APRIL 9, 2020 UPDATE
Dear Clayton Families and Staff -
Every morning I turn on the news hoping I will hear something that indicates we are closer to being through the COVID-19 pandemic, while also thinking about any decisions I will need to make based on what I hear. Today, we made the decision to keep our buildings closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. We will not be returning to learn in our schools and will maintain our Continued Learning for the rest of this school year. This difficult decision, made together with other school districts throughout the St. Louis Region, is a step we must take in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to ensure the health and safety of our community. This decision also follows recommendations from local health departments and is in collaboration with local government officials. We will continue to follow their guidance as we make decisions on end of year events.
Please read the rest of this entire email carefully as it contains important information.
End of School/Graduation/Promotions
Our last day of school will still be May 28 as originally scheduled. We are working with our principals and other administrators on alternative plans and ways we can honor our students and families, many of whom were looking forward to experiencing important milestones with graduation and promotion. Our greatest wish would be for these events to occur as planned at the end of the year. However, we have to be realistic about our ability to provide our students, families, teachers and staff with a safe environment in which to gather and celebrate. We have tentatively rescheduled CHS graduation for July 23 and will be inviting some of our seniors to meet next week to get additional feedback and ideas. We will provide information about plans for fifth- and eighth-grade promotion ceremonies in the coming weeks.
Grading/Report Cards/Expectations for Student Work
As we settle into the routine of Continued Learning for the remainder of the year, we are working to make adjustments along the way to ensure that we maximize learning within a set of reasonable, manageable and equitable expectations for our students, teachers and their families. There are likely many questions about what grades and quarter/semester report cards will look for the rest of this school year. Now that we have a better understanding of what the rest of our year will look like, we are finalizing guidelines for grading, report cards and expectations for student work. We will share those with you as soon as they are complete.
Supporting Our Families
We will continue to support our families throughout the rest of this school year and into the summer if need be. Families can get information about meal support, parenting resources and access to a variety of other available support systems on our website at claytonschools.net/continuedlearning.
The start of summer programs (Elementary/Wydown/CHS Summer Academy, SummerQuest and The Family Center Summer Camp) will be delayed. While it’s too early to set a rescheduled start date, we have determined they will not start on their originally planned dates in June. We will share more information about summer programs in the coming weeks.
There are a number of other items we will communicate about as we get closer to the end of the school year such as returning Chromebooks/iPads/Hot Spots or opportunities for students/teachers to retrieve items from their lockers/classrooms. Please know that we are keeping a comprehensive list of all the things we need to cover and will get you information about at the appropriate time. Our goal is to not overwhelm you with too much communication at one time and cover more important items first. You can always check our list of Frequently Asked Questions for additional information.
We are experiencing a unique time in our history. Our current learning process looks and feels very different. Thank you for everything you are doing to support our students’ learning at home. Bringing learning into your home and balancing it with everything else you already do is a new challenge few of us imagined when we started this school year.
I long for those days when our news is not completely centered on the COVID-19 pandemic and the schools are alive again with students and staff. I appreciate your patience, support and understanding. Please be sure to take care yourselves and check in with one another.
We want to continue to provide you with the latest information about the coronavirus. Our team of health professionals and District administrators is working to both monitor this situation on a daily basis and manage the District's response to this outbreak. We are also continuing to work with our local and state health agency partners.
Any calls for basic COVID-19 information should be directed to Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. "The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) activated a statewide public hotline for citizens or providers needing guidance regarding the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. The hotline opened and can be reached at 877-435-8411. The hotline is being operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
Anyone who believes they have been exposed to COVID-19 or if they are experiencing symptoms should call the St. Louis County Department of Public Health hotline at 314-615-2660.