Dear Rockwood Parents, Staff and Community:
There is no higher priority for our entire Rockwood School District family than the safety of our students, staff and community. With potentially two cases of COVID-19 in St. Louis County, many of our families have questions regarding the virus and the impact on our school community. I want to assure you that we are in close communication with local and state officials and internal teams, as well as continuing to monitor the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) in order to stay on top of this evolving situation.
Below are common questions we are receiving from our families and the public, along with our responses.
We hope these updates help reassure you that RSD is taking this situation very seriously, that we are adjusting our practices in response to new information from public health officials and that we continue to prioritize the safety and learning of our students.
UPDATED -- 03/24/2020, 9:45 a.m.
Will RSD close schools?
- Rockwood schools are closed starting Wednesday, March 18, and preliminarily ending Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in an effort to mitigate the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
- How will students continue to access their education?
- Rockwood Assistant Superintendent of Learning and Support Services Dr. Shelley Willott is working with the curriculum, technology and communications departments to develop alternative learning plans. Read more here.
How will the Rockwood School District keep families, staff and students informed regarding coronavirus?
- Any district updates will be conveyed through regular district channels – including email and voice messaging, the district website (rsdmo.org) and social media.
What is the protocol for cleaning and disinfecting schools and buses?
- Staff have been directed to prioritize cleaning common and high-traffic areas multiple times a day. Prioritized cleaning includes bathrooms, the cafeteria, common spaces, door handles, emergency bar on doors, etc. Over spring break, Rockwood staff will carry out a general cleaning of facilities, districtwide. When that is complete, efforts will turn to disinfecting operations. Crews have been using disinfectants in district school buses since early March and will continue to do so as long as necessary. Transportation crews will use foggers to apply disinfectant over spring break. All efforts will be made to keep students healthy and safe.
When should a student or staff member stay home?
- If students or staff experience fever of 100 degrees or higher, cough and/or difficulty breathing, the CDC recommends they should stay home from school and contact their health care provider immediately.
- Will school events and travel be canceled?
- All school activities are canceled starting March 18 and ending preliminarily April 22.
- What guidelines should families follow regarding travel?
- Click here for recommendations regarding travel during spring break and beyond. If you're a member of the Rockwood community and someone in your household returns from a trip to what the CDC considers as a Level 3 destination, check with your health care provider and/or your local health department for guidance.
What conversations should parents have with their children at home?
- We know families, staff and students are concerned. We are committed to keeping you informed and working with you to keep our school communities safe. Would you like some resources to share with your children?
Here’s an informative graphic resource from NPR.
- Where can I turn for more information?
Rest assured, we are monitoring this developing situation closely, staying in regular contact with federal agencies, health organizations and other experts. We will continue to adjust our operations according to the recommendations of health authorities as the situation develops. If you have questions, contact your child’s school or call the St. Louis County Department of Public Health 24-hour hotline at (314) 615-2660. Also, on March 11, the MO DHSS opened a statewide public hotline for citizens needing guidance regarding COVID-19. That hotline is operated by medical professionals and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The phone number is 877-435-8411.
Mark T. Miles, Ph.D.
Rockwood School District
111 E. North Street
Eureka, MO 63025