Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs
Saint Louis Public Schools continues to monitor the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. At this time, no known cases have been reported in the District.
However, to help ensure the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff—and to do our part in trying to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 throughout the St. Louis region—Saint Louis Public Schools will remain closed following spring break (March 16-20). This closure will tentatively end Friday, April 3rd. This difficult decision was made in full cooperation and partnership with St. Louis County, St. Louis Charter and St. Louis Parochial schools, all of which plan to follow the same schedule.
How is Saint Louis Public Schools (SLPS) making decisions?
SLPS has reviewed and updated its emergency operations plans in collaboration with the City of St. Louis Department of Health, which is the lead agency in our community’s COVID-19 response. SLPS is in daily communication with the health department—along with K-12 superintendents, university presidents, and city, county and state officials—to stay up-to-date on the latest developments and assess and respond to new information. Being a part of that conversation ensures our families' needs are considered and included in decisions that impact all of us.
How will students get assigments?
In order to keep communication lines open while schools are closed, the District's website is being updated with information regularly. Please look to www.slps.org/keeponlearning for academic materials for all grades (both virtual online and hard copy). Teachers may also use their school’s web page (see an example) to communicate class assignments to students. Additionally, SLPS may consider sending classroom work to students through postage mailing to the students’ homes. For teachers who have incorporated Microsoft Teams in their classroom, activities, lesson plans and assignments can be shared with the student’s individual login information. The District will follow Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) procedures for pandemic outbreaks.
Will the District provide meals to students during the school closure?
Yes. In partnership with the City of St. Louis and area charter schools, SLPS and its food services vendor Southwest Foodservice Excellence will provide free breakfast and lunch meals at 35 schools throughout the city. Meals are free for any student age 18 or younger. Student ID is not required. The meals are "grab-and-go," meaning students cannot stay at the school to eat the meal because of social distancing guidance from state and local health agencies. Details, including a list of all sites with links to maps, are available at www.slps.org/meals. A flyer for distribution is available here: English ♦ Spanish ♦ French ♦ Dari ♦ Nepali ♦ Swahili ♦ Arabic ♦ Vietnamese
What are the procedures and instructions for students to wash their hands (even while at home)?
We are encouraging families continue to prioritize student hand washing at home. Hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the most effective way to contain the spread of illness and disease, including COVID-19. Click here for a poster about hand washing and proper technique.
What conversations should parents have with their children at home?
We know families, staff and students are worried. We are committed to keeping you informed and working with you to keep our school communities safe. Want resources to share with your children? Here’s an informative graphic resource from NPR.
What can I do to reduce the spread of COVID-19?
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Practice social distancing—keep a distance of at least 6 feet between you and other people.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your arm.
- If you use a tissue, dispose it immediately after you cough or sneeze.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- As you greet people, avoid shaking hands or other physical contact.
- Stay home when you are sick. Follow pediatrician's orders if you have a sick child.
What steps has the District taken to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep students and staff safe?
- Disinfecting wipes were provided to every classroom districtwide.
- Custodians spent extra time cleaning and disinfecting walls, furniture, desks, computer labs, restrooms, doors, knobs, handles, handrails, cubbies and other surface areas in schools.
- All school cafeterias provided hand sanitizer for students and staff. Cafeteria staff used an all-purpose, hospital-grade sanitizing solution daily to clean tables, chairs, benches, serving lines, keypads and door handles.
- A coronavirus info sheet was provided to all students with reminders about handwashing, following pediatrician’s orders and covering coughs and sneezes. It was translated into six languages: Spanish, Arabic, Bosnian, Swahili, Vietnamese and Nepali. Additionally, information was sent via robocall in 11 languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Bosnian, Swahili, Vietnamese, Nepali, French, Pashtu, Dari and Somali.
- Volunteers and other non-essential visitors to schools were asked to stay home for the time being. Parents and guardians who are ill also were asked not to visit schools while contagious.
UPDATED March 30, 2020 CDT