Q&A January 2022
Jan. 2, 2022
Is there still a mask mandate in the Ritenour School District?
Yes, our mask mandate remains regardless of the status of a mask mandate in St. Louis County. All students and staff members must wear a mask over the nose and mouth at all times while in buildings or on the bus. Students and staff members who choose not to abide by the mask mandate will face progressive discipline. Masks are not required to be worn outdoors, during competitive sports or while eating and drinking indoors.
Are quarantines and contact tracing still in place?
Yes, our contact tracing and quarantine process are still in place, following the same protocols as we used from the first half of the school year. Our school nurses have done an amazing job of following the process and excluding those students and staff members who have been determined to be “close contacts.” This process continues, as it is a part of our current Return to Learning Plan. We are aware that the CDC recently changed their guidance on quarantines, but at this time we are continuing the protocols we have followed since the start of the school year.
Will we consider moving to a fully virtual environment as a district due to COVID?
No, there are no plans to move to a fully virtual environment as a district. We plan on maintaining our five days per week of in-person instruction with a limited virtual option. We have structures in place as a part of the current Return to Learning Plan that if a school experiences a surge, that school would move to full virtual instruction for a period of time, while other buildings remain in-person.
Ritenour does have an Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI) plan, which was accepted by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) that allows us to shift to virtual instruction in the event of inclement weather. This plan provides for up to six days of virtual learning in the event schools are closed due to weather. Instead of calling a “snow day,” we will shift to virtual instruction for the day and will work to provide as much advance notice as possible.
Is a hybrid schedule of virtual and in-person learning an option?
No, there is no option for a hybrid schedule in Missouri this year. We operated on a hybrid schedule last year through the AMI-X plan option made available to districts through DESE. This year, DESE did not allow for districts to adopt a hybrid option because it discontinued the AMI-X option.