Lindbergh middle schoolers will return to school in person in two weeks

Students+arrive+at+Long+Elementary+School+for+the+first+day+of+classes+Thursday%2C+Aug.+27.++Mason+Drinnin%2C+above%2C+was+excited+for+his+first+day+of+first+grade%2C+with+teachers+lined+up+behind+him+to+welcome+students+in+person.+

Students arrive at Long Elementary School for the first day of classes Thursday, Aug. 27. Mason Drinnin, above, was excited for his first day of first grade, with teachers lined up behind him to welcome students in person.

By Gloria Lloyd, News Editor

With all Lindbergh Schools elementary students now attending school in person, all middle-school students will follow in two weeks.

The Thursday announcement from Superintendent Tony Lake means that all students in Lindbergh will be attending in-person classes except Lindbergh High School students. County Executive Sam Page said Wednesday that the county changed its recommendation on in-person schooling to recommend that middle schoolers can return to buildings, based on drops in county COVID-19 data. But positivity rates among ages 15-19 are still three times higher than younger students.

Like the younger elementary students already in school at Lindbergh, the students returning will be attending under the hybrid Phase 2 plan, which divides the students in half with each half attending school in person two days to maintain social distancing, then learning at home the other three days. All students learn virtually at home on Mondays.

Sixth graders will return to buildings Tuesday, Oct. 6 if they are in Group A based on their last names. Group B of sixth grade will return Wednesday, Oct. 7. Seventh graders will follow starting Thursday, Oct. 8, and finishing Friday, Oct. 9.

We must work together as a fully engaged community of teachers, staff, students and families to ensure a successful start for all. Collectively, we can support a safe learning environment, and promote social-emotional wellbeing for our children and community,” Lake said in his email to parents.

Soon after Lindbergh announced that its middle schoolers will return to buildings, the neighboring Mehlville School District made the same announcement. The Call ran a front-page article in its Sept. 24 print issue examining how Mehlville and Lindbergh Schools use data to make return-to-school decisions.

“This decision is based on our continued monitoring of COVID-19 data in our school district and St. Louis County as a whole, and the successful re-entry of elementary students over the past several weeks,” Lake said. “Lindbergh Schools has been closely monitoring COVID-19 data on a daily basis, specifically the number of new cases per 100,000 individuals, transmission rate and positivity rate.”

Lindbergh started most students virtually, but K-3 started the school year in person in schools. All the rest of the elementary grades started in person last week.

Students returning to school are ones that have chosen to return, since many students and their families are choosing to attend the all-virtual academy ARC — Accelerated Remote Courses.

All schools will start Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:40 a.m. and dismiss at 2:40 p.m., including both the Phase 2 hybrid students and ARC, in person and virtual.  That adds school hours from the current schedule of 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

All students and staff have to wear masks at school and on the bus and complete a health screening before coming to school.

This check is to assure  that individuals have not experienced one of the following symptoms within the last 14 days:

  • A fever (100.4 or higher)
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion/runny nose
  • Headache
  • Nausea/vomiting/diarrhea
  • Body aches
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of taste/smell
  • or if they or a close contact has been diagnosed or presumptively diagnosed with COVID-19.

Students and staff must stay home from school if they are sick, or if they answer “yes” to any of these items.