St. Louis Elementary School Goes Virtual Due To COVID And Staffing Issues


ST. LOUIS – Bryan Hill Elementary is the last school in the St. Louis area to return to virtual learning due to the increase in COVID-19 cases.

The school has announced that it will continue online classes until at least January 10.

“We discovered that we had too many staff who needed to be quarantined for COVID-19 in order to be able to effectively run the school. It’s a small school so it didn’t take a lot of people, but it was enough that we had to do a quick pivot, ”said George Sells, spokesperson for St. Louis Public Schools ( SLPS).

The district also announced that sports will be canceled until students and coaches are negative.

“We believe children should be in school, but we want to be as safe as reasonably possible,” said Byron Clemens, spokesperson for the American Federation of Teachers in St. Louis (Local 420).

The current staff shortage can make this difficult. Education Plus, a nonprofit that works with local districts, echoed this message with the following statement:

“School districts are always concerned about ensuring the safety of students in school. They know that a face-to-face environment is the best place to learn. And so far, schools have done a good job keeping students and staff safe while maintaining in-person learning. This current increase in numbers, however, brings a new concern regarding staffing. With a pool of replacements already small, if a school building has a large number of staff due to positive COVID cases or exposure to COVID, it will become difficult to properly staff buildings and provide an environment. effective face-to-face learning. “

More and more Illinois schools are also starting the school semester virtually. However, there is a difference in the way schools receive virtual classroom instruction in different states.

For example, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education no longer has its long-term flexible AMI plan it had in the last school year, which may make going virtual more difficult in some. school districts.

Other school districts have announced that they are also making changes as students return to class. St. John Vianney High School will be starting the year again virtually. After the winter break, Lindbergh and Kirkwood school districts will require students to wear masks.

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