Teachers are encouraged to use frequent outdoor activities and learning to the degree possible.
Visitors, Volunteers and Community Access to Facilities
Will Parkway allow visitors and volunteers at school this year?
Nonessential visitors and volunteers will have restricted access to our buildings this year. Parkway 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 complete a health screening questionnaire.
Visitors and volunteers will be restricted from entering school during the school day without prior approval.
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.
Will outside groups be able to rent/use Parkway Schools, buildings and facilities?
- Indoor use of schools and buildings will be available on a limited basis to Parkway-sponsored programs and activities. Indoor facility rentals by non-Parkway sponsored community groups will be unavailable so we can accommodate student activities, allow space for social distancing and have time for proper cleaning.
- Parkway-sponsored groups that use Parkway schools, buildings or facilities must follow approved health and safety guidelines
- Rental can be requested for outdoor spaces, including Parkway fields and tennis courts; middle school and high school fields will be reserved for student-athletes and will not be available for rental; for more information, click here
Will community members have access to Parkway outdoor spaces?
Outdoor spaces, including tracks, fields and tennis courts, will be open for community use. Please be aware we may need to use many outdoor spaces for student activities. Parkway playgrounds with high-touch surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized daily, but remain closed for community use at this time.
Will schools be closed on election day this year?
Yes. Parkway Schools will be closed on November 3. Schools that are used as polling places will be cleaned and sanitized before school starts the next day.
Before and after school activities
Will Adventure Club be open?
Yes Adventure Club will be open when Parkway is open on a full or part-time schedule. Adventure Club will follow the same health protocols to promote safe practices. Parkway-Rockwood Community Education which provides the Adventure Club program will communicate additional information which we will share with families.
What is the status of fall sports?
We believe youth sports are critical for the physical and mental health of our students. St. Louis County current recommendations include competition for low, moderate and high contact sports.
The safety of our student-athletes remains our top priority. Parkway will continue to follow health and safety protocols for youth sports which include daily health screenings, mask-wearing and social distancing. We are working closely with athletic directors from other teams and the facilities we are using for games to ensure our health precautions are consistent for students and their interactions are safe including where they play and which teams they play. This includes limitations on spectators for both teams, mask-wearing by students and fans, no use of locker rooms and separate entrances for teams and fans.
Learn more about fans and health precautions.