Return to School FAQ for Employees

  • updated 10/16/2020

    Please visit this webpage for the most frequent updates. If you have any questions that are not answered here, please contact your supervisor for information specific to your role, position and work.

    When will I return to my school or building?

    • Operations and Support Staff: Week of October 19
    • In-Person Certified PK-5: October 22
    • In-Person Certified 6-8: October 26
    • In-Person Certified 9-12: We are developing a detailed calendar and timeline for high school which we will share next week.
    • Virtual Certified K-12: Teachers assigned to Virtual Campus will report to their school building two days each week. Your principal will provide more detailed information next week. This will allow us to provide adequate supervision of in-person K-12 students.
    • Check with your supervisor for more details related to your position and return to work timeline.
    • If you still need to document a reason that prohibits you from returning to work, please contact Kathy Bowen kbowen@parkwayschools.net in Human Resources.

    Reminders and Updates: October 28

    If I am teaching in the classroom, am I also expected to plan and prepare the virtual lessons?

    While elementary and middle school are in the blended schedule transitioning back to five days of attendance per week there will not be live instruction for students.  On their at home days, K-8 students will receive activities such as recordings, readings, projects, and/or other work to engage in while at home. Beginning 11/4, students in elementary and middle school who have to quarantine for health reasons will have increased support from teachers while at home including opportunities for live connection to the class.

    We want to ensure high school students have opportunities for instruction with teachers on the days they are learning from home or in the event they are quarantined. This is particularly important given the extension of the blended learning model through the month of November.  Therefore, students will have synchronous learning with teachers and classmates on their days at home. How this will look will vary depending on the high school course and content area.

    If a teacher is required to quarantine:

    • If a teacher is required to quarantine, he/she should work with their building administrator to determine an appropriate plan to support student learning.  This may include providing sub plans as during a regular absence, continuing to teach remotely to students in the classroom, or an alternate plan designed in collaboration between the teacher and administrator.  A substitute or other adequate supervision will be provided for students learning in-person during the teacher’s quarantine period.



    Reminders and Updates: October 16

    Calendars

    • More information on dates of return to schools and buildings for staff and frequently asked questions are outlined above. Any employee who has an approved documented medical accommodation will not report to work onsite.
    • All of the transition calendars for return to school for in-person students are posted here. 

    Daily Health Screening

    • If you are entering a Parkway building to work you must complete a daily health screening. You can use the link here to complete the daily screening questionnaire. The link is also available in the Parkway mobile app and on posters in our schools and buildings. If you are experiencing the symptoms noted in the health screening questionnaire you should not enter the building, stay home, alert your supervisor and seek medical advice.

    Will staff and students be required to wear masks at school and work?
    Yes, in order to maximize the health and safety of all, staff, students and visitors will wear cloth face coverings at school. For more information, click here.

    If an employee has symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive, who do they need to notify?
    Contact your supervisor who will connect you to the person in your building who is a trained contact tracer. This person will confidentially interview the employee and walk them through guidance about quarantine or isolation and what paperwork and follow up will be required for their absence.

    What happens when there is a positive case at school or in my building?
    Staff will be immediately notified if they have been in contact with a positive case. We will also begin sharing the number of cases and quarantines for students and staff on our Community Health Dashboard which will be updated regularly. 

    It is very likely that we will have staff and students who will be required to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19. While quarantines and isolation can be difficult and disruptive to staff, students and families, they are a required health precaution from the CDC and St. Louis County Health Department and a positive strategy to prevent further spread of illness in our schools.

    What process is used to determine who had close contact with a positive case and who needs to quarantine?
    The Parkway Health Services team has previous experience in contact tracing and a dedicated contact tracer on staff this year. In addition, every school has a nurse and at least one administrator who has completed the John Hopkins University training in contact tracing. When we are notified of a positive case within a school or building we will immediately begin the case investigation process. This includes:

      • We will determine when the individual was last at work or school, when their symptoms began, when they were tested for COVID-19 and when they received the positive test result. 
      • Using workspace locations, class schedules and seating charts, we will identify other individuals this person may have come into contact with during their infectious period. Students will have assigned seats in class, during lunch and on the bus in order to successfully identify contacts in the event of a positive case
      • We will create a list of “contacts” (in the same classroom, work area or general vicinity) and “close contacts.” Close contacts who were within six feet of a COVID-19 positive individual for more than 15 minutes are required to quarantine. We are following the recommendations of local health authorities and the decision to require quarantine for a staff member or student will be made in collaboration with the St. Louis County Department of Public Health.
      • Per Missouri regulation, the contact tracing coordinator will notify the St. Louis County Department of Public Health about each case of COVID-19 in our schools.
      • All building staff who have had contact with an individual who has tested positive will be notified immediately. 
      • The school nurse, school administrator or contact tracer in your building will contact the staff and/or students of all close contacts and inform them that they need to quarantine. The current requirement for close contacts is to quarantine for 14 days. Final guidance on the return date for students or staff who are in isolation or quarantine will come from the St. Louis County Department of Public Health.
      • Other contacts who may have been in the same classroom or general vicinity but are not considered a close contact will receive communication from a school nurse or administrator. They will be advised to monitor for possible symptoms but can continue coming to work or school.
      • Staff who are not considered contacts with a positive case will not be notified each time there is a case in the building. You can follow the number of cases and quarantines on our Community Health Dashboard which will be updated regularly.
      • After completing an investigation, staff members will be notified by the administrator or designee if a student they are serving is quarantined or isolated. Due to health privacy laws, we cannot share the names of staff or students who have tested positive.

    If I am required to quarantine (due to exposure at school/work), how will my time off be handled?
    Per the Family First Coronavirus Act (FFRCA), you will receive up to two weeks at your regular pay rate ($511/day max, $5,110 total). Sick time can be applied as well in order to close the gap of any unpaid time. This is a total of two weeks through December 31, 2020. After FFRCA leave has been exhausted you will then utilize sick time. 

    If you are required to quarantine, follow normal procedures for reporting or requesting time off in AESOP (utilize Sick-Self as the code) or Workforce. Your supervisor and Human Resources will make adjustments when the appropriate documentation has been submitted and reviewed.  

    If a student or staff member has symptoms or tests positive, what will be required in order to return to work or school?
    Staff and students with symptoms that are consistent with a possible COVID-19 infection need to be evaluated by their healthcare provider and get clearance to return to school. Their healthcare provider will make the determination if a COVID-19 test is needed. We will also follow the guidance of the health department as to how long a student may be required to remain home.

    For more information, you can also check out our health and safety website for parents.

    Questions regarding leave

    Employees must provide and complete any requested/applicable paperwork regarding paid sick time or family leave to Human Resources.  All questions regarding The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) should be directed to the Human Resources Department.

    The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. An employee is entitled to take leave related to COVID-19 if the employee is unable to work, including unable to telework, because the employee:

    1. is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
    2. has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19; 
    3. is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
    4. is caring for an individual subject to an order described in (1) or self-quarantine as described in (2);
    5. is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed (or child care provider is unavailable) due to COVID-19 related reasons; or
    6. is experiencing any other substantially-similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    Generally, the District will provide employees up to two weeks (80 hours, or a part-time employee’s two-week equivalent) of paid sick leave, paid at:

      • 100% of salary for qualifying reasons #1-3 above, up to $511 daily and $5,110 total.  After two weeks of FFCRA pay, Parkway sick leave will take effect.
      • 2/3 of salary for qualifying reasons #4 and #6 above, up to $200 daily and $2,000 total; and
      • Up to 12 weeks of paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave paid at 2/3 of salary for qualifying reason #5 above, up to $200 daily and $12,000 total.

    Some of the procedures outlined below provide benefits that are greater than those required under the FFCRA.

    What if an employee has a child who attends a school/daycare that closes due to coronavirus?

    Effective April 1 - December 31, 2020, the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act allows for employees to take protected leave for child care for up to 12 weeks. Per the Family First Coronavirus Response Act, an employee will receive up to 12 weeks at two-thirds (2/3) of their regular pay rate ($200/day max, $12,000 total).  Employees are eligible for this leave if they were an employee for at least the last 30 calendar days in advance of needing the leave. The first 10 days of the absence are unpaid.  However, unless already used, Emergency Paid Sick Leave (paid at a rate of ⅔ of the employee’s salary with a cap of $200 per day) can be applied to offset the unpaid time.  Employees own paid time (personal days and then emergency days) can be applied to close the gap for unpaid time.  The remainder of the 12 weeks leave will be paid by the District at a rate of 2/3 of the employee's salary with a cap of $200 per day and a maximum of $10,000 per employee ($12,000 total over a 12 week period). Part-time employees will be paid based on the average number of hours worked during the last 6-month period. Staff can initiate their request by completing the Childcare Leave Form here.

    If an employee is required to quarantine, how will the time off be handled?

    Per FFCRA they will receive up to two weeks at their regular pay rate ($511/day max, $5,110 total).  Sick time can be applied as well in order to close the gap of any unpaid time.  This is a total of two weeks through December 31, 2020.  After their FFRCA leave has been exhausted they will then utilize their sick time.  

    How will an employee's time off be handled if they choose to self-quarantine for personal reasons?

    If an employee chooses to self-quarantine for personal reasons, the employee can choose to take their own accrued personal leave.  After that has been exhausted they can choose to go on unpaid status; at which time, Parkway paid benefits will be suspended. As an employee, you can then choose to pay out of pocket for Parkway benefits. If an employee self-quarantines due to a suppressed immune system, standard medical documentation guidelines would apply and a physician's statement is required for an absence of more than three consecutive days. 

    If an employee is pregnant and wants to continue quarantine, how will the time off be handled?

    The employee should speak to her medical professional. If the employee is advised to self-quarantine, the employee would be covered by the FFCRA, reason #2 and then Parkway sick leave.  An FMLA packet would also be required to be completed by the employee’s health care provider. If her medical professional does not advise self-quarantine, and the employee chooses to self-quarantine, the employee can choose to take their own personal leave. Approved unpaid time may also be requested.

    How is my Family Medical Leave (FMLA) affected by a district closure?

    Employees who require FMLA at any time during a closure will be required to use either their sick leave or family illness time. They cannot and will not be asked to complete duties while on FMLA leave. 

    Would I and my dependents receive full medical benefits if I took the 12 weeks time due to FFCRA?

    Use of leave available under the FFCRA will not result in a change of health benefits or retirement benefits. 

    If I took 12 weeks from FFCRA because my child's school was closed, would I be able to split time?

    Qualified employees are entitled to up to 12 weeks of Expanded FMLA leave through the end of December 31, 2020.  Therefore, if you utilize only three weeks of your Expanded FMLA (EFMLA) leave in August, you are still entitled to nine weeks of EFMLA to be used through the end of the year if that becomes necessary.  Please also note that use of EFMLA is not in addition to any regular FMLA leave available.  In other words, qualified employees are entitled to 12 weeks of leave between the EFMLA and FMLA.

    Please note, however, that use of the EFMLA leave under the FFCRA is only available to employees who have worked for Parkway for at least 30 days prior to the leave request AND when the particular employee is unable to work (including virtually) because the employee is caring for his or her child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 reasons.

    If someone in my household tests positive and I need to quarantine, is that paid sick leave?

    Yes, paid time could be available under Emergency Paid Sick Leave (ten days total available through December 31, 2020) as well as any accrued paid time off, if appropriate.  Medical documentation must be provided.

    How do I request work accommodations for medical reasons related to COVID?

    If at any point you feel as though you need reasonable accommodations please email Kathy Bowen (kbowen@parkwayschools.net) and your building principal for evaluation of your specific situation. Human Resources may reach out to your medical provider for information and assistance in developing an appropriate plan, if necessary.

    If an employee has symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19, who do they need to notify?

    Employees should contact their supervisor who will connect them to the person in their building who is a trained "contact investigator." This person will confidentially interview the employee and walk them through guidance about quarantine or isolation and what paperwork and follow up that will be required for their absence.

    CERTIFIED STAFF SPECIFIC TOPICS

    Teacher Placement

    If I select Virtual, does that mean I may have a teaching assignment anywhere?

    While it is possible you may be teaching anywhere within the areas for which you are certified, our first effort will be to place teachers in as close to the same assignment as possible.

    How do we determine who is assigned to teach in-person or virtual?

    We will review all requests and those who are medically vulnerable will have first priority to teach virtually. We need to match our work force to the needs presented by our students and families. The survey is a data collection tool and not a guarantee of preference. We will do our best to meet the needs of all staff while also meeting the needs of our students.

    Are teachers who request to teach virtually committing to the first semester or both semesters?

    Both semesters.

    If I request to teach virtually, will I teach within my content area?

    Requesting to teach virtual is not a guarantee. We will allow these assignments based upon the need for virtual teachers.

    How likely is it that a Virtual Campus will continue after this school year?

    We do anticipate a continued Virtual Campus in Parkway to some degree. Based upon reports from the federal government, we are hopeful there will be a vaccine in place for COVID-19 which will limit the need for the same staffing needs for a Virtual Campus in the 21-22 school year. That being said, we cannot make any guarantees at this point without a known vaccination. 

    If I am teaching virtually, do I need to teach from the building?

    If you are teaching virtually as an ADA accommodation due to a medical reason, then you do not need to teach from the building.  If you do not have a medical reason then you will teach from the building two days per week.

    If I am a virtual teacher without a medical reason, why do I need to be in the building?

    This allows for consistency as an organization. Having some people working from home and some in-person creates organizational and equity challenges.

    There are intervention and supervision needs daily in our buildings. Across levels, there are varying needs in each building that range from supervising students (arrival, dismissal, lunch, recess) to providing targeted support for students in high school. Returning to work in our school buildings will allow us to best meet the needs of our students. Just as students will be adjusting to a return to school, we will all be adjusting to the new reality of work. Even in high school where students will continue learning virtually, having staff back in schools will help ensure the routines and processes of school are most effective for students when they return.

    What expectations will there be for specialists in face-to-face and virtual teaching situations?

    For specialists assigned to Parkway Virtual Campus, the expectations will be the same as those for all virtual teachers.  A schedule for elementary specials in the two in-person learning plans are in the process of being developed.

    How much notice will the district give us before switching from one form of teaching to another?

    These determinations will be made based upon guidance from the St. Louis County Health Department and the level of community spread of illness. We will provide as much notice as possible while ensuring that safety is the first priority which may require an emergency shift in schedules.

    Health and Safety

    If a teacher is required to quarantine, must they teach online from home or use their sick days?

    If a teacher is required to quarantine, he/she should work with their building administrator to determine an appropriate plan to support student learning.  This may include providing sub plans as during a regular absence, continuing to teach remotely to students in the classroom, or an alternate plan designed in collaboration between the teacher and administrator.  A substitute or other adequate supervision will be provided for students learning in-person during the teacher’s quarantine period.

    How would sick and/or personal days work for virtual learning staff?

    Teachers enter their absence in AESOP so it is tracked.   They will mark this “as no sub required” for 1-10 day assignments.

    • For 1-2 day absences:
      • Please have the teacher let students know he/she is unavailable and record lessons and push them out to students.  If any of his/her peers would like to invite students into their lessons that is an option but not mandatory.
    • For 3-10 day absences:
      • Principals will review the duties of staff (both virtual and in person) and request coverage from within.  This can be anyone that does not have a full day of mandated contact hours with students.  NEA members will be compensated for their time.  This coverage can be divided among multiple people in a day and they can be granted temporary access to Schoology.
    • For 11+ day absences:
      • Ask your substitute liaison to follow the normal process of filling out the Long Term Assignment Request.  


    How would sick and/or personal days work for in person staff?

    We would follow typical procedures and request a substitute through AESOP.

    Health and Safety concerning students and staff

    If a student tests positive, who is required to quarantine?

    We will be following current health department guidance in the event that a student or teacher tests positive for COVID-19. Right now the recommendation is that anyone who has close contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19 be quarantined for a period of 14 days after the last day of exposure. Close exposure is currently defined as spending more than 15 minutes (cumulative) closer than six feet with someone who is positive. Maintaining social distance and wearing of masks can lessen the likelihood of close exposure, but each situation will be assessed individually in consultation with public health authorities. It is very likely that we will have individuals, groups of individuals or rarely whole schools that need to close or quarantine after an unexpected exposure. Our schools will be working with individuals in quarantine to ensure continuity of learning.

    If a teacher or student tests positive in a classroom, are Group 1 and Group 2 both quarantined?

    We will follow current public health guidance regarding quarantine of individuals or groups of individuals. Each situation will need to be evaluated individually in consultation with public health authorities.

    What health screenings are in place for students and staff?

    Staff are required to complete a daily health screening prior to coming to work. Parents are asked to screen their child(ren) before they leave for school. We ask that parents check them for fever, a sense of having a fever, chills, a cough, sore throat, headache, new loss of smell or taste, or new muscle aches. Not all children who have COVID-19 will have a fever, so parents should check their children closely for any of the other symptoms.
    Anyone, staff or student, with a fever of 100.4º F or higher should not attend school.
    If any of the COVID-19 symptoms occur, please take the following actions: 

      • Keep your child at home
      • Call your child’s school to report the symptoms your child is experiencing
      • Call your child’s health care provider for advice on managing the illness
      • We will not take students’ temperatures when they arrive at school. Taking temperatures at school would be challenging to complete in a safe and timely manner, given the number of students and supervision that would need to be in place. The most effective, evidence-based strategies to prevent the spread of illness are hand washing, wearing masks and social distancing.

    If I am teaching in the classroom, am I also expected to plan and prepare the virtual lessons?

    While in the hybrid schedule, staff will utilize the same model that has been long established in high schools using block scheduling. Teachers will provide students reading, assignments, and other learning activities for the days they are not in class.  

    At the elementary level, when the building schedule and staffing allows, some teachers may “team-teach” and only be responsible for the students learning from home and others only for the students in-person. At the middle school level, some teachers might have a blended schedule of both in-person and virtual classes to fulfill their teaching assignment. 

    If I get COVID-19 and am teaching in-person, who will be responsible for my students?

    The absence will be filled through Kelly. In the event a Kelly Substitute does not pick up the position, students will be divided among other teachers with compensation per the PNEA agreement.

    When students are quarantined, how will educators be notified and by whom? How will educators be notified about their return, and by whom? 

    Staff members will be notified by the administrator or designee if a student they are serving is quarantined or isolated. Depending on the situation, time of day and day of the week, this notification will come via email, text or in-person notification from your administrator.  The nurse will notify the attendance secretary of the days the student will be out and the absence will be reported in Infinite Campus
     using special codes for COVID quarantine and isolation.  The nurse will work with the teacher/administrator for the coordination of the student’s return.  

    If an entire classroom is quarantined will the class move online with the teacher for the quarantine period?

    Yes, if an entire elementary class was quarantined at the same time, the teacher and class would move to distance learning online together during the quarantine. If the teacher is ill, a sub would be provided. For middle school students, this would not be possible as students have multiple teachers/classrooms. In that case, teachers will work with students to stay caught up and complete assignments independently at home during the quarantine period.

    Will masks be required for staff and students in PE?

    Yes unless the class is outside and all are distanced appropriately.

    What are the expectations of teachers on the enforcement and education of students wearing masks?

    It is an expectation that staff members and building administration will educate both students as well as parents regarding the importance of wearing a mask and social distancing. If a child removes their mask, they should be reminded to put it back on. If they refuse, they are to be sent to the office, as this is a safety issue.

    Miscellaneous

    Can Parkway staff change their child’s schedule from Group 1 to Group 2 for childcare purposes?

    Yes, whenever possible.

    How will students with special needs, IEPs and 504s receive support?

    Students identified as having a disability under IDEA will be provided with the necessary accommodations and modifications to ensure they can access a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), regardless of the manner in which the education is being delivered. Special education services, including social-emotional support, included in a student’s IEP will be provided to the maximum extent possible.

    Students identified as having a disability under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act will be provided with the necessary accommodations and support to ensure they have equal opportunity to access and benefit from public education services, regardless of the manner in which the education is being delivered. For many students, the 504 plan can be implemented as written in a virtual environment. Adaptations to the 504 plan accommodations/supports will be done as needed when a 504 team member (teacher, parent, student, etc.) alerts the 504 case manager to concerns with the student's disability symptoms impacting their ability to access and/or benefit from the public education offerings.