South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Mehlville, Oakville, Lindbergh high schools will return in person

Photo by Erin Achenbach
Students walk to class during the passing period at Lindbergh High School Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.

Both Lindbergh Schools and the Mehlville School District will bring high school students back to in-person class by the end of October, and Lindbergh will move elementary students to five days a week in person.

Both districts started all-virtual learning academies this year, Accelerated Remote Courses or ARC for Lindbergh and Mehlville@Home, which give students the option to stay in all-virtual learning.

Both districts will bring back students at all three high schools — Lindbergh, Mehlville and Oakville — for in-person hybrid/blended learning starting either Monday, Oct. 26 for Lindbergh or Tuesday, Oct. 27 in Mehlville.

Lindbergh elementary students will start attending all five days in person starting Oct. 27.

Superintendents from both districts said that bringing back students is a data-based decision after cases have fallen in the districts since the highs of July and August. Mehlville started the year all-virtual, while Lindbergh started with every student in all-virtual learning except for K-3, which attended part-time in-person hybrid learning.

None of the three high schools has seen students in the building for classes since March, when the COVID-19 global pandemic led to school shutdowns and stay-at-home orders.

But that can change now that Mehlville sees “sustained, downward trends in the metrics we are tracking, particularly in positivity rates and transmission rates,” Superintendent Chris Gaines said in an email to parents.

The decision to return more Lindbergh students has been made after the “successful re-entry” of all non-ARC elementary and middle school students back to hybrid learning in the last several weeks, Superintendent Tony Lake said in an email to LHS parents.

All students, elementary and high school, will have to wear masks, as will all teachers under the plans. All students have to complete a daily health screening before leaving home and agree not to come to school if they have symptoms or exposure to COVID-19.

Lindbergh students from all levels had to sign up for the bus at the beginning of the year.

High school students at all three schools will start back with hybrid learning, in which half the students attend in buildings while the other half virtually learns at home, rotating days in the classroom to allow for greater social distancing. All Mondays will be virtual days for high school students, and each half of the school will spend two days in the classrooms for the other four days. Mehlville students will have virtual instruction on Mondays, while Lindbergh students will have prerecorded lessons from teachers or work independently on Mondays.

Tuesday through Friday, classes in person at Lindbergh High School will begin at 7:25 a.m. and end at 2:25 p.m. This includes in-person, Zoom and ARC schedules. The Monday virtual course schedule starts at 11:40 a.m. Monday, Oct. 26. ARC schedules will expand from the current 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. schedule to start at 7:25 a.m., the same as in-person learning.

Lindbergh K-5 elementary students will get one last at-home learning day with pre-recorded lessons and independent student work Monday, Oct. 26, allowing teachers to finalize lesson plans for the return to the classroom. Then they will start back in person Tuesday, Oct. 27.

So far, elementary students have only attended school in person for two days a week with half their classmates, as the other half learns at home on those rotating days.

With more students in the classroom, it will be more difficult for students to socially distance, but the district will keep students in what it is calling “small cohort groups” to minimize their contact with other students throughout the day. The group of four to five children will learn together and also eat, line up and work on activities together. Students will wash hands often and “minimize direct contacts as much as possible.”

To reduce bus ridership and support families, the district will offer the “e-Hour,” one hour of free before- and after-school child care for all K-5 students.

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