Ritenour Returns 2021
Beginning Monday, April 5, 2021 all Ritenour students in grades K-12 who have selected in-person learning for second semester will have four-days of in-person learning Monday through Thursday. Fridays will continue to be a live virtual learning day for all students in grades K-12.
Ritenour High School students began the four day in-person learning schedule on March 8, 2021. Students who attend the School for Early Childhood Education will continue to attend school five days per week.
School hours will continue to be the same for Ritenour students attending in-person classes. Students will attend in-person classes Monday-Thursday each week.
School hours are listed below:
- Middle Schools: 7:30 a.m. - 2:25 p.m.
- High School: 8:05 a.m. - 3 p.m.
- Elementary Schools: 8:40 a.m. - 3:35 p.m.
- School for Early Childhood Education: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (M-Th.); 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Friday)
Friday All Virtual Day
Fridays will continue to be virtual learning from home with live instruction for all students in grades K-12.
Breakfast & Lunch
- Free breakfast and lunch will be provided for all students in grades K-12.
- School buildings will try to provide adequate social distancing during breakfast and lunch.
- Students learning virtually can continue to pick up meals each day at the school building closest to their home.
- Meals will continue to be delivered by bus each Friday for all Ritenour students. For meal distribution stops and times, click here...
- Students can bring their own lunch and a snack from home.
- All students should bring a full water bottle from home. Students will not be allowed to drink from drinking fountains.
Riding the Bus (applies to only students who qualify for bus service)
To increase the health and safety of students, we are asking families who can transport their own students to school to please do so. This will help decrease the number of students riding the bus and at bus stops, and maximize social distancing on the bus Those who qualify for bus service and do not have an alternative method of getting back and forth to school will continue to be transported.
- There will be no changes to the bus stop schedule.
- Face masks will be required when riding the bus. Students who live in the same home can share the same seat.
Monitoring Health at Home
Before heading to school each day, families should quickly evaluate their child’s health by reviewing the following symptoms that may have occurred over the last 24 hours:
- Does the child have chills/fever cough, sore throat, headache, new loss of smell or taste, new muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
- Does anyone in the household have these symptoms?
- Is anyone in the household isolating due to a positive COVID-19 test?
- Is anyone in the household, including the student, awaiting a COVID-19 test result?
If you answered YES to any of the above, do not send your child to school. Instead call your school to report an absence and contact your child’s health care provider for advice for next steps.
Monitoring Health at School
Staff will continue to check temperatures of all students with a touchless thermometer upon arrival at school. Any student with a temperature of 100.4 or above or shows symptoms mentioned above will be isolated from others in a supervised room and a parent/guardian will be called to bring their child home. If the child has an elevated temperature, they will be monitored throughout the day by the school nurse.
Face Coverings at School
Students and staff will wear face coverings/masks at school according to current CDC recommendations and St. Louis County requirements. All students PreK-12 will be expected to wear a cloth covering unless there is a medical reason the face should not be covered or it hinders their ability to participate in the educational setting. Staff will provide education on proper use for students when necessary.
All students will be assigned the same seating while at school. Cafeterias also will have assigned seating that adheres to safe spacing guidelines. Arrival and dismissal times, travel within the building, and recess or outdoor times will be staggered and/or spread out to alternate spaces to allow for social distancing. When students travel in the hallways, there will be visual aids to direct students throughout the building. These visual aids will show directional traffic flow and appropriate spacing to support social distancing.
Students will be encouraged to wash or sanitize their hands often, including when entering classrooms, before lunch, after recess, and after any activity outside of the classroom. We will take extra care to give students these opportunities to wash or sanitize their hands during the school day. In locations where access to soap and water is limited, alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be available. A limited number of students will be allowed in the bathroom at the same time.
To enhance the air quality and safety in Ritenour buildings, the district purchased air purifiers for every classroom and office throughout the district. They were distributed in January 2021 before students returned to the buildings from winter break.
In addition, 82 ionizers were also installed across the district in all cafes, gyms and the auditorium and fine arts wing at Ritenour High School. Ionizers work with the HVAC system to purify the air, using negative ions to trap bacteria and viruses. The ions also disrupt the exterior layer of viruses and bacteria, killing them.This makes it more difficult to spread airborne pathogens like the coronavirus.
The air purifiers in each classroom also use ionization technology to prevent the spread of disease.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Extra care will be taken to prevent students’ from sharing materials such as school supplies, electronic devices, books, toys and equipment. No lockers will be used.
Frequently-touched items will be cleaned and disinfected regularly. Schools will follow safety and disinfection guidelines developed by the CDC and the St. Louis County Department of Public Health for buses, classrooms, workspaces, and outdoor spaces. At school, we will be cleaning and disinfecting high-touched surfaces throughout the building multiple times throughout the day that include tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
Cordless disinfectant sprayers will be used in schools every evening and on buses between routes.
Teachers will let families know if they need to bring their district-issued Tablet or Chromebook and power cords to school for in-person learning. Students must be careful while transporting their device to and from school. Students will be using their devices at home on virtual learning Fridays.
Nurses and administrators in school buildings have been trained in the proper contact-tracing protocols through the Johns Hopkins Contact Tracing Program. When we are notified of a positive case within the building, we determine when the individual was last at school, when their symptoms began, when they were tested for COVID-19, and when they received the positive test result. We use the student’s schedule, bus information and information from staff to create a list of “close contacts” (within 3 feet of the COVID-positive individual for more than 15 minutes).
A nurse or school administrator will call the families of all close contacts and inform them that their student needs to quarantine for 10 days. Close contacts must seek healthcare provider guidance on testing and/or quarantine. Final guidance on the return date for students or staff who are in isolation or quarantine will come from their medical provider.
Events and Large Gatherings
Large gatherings such as school assemblies, dances, musical concerts and other events may be restructured, rescheduled, or canceled, as needed, to maintain social distancing guidelines and reduce the risk of exposure. Field trips will be postponed until further notice. Visitors will be limited inside the school and classrooms to minimize the risk of exposure.