Return to Learn 2022-2023
Reviewed February 9, 2023
On Aug. 4, Rockwood Superintendent Dr. Curtis Cain gave a Safe Together update to the Board of Education, outlining plans for mitigating COVID-19 in our buildings in the new school year. Dr. Cain shared that we will start the school year mask-optional and that we will not engage in contact tracing.
“We will continue to work with our health professionals, and we will lean on our Communicable Disease policy to make a pivot in a building if that becomes necessary,” said Dr. Cain. “But we are in a different place today than we have been with vaccine availability and percentage of those vaccinated, and we are well equipped to respond to COVID as we have to other illnesses in our schools.”
Additional updates to the district's Safe Together plan include:
- Face coverings will be optional for students and staff based on their individual health needs, and we will no longer utilize a building-level threshold to determine if students and staff must wear a face covering. We expect our community to be respectful of the choices of others.
- As always, we will monitor attendance but will no longer publish a dashboard. If you are interested in following COVID trends in the community, we encourage you to visit the county health website for local data. We will continue to monitor the health of our students and staff and communicate with families as we work to maintain and operate healthy learning environments.
- Staff and students who are sick or having symptoms should stay home and consult with their physician on health care needs and when to return.
- When staff or students have symptoms, testing is key to reducing the spread in our school communities. We recommend that staff and families take advantage of free at-home testing kits to keep on hand at home.
- Rockwood staff will no longer contact trace positive cases or complete COVID forms.
- We will continue to work with students, staff and families to address individual health and medical needs.
In the Rockwood School District, we do whatever it takes to ensure all students realize their potential. By that, we mean we will do everything we can to provide an outstanding academic and social-emotional experience for all our students.
Out of care and concern, our top priorities for students, families and staff will always be health and safety. These are some of the most challenging times Rockwood has ever faced. As a school community, we strive to provide an education that reflects the hopes, dreams and aspirations our school community holds for every child. We want every child to love life and find success.
As the Rockwood School District moves forward with following COVID-19 mitigation efforts in our schools, we want to ensure our families understand that many of the general guidelines of education will remain the same. We have taken steps to create a process that is balanced and sustainable, given the feedback of our principals, teachers and staff, along with guidance from medical experts and health officials. As public health guidelines and local conditions change, we will modify and adapt our plans.
We sincerely appreciate the cooperation and partnership of the entire Rockwood school community.
Accommodating All Students
Schools will partner with families and students to ensure equity and access to instruction. Accommodations will be made as needed for students who are medically vulnerable or require individualized education plans.
School nurses and other district personnel will work with families and students with disabilities to ensure they receive continued care, allowing students priority visits and/or private visits with the nurse as needed, so a student can have his/her healthcare needs met and also minimize exposure to ill students.
This plan is available in the home languages of the students served by Rockwood schools by using the translation feature in the upper right corner of the district website. Virtual learning options exist for K-12 families who would prefer this learning mode for their child.
American Rescue Plan ESSER Funds
To support schools and districts in addressing the impact of COVID-19, Congress has provided financial support through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund. In Missouri, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) oversees the funds provided to help districts safely open schools, sustain safe operations amid COVID-19 challenges and to help counter the pandemic's impact on public education. Districts have the flexibility to use the ESSER funds for items and services in a variety of specific areas as outlined by DESE. Rockwood asked all stakeholders to weigh in on how the district should prioritize the use of the ESSER III funds, which amount to approximately $7.8M for our district.
Below is a timeline of events relating to the District's American Rescue Plan:
- Stakeholder survey ran August 12 through August 19, 2021; results were shared at the December 16, 2021 Board of Education meeting
- August 23, 2021: initial budget application and compliance plan submitted to DESE
- Community/Stakeholder updates to ESSER III funds
- August 19, 2021
- December 16, 2021
- March 11, 2022
- June 23, 2022
- Dec. 15, 2022
The District will continually review and revise, if necessary, its planned use for ESSER funds and include any adjustments in budget updates to the School Board, expected to be delivered in December and June of each year through September 2024. For additional information on Rockwood's ESSER funding, visit this page.
Below are the previous updates to our Safe Return to In-Person Learning and Continuity Plan (SRCSP):
UPDATE February 1, 2022
UPDATE January 11, 2022
UPDATE December 16, 2021
UPDATE December 1, 2021
UPDATE November 17, 2021
UPDATE November 3, 2021
UPDATE October 21, 2021
UPDATE October 6, 2021
UPDATE September 23, 2021
UPDATE September 9, 2021