Keeping Schools Open is a Community Effort
Nov. 10, 2020
Dear Lindbergh Families,
Lindbergh Schools is committed to providing an in-person learning option for all students, but we can’t do it without your help.
During the school day, we are controlling COVID-19 spread with five key mitigation strategies that are recommended for schools by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They include requiring face coverings for staff and students, social distancing to the best of our ability, washing hands often, cleaning and disinfecting, and conducting contact tracing in collaboration with our local health department. While these strategies do not eliminate COVID-19 from our buildings, they do lower the risk of transmission significantly.
But we can’t control what happens outside of school. Your decisions matter. Every single member of our Lindbergh community plays an essential role in keeping students, staff and families safe. In recent days, we’ve watched several local schools close entirely or pause in-person learning due to COVID-19 concerns. This is not because of COVID-19 spreading in the schools, it is because so many staff must isolate or quarantine. Simply put, there are not enough employees available to operate the schools.
As we head into flu season and begin spending more time indoors, I implore you to make good decisions. Too many quarantines will mean a pivot to full-time virtual learning. The most important way we can prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools is by staying home when we are sick. Please review Lindbergh’s daily health screening checklist every day before school, and STAY HOME if:
- You are sick
- You answer “yes” to any of the COVID-19 symptoms
- A household member is waiting for COVID-19 test results
- You or a close contact has been diagnosed or presumptively diagnosed with COVID-19
In addition, please take precautions if you are considering travel or family gatherings during the holidays. Last week, we sent communication recommending that all students and staff complete holiday travel by Saturday, Nov. 28. Lindbergh will continue to use the three days after the Thanksgiving break (Nov. 30-Dec. 2) as a mitigation strategy to help prevent COVID-19 spread in our community. However, this week St. Louis County released new recommendations regarding travel and large gatherings, which state: “If you have participated in a gathering such as a wedding, a party or a funeral, or if you have traveled to see others, it is our strong recommendation that you immediately self-quarantine for 14 days.”
Keeping our schools open provides students with the best learning experience possible. However, we cannot keep our schools open without your help. I am extremely proud of the work our teachers, leaders and families have done to provide in-person learning options for all of our Lindbergh students. I am proud of our students, who wear their masks all day, wash their hands often, keep surfaces clean, and remain positive in a school environment that looks much different than last year.
Even though there is increased COVID-19 spread in St. Louis County, our school district’s contact tracing to date shows little student-to-student or staff-to-student transmission in our schools. We also know from our daily review of data that positive cases among young children are not nearly at the level of older age groups. However, the adults in our community must take intentional steps to reduce their risk of exposure outside of the school day.
Thank you for your support, partnership and cooperation during this school year.
Dr. Tony Lake
Superintendent of Schools