Social Distancing & Face Covering Protocols for Students Attending In-Person Classes
Social/physical distancing is an effective preventive measure that research shows will help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Distances of more than six feet may be effective in reducing viral transmission. While children are the least likely to exhibit serious symptoms from COVID-19, social distancing helps prevent the spread to others.
Face Coverings and Masks
Due to St. Louis County guidelines, face coverings are mandatory for all students and staff. Students will wear their mask during recess and P.E. This is a change from the first version of the Return to Learning plan. Schools will establish a structured "mask break" to occur outside while maintaining social distancing to support students. The Ritenour School District will continue to follow guidance from St. Louis County and the St. Louis County health department regarding the usage of face coverings in schools.
All staff members will be provided with a reusable cloth mask from the district. Face shields will also be available for staff members who request them. Specialized face coverings (clear) for staff who work with hearing impaired students or English Learners also will be available. Staff are encouraged to bring their own masks and personal protective equipment (PPE). Students must bring their own clean face coverings from home. But, if a student does not have a face covering one will be provided by the school.
Ritenour discourages students and staff from wearing face masks with an exhalation valve or vent, per CDC guidelines.
Staff and students will be instructed on the proper manner in which a face covering should be worn. Face coverings are not required when providing outdoor instruction. Face coverings may be removed when eating and drinking during breakfast and lunch.
Wearing of gloves is necessary for school nurses. In addition, as a safety precaution, child nutrition and custodial staff must use gloves when handling food or cleaning products.
Hands should be washed or sanitized using provided sanitizer before eating, after eating, before and after group activities. Proper hand hygiene information can be found here and should be shared with students of all ages.
Additional hand sanitizer stations have been installed in the buildings and portable stations are available in general areas, with a focus on areas where students pass upon return from recess.