Now Open for Fall 2020
St. John School developed this Back to School 2020-2021 plan for re-entry and providing an outstanding Christian Education for the 2020-2021 school year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plan shows the three possible conditions for the next school year. Our intention is to function within the yellow tier: “Campus Open with Accommodations.” This plan shows the actionable steps that will be taken before students and employees return to school buildings, along with appropriate actions that will be taken depending on the level of COVID-19 risk. Our plan is designed with the consideration and recommendations of health officials and state/local leaders. While careful consideration has gone into the creation of this plan, St. John School recognizes that this plan must provide flexibility to allow us to respond to potential changes in local health regulations. In all of this planning, we blend the best of human wisdom with an ultimate reliance on the protection of God.
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
The Re-Entry Plan is grounded in the identity of St. John School, as defined by our Promise, Pillars, and Personality:
St. John School cultivates the confident learners and leaders that our world is hungry for.
St. John School delivers an Innovative Approach, Tailored Design, and Whole-Person Growth.
Trailblazing | Discovery-Minded | Faith-Filled | Collaborative | Vibrant | Open-Hearted
Frequently Asked Questions
We will continue to build on these frequently asked questions. As we receive your comments, leadership will carefully consider and respond to all of your comments. Please be patient as we work together with you to develop the best possible plan for our community.
How will you keep my children safe?
Our school has an obligation to grow and protect the “whole person” of our students. In this season of concern for disease transmission, there is a tension between conflicting priorities for our students’ well-being. For example, the only perfect way to prevent disease-transmission is for everyone to stay home and come in zero contact with anyone outside their family. However, this comes with severe costs for mental and social health, let alone other medical consequences that have been linked to loneliness and isolation. Conversely, the best thing for children’s academic and social growth would be unrestricted physical connection with teachers and peers. But obviously, this comes with the cost of increased risk of coronavirus transmission.
Our philosophy as a school is to find the most reasonable and effective plan that balances the priorities between all the many-faceted needs of our students and families. At this time, we believe the most feasible and effective approach is to treat each class/cohort as a “family unit”—a small group of classmates and their teacher who will intentionally do school together physically. They will see each other’s faces, and learn and grow and play together! We will expand handwashing and sanitation throughout the day. We will eliminate or minimize any contact between classes, for the sake of preventing wide-spread contact. But within their classroom, students and teachers will experience much of their previous normal interactions.
For this reason, we will need parents to commit to and be proactive about monitoring their child’s health. Just as you would not want someone to knowingly send their sick child to school, we all need to commit to erring on the side of caution with keeping our own children home proactively.
We will also modify how we handle extra-curricular activities and encore classes so that classes are not mingling with each other or having non-essential travel through public spaces.
What is the plan for masks?
In accordance with CDC and County guidelines, we are asking all parents/guardians to wear masks while they are in the building.
On Friday, August 21, St. Louis County updated its Face Covering Order and specifically applied it to schools. They now require all students, public and private, Kindergarten and older, to wear face masks to school. We had previously only required masks while entering the building for students 3rd grade and older. Here’s how this affects you as parents: starting Monday, August 24, the county is now forcing us to require that Kindergarten-8th families send their students to school in masks. (These changes DO NOT impact our EC program.)
Students in Early Childhood through Junior Kindergarten will NOT be required to wear masks in their classrooms. In addition, EC to Jr. Kindergarten students will not be required to wear masks during drop off and pick up. (Although again, parents/guardians must wear masks.) In place of mask-wearing, these students will have their own separate entrances to prevent intermingling with the older students.
Will there be a distance-learning option?
Yes! We will be offering online distance learning for any families who are not yet ready to return to school in person. In addition, if any student or classroom cohort becomes sick or is exposed to COVID-19, we will use online distance learning to continue their educational track uninterrupted.
Our school community—teachers, parents, and students—navigated last year’s state-wide shut down with flying colors! We are proud to say that we have been battle-tested and that our Personalized Learning model allowed us to continue educating in the spring when many other schools simply gave up. Although it is not our intent to rely primarily on distance learning for 2020-2021, if another state shutdown forces our hand, we are confident that we will be better prepared than any other school or academy.
How are we going to do drop-off and pick-up?
We will be opening separate entrances for different age levels to prevent congregating and cross-contact. EC students will have their own entrances so that parents (wearing masks) can drop off their EC students directly at their classroom doors. K-2nd graders will have their own separate entry-point since they are not required to wear masks. 3rd-8th graders will have their own separate entrance from the rest of the school, as well.
We will do temperature checks at the entrances for all students. EC students can be dropped off at their classroom door directly by their parent/guardian. Kindergarten through 8th-grade students must be dropped off at the curb; parents/guardians will stay in the car.
All students in EC-8th will be picked up via carline – students will be brought to your car.
How will we be handling lunch?
In light of COVID-19 and food safety precautions, we are discontinuing our purchased lunch program. Students will bring their own lunches from home, and eat in their classroom environment. Allergies will be taken into consideration per classroom.
We are considering offering for purchase a once-a-week catered lunch from a local eatery, such as Chick-fil-A, or Jimmy Johns, if there is sufficient parent interest.
What is the plan for chapel?
One of our school values is worship. Thankfully, due to the size of our sanctuary, it is well within CDC/County guidelines to maintain in-person chapel services for our students. Classroom cohorts will sit together in the sanctuary distanced from other classroom cohorts.
EC students will have their own separate chapel to further minimize cross-school contact.
What about water fountains?
We are disabling all of our current water fountains, and we are in the process of converting our 2nd-floor water fountain into a water bottle fill station. All other students have access to water in their classrooms. We strongly encourage K-8 families to send their kids to school with their own reusable water bottles. EC students will utilize disposable cups in their classrooms.
Will you be doing temperature checks?
Yes, we will be checking students’ temperatures at all entrances.
Any parents/guardians, in masks, who are dropping off in the building will not be required to have their temperature checked, but any adults who enter the school for any length of time (again, not including drop-off) will have their temperature checked.
What is the plan for extra cleaning and sanitation?
Our facilities team has been working all summer on new processes. We have invested in a new electro-static cleaning machine that quickly and thoroughly sanitizes large spaces. Teachers and teacher aides will be cleaning classrooms throughout the day. In addition, our facilities team will clean frequently trafficked areas (including restrooms) twice daily, and “deep clean” classrooms at the end of each day. Hand sanitizing stations will be accessible as well.
Will students still have recess?
We value students’ need for rest and play throughout the day. Currently, our EC playground, soccer field, and paved play areas will be available for recess. Our main playground will be closed temporarily because it is too large to clean sufficiently between groups. The EC playground will be effectively cleaned in between class usage. All classrooms will have their own separate outdoor supplies for recess.
Contacting St. John School
The 2020-2021 Re-Entry Plan was developed based on CDC and County Guidelines. St. John School will continue to review guidelines, as they are updated, and provide further guidance for parents/guardians.
We encourage you to complete the form below if you are in need of any clarification. Thank you for your partnership, we look forward to welcoming you back in August!