Frequently Asked Questions
Updated December 2020
Why are there distance learning days for second semester?
Parkway has included some distance learning days in the schedule for second semester. They are not on the schedule every week to ensure students have more time in-person at school. For example, there are five distance learning days scheduled for the third quarter.
Distance learning days will be scheduled for Mondays. Click here to see the second semester calendar that outlines weeks with a distance learning day.
Having some distance learning days in our schedule provides the following opportunities:
- These days will be used as deep cleaning days for our classrooms and schools. We are committed to additional cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing our classrooms and schools frequently throughout the school day and week. This day allows time for our custodial staff to do a deeper clean of the entire building.
- Distance learning days allow time for contact tracing from the weekend. We need to ensure any illness we are notified about over the weekend is investigated and close contacts are notified before students and staff come back to school. For example, a common occurrence is an individual gets a positive test back over the weekend and we then need to investigate their close contacts at school or work from the previous week before those close contacts return to school or work. Contact tracing investigations and any subsequent quarantines are directed by the St. Louis County Health Department.
- Based on feedback from high school students and teachers, at the high school level, distance learning days allow a later start time in the morning on Mondays.
- This provides a consistent schedule for all families grades K-12.
Can I change my child's learning plan?
As we've shared, our goal is to provide consistency for students throughout the remainder of the year. This means allowing elementary and middle school students to stay with their current teacher(s). Additional changes for one student can negatively impact many other students by changing their current teacher. For example, if we move some students from in-person to virtual, it could change the teacher for many other students who want to remain on an in-person schedule.
At this time, Parkway Virtual Campus is full and there is a wait list. If you are concerned about your current learning preference, please contact your school principal.
What health and safety precautions should I expect?
The key to the success of these efforts is the layering of multiple health and safety strategies. It is not just one activity that will make the biggest impact, but rather the combination of multiple strategies simultaneously. We have and will continue to layer our infection control efforts.
We will continue to provide safe learning environments for students and staff by using many best practices which include:
- 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 whenever possible, stay in small groups and avoid mixing groups whenever possible.
- It’s important to know when we return to school with all students attending every day, there will be times when social distancing is not feasible throughout the entire school day. We will provide physical barriers such as plexiglass for locations where needed and limit the length of close contact.
- Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette will continue to be critical and we will have time built into the school day to address handwashing. In those locations where soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer will be provided for students and staff.
- We will continue to institute more rigorous cleaning and disinfection protocols.
- We will continue limiting outside visitors.
Learn more about health and safety precautions at school.
What does learning look like if my child is quarantined at home?
If a child is feeling well and quarantined at home, teachers will work with you to ensure your student can stay caught up, access learning and complete assignments at home. Teachers will continue to maintain Schoology pages with assignments and learning materials so we can support students who are quarantined.
Elementary: The student can remain connected to the class through live participation in morning meetings/community circles via Zoom. The classroom teacher will provide a menu of learning activities in Schoology. Students will have access to videos of mini-lessons for Reading, Writing and Math and will have daily asynchronous activities for science, social studies, and phonics (K-2).
Middle and High School: The student can continue to participate in learning and instruction by joining their classes live via Zoom.
If a child is ill for an extended period, the school principal and teacher(s) will work with parents to determine how their child can make up work when they are feeling well.
Learn more about COVID-19 notification and quarantine procedures.
Is it possible a school could close temporarily due to illness or staffing shortages?
Yes, it is possible that we may need to close a school for a short period of time.
A school closure could be triggered by:
- A significant volume of staff quarantines or illness without adequate substitute coverage
- A closure for deep cleaning or as directed by the St. Louis County Health Department
- Significant illness in a school community
We have seen individual school closures happen at a few public and private schools across the region and it is primarily due to a large number of teachers and staff in quarantine at the same time. It is difficult to predict, but the most likely scenario that would lead to a school closure is we reach a level of staff shortage due to quarantines or illness that require us to close a school for a short period until enough staff can return and we can effectively teach, support and supervise our students at school.
Will Parkway purchase and provide adequate supplies to support health and safety precautions?
Yes. Parkway has ordered and will regularly replenish sanitation equipment for protection against COVID-19. These supplies include (but are not limited to) cloth face masks for staff, disposable face masks, N95 and KN95 masks for nurses, face shields, disposable gowns, disinfectant and cleaning supplies for classrooms, hand sanitizer, infrared thermometers, disposable gloves, and signage to communicate safety procedures and precautions.
How will you ensure proper cleaning and disinfecting of schools and classrooms?
Schools will follow safety and disinfection guidelines developed by the CDC and the St. Louis County Department of Public Health for buses, classrooms, workspaces, outdoor spaces and playgrounds. 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 to allow for more custodial support during the day to clean and disinfect, while also supporting deeper cleaning at night.
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-12 will have 1:1 Chromebooks in the classroom and for use at home. Teachers and principals will communicate when devices and items need to be sent home with students for distance learning or in the event of alternate schedules.
- Students enrolled in Parkway Virtual Campus have received a Chromebook for use at home.
What if I need technology or reliable internet 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 when all students return full time?
In order to effectively plan for bus routes that allow for maximum social distancing, families need to request bus service. Due to social distancing guidelines, it is highly recommended families provide their own transportation to school.
If you have not requested bus transportation previously this year and would like your child to ride the bus, you can contact the Transportation Department 314-415-8415 or email email@example.com. Please note there may be a delay of a few days following your request before a bus will be available, since your request may alter our routes and stop times. If your request to add bus transportation is received by Wednesday, we will likely be able to start transportation the following week.
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 bus safety and procedures in this video 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.
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.
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 with families.
Visitors, Volunteers and Community Access to Facilities
Will Parkway allow visitors and volunteers at school?
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 outside of school hours. During school hours, outdoor spaces will be reserved for student use. Please be aware we may need to use many outdoor spaces for student activities after school as well. Parkway playgrounds with high-touch surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized daily, but remain closed for community use at this time.