COVID-19 Information & Updates

COVID-19 Information & Updates
Posted on 03/09/2020
COVID-19 Information & Updates

UPDATE #10: March 23, 2020

Dear Affton Community,

Affton School District joins public school districts across St. Louis County and St. Louis City to announce that schools will remain closed through Wed., April 22. To remain consistent with the St. Louis County Stay At Home Order and the guidance of local health and government officials, this decision was made in the best interest of the health and safety of our students, staff, and communities.

While our school buildings are closed, our commitment to our students remains the same. Our teachers, staff, and leaders are working hard to ensure we can continue to provide support for our students and our community.

We have a plan in place that provides learning support to students from home and a meal services plan that provides breakfast and lunch opportunities for students. As always, when you need help or have a question, please call our Affton Schools COVID-19 Helpline at 314-633-5911 or reach out to us at info@afftonschools.net.

I know we have been saying this a lot lately, but we are grateful for your continued patience and understanding as we work through this unprecedented time. Thank you sincerely to everyone who is banding together to support each other and our students.

Sincerely,
Dr. Travis Bracht
Superintendent


UPDATE #9: March 21, 2020

LAST CHANCE FOR BUILDING PICK-UP: Gotsch Intermediate, Rogers Middle, and Affton High School will be open from 10 a.m. to Noon on Sunday, March 22 to allow families to pick up emergency medications and important items left by students prior to this extended school closure. 

NOTE: Due to the Stay at Home Order issued by St. Louis County, the pick-up time previously scheduled on Monday, March 23 is canceled.

THIS IS THE FINAL OPPORTUNITY for Affton School District families who need to pick up essential belongings for their students. Buildings are to remain closed for any other reason except to authorized personnel.

Please note specific information for each building:

Affton Early Childhood and Mesnier Primary (Grades PK-2)

  • These buildings WILL NOT BE OPEN on Sunday, March 22.
  • Should you need assistance, please email info@afftonschools.net or call the Affton Schools COVID-19 Helpline at 314-633-5911.

Gotsch Intermediate (Grades 3-5)

  • Students will need access to a device at home for extended learning that begins Wednesday, March 25. If you do not have access to a computer, Chromebook, or other device at home, families can pick up a Chromebook, charger, and/or emergency medications at this time.
  • No reservations are needed.
  • Gotsch Intermediate will be DRIVE-THRU-ONLY at the Cafeteria. Please drive to the back of the building and DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR VEHICLE for pickup.

Rogers Middle School and Affton High School (Grades 6-12)

  • Pickup is limited to emergency medications and important items left by students, including musical instruments.
  • If your student left their Chromebook or charger, or has a damaged device that needs to be traded, they can do so at this time.

To keep our entire community safe and healthy, please do not come to school unless absolutely necessary.  

In addition, plan ahead and make a list of what you need to pick up. We are asking families to spend as little time as necessary in buildings to pick up items. We will be enforcing social distancing to protect the health of our schools and community. Should you have a question, please email info@afftonschools.net or call the Affton Schools COVID-19 Helpline at 314-633-5911.



UPDATE #8: March 20, 2020
Update for Families | March 20, 2020



UPDATE #7: March 18, 2020
UPDATED March 20, 2020

ADDED: SATURDAY, MARCH 21 // Building Pick-Up Schedule for Emergency & Essential Items
NEW DATE ADDED TO HELP MEET THE SCHEDULES AND NEEDS OF OUR FAMILIES: All Affton Schools will offer a pickup from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, March 21 and Monday, March 23, to allow families to pick up emergency medications and essential items prior to this extended school closure. 

AECC and Mesnier Primary (Grades PK-2)

  • Pickup is limited to emergency medications and essential items following the schedule below.

Gotsch Intermediate (Grades 3-5)

  • Students will need access to a device at home for extended learning that begins Wednesday, March 25. If you do not have access to a computer, Chromebook, or other device at home, families can pick up a Chromebook, charger, and/or emergency medications during the times below.
  • No reservations needed. 
  • Gotsch Intermediate will be DRIVE-THRU-ONLY at the Cafeteria. Please drive to the back of the building and DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR VEHICLE for pickup.

Rogers Middle School and Affton High School (Grades 6-12)

  • Pickup is limited to emergency medications and essential items. If your student left their Chromebook or charger, or has a damaged device that needs to be traded, they can do so at the times below.

To keep our entire community safe and healthy, please do not come to school unless absolutely necessary.  If you do need to come, we ask that you please follow this schedule:

  • Last name A-F: 10-11 a.m.
  • Last name G-L: 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
  • Last name M-R: 12 p.m.-1 p.m.
  • Last name S-Z: 1-2 p.m.

In addition, plan ahead and make a list of what you need to pick up. We are asking families to spend as little time as necessary in buildings to pick up items. We will be enforcing social distancing to protect the health of our schools and community. Should you have a question, please email info@afftonschools.net or call the Affton Schools COVID-19 Helpline at 314-633-5911.

Computer and Internet Access

  • Spectrum is waiving installation fees and providing 60-day Internet access for families during the COVID-19 crisis. Please call 844-488-8395 for details.
  • If your student needs additional technology help at home, please email info@afftonschools.net or call the Affton Schools COVID-19 Helpline at 314-633-5911.

Continuity of Learning  
Through April 3rd, our goal is to provide support to Affton families in order to provide enriching learning opportunities for our students.  

What defines "Enrichment?"
All assignments/opportunities are STRICTLY OPTIONAL. No assignments will be collected for grades. Feedback may be administered by the classroom teacher. (AP/Dual Credit/Dual Enrollment/Launch/Edgenuity are continuing as planned until notified by outside entities.)

What is the purpose?
The purpose of these activities are for enrichment and continued connection. We understand that not all families have access to the internet at home (right now) and we want to be sure that we are providing a range of options and opportunities.

Please watch your email for communication from your child(ren)’s teacher(s) by the end of the day Wednesday, March 25th.

Free Meals for Students
We understand that some of our families rely on the availability of school meals for proper nourishment. In order to help with this, Affton School District will be providing "To Go" and delivery meals for all students beginning Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 3. At the time of pickup/delivery, a packaged lunch for the day will be provided as well as a breakfast for the following day. Meals will be provided free of cost. 

Families can sign up at http://bit.ly/AfftonMeals or by calling the Affton Schools COVID-19 Helpline at 314-633-5911.

COVID-19 Helpline
We know you have a lot of questions and appreciate your patience and understanding as we make difficult decisions amidst these unusual and evolving circumstances. We will continue to communicate with you as more is learned and additional decisions are made. Please reach out with your questions or concerns at info@afftonschools.net or by calling the Affton Schools COVID-19 Helpline at 314-633-5911.


UPDATE #6: March 17, 2020

Free Meals for Students
We understand that some of our families rely on the availability of school meals for proper nourishment. In order to help with this, Affton School District will be providing "To Go" and delivery meals for all students beginning Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 3. At the time of pickup/delivery, a packaged lunch for the day will be provided as well as a breakfast for the following day. Meals will be provided free of cost. 

Families can sign up at http://bit.ly/AfftonMeals or by calling the Affton Schools COVID-19 Helpline at 314-633-5911.

Summer Journey Enrollment  
To prevent putting any additional stress on our families, we have extended the deadline for submitting Summer Journey applications. All forms will be accepted when school resumes.

Continuity of Learning  
When Affton Staff ‘returns’ from Spring Break on Monday, March 23, we will shift our focus to our communities. Our goal will be to provide support for Affton families by providing enrichment learning opportunities for our students. Those learning opportunities will begin on Wednesday, March 25 at 9am. We'll share additional information soon!

We know you have a lot of questions and appreciate your patience and understanding as we make difficult decisions amidst these unusual and evolving circumstances. We will continue to communicate with you as more is learned and additional decisions are made. Please reach out with your questions or concerns at info@afftonschools.net or by calling the Affton Schools COVID-19 Helpline at 314-633-5911.


UPDATE #5: March 16, 2020

We’re always working to make the best decisions we can, using the information available to us and keeping the safety and well-being of our community at the heart of our decisions. The information and guidance related to the spread of COVID-19 continues to change rapidly, and we will continue to provide updates to you during Spring Break.

Free Meals for Students
We understand that some of our families rely on the availability of school meals for proper nourishment. In order to help with this, Affton School District will be providing "To Go" and delivery meals for students beginning Monday, March 23 through Friday, April 3. At the time of pickup/delivery, a packaged lunch for the day will be provided as well as a breakfast for the following day. Meals will be provided free of cost. Families can sign up using this form or by calling the Affton Schools COVID-19 Helpline at 314-633-5911.

Continuity of Learning
As announced yesterday, Affton School District will be closed preliminarily until April 3. Beginning the week of March 23, our staff will begin designing meaningful experiences for students to help provide support to Affton families that enrich the learning opportunities for our students during this extended break. We’ll share more information as it becomes available later this week. Please note that this week during Spring Break, enrichment activities and assignments are not expected to be completed and should not be shared with you.

Special School District (SSD) Updates
Marie Burke, Director of Special Education, is coordinating with SSD to gain more information regarding the continuation of services, IEP meeting protocol, and more. Please reach out to her at mburke@afftonschools.net should you have more specific questions.

We know you have a lot of questions and appreciate your patience and understanding as we make difficult decisions amidst these unusual and evolving circumstances. We will continue to communicate with you as more is learned and additional decisions are made. Please reach out with your questions or concerns at info@afftonschools.net or by calling the Affton Schools COVID-19 Helpline at 314-633-5911.


UPDATE #4: March 15, 2020

Affton School District administration, along with St. Louis area school districts, and health and government officials, continue to monitor the latest developments regarding COVID-19, commonly known as the novel coronavirus. 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, Affton School District will join schools across the St. Louis region and close beginning Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, April 3.

This closure affects all programming at our schools, including before- and after-school activities, all athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, weekend events, and all facility use by outside groups. 

 

  • Cougar Care will hold Spring Break programming on Monday and Tuesday of this week but will close beginning March 18.
  • Classes are set to tentatively resume on Monday, April 6. However, as we continue to monitor and assess this situation, we will reevaluate the status of school closures as we get closer to our tentative return date.

We understand that extended school closure will create hardship for many of our families. Please know that we are doing our very best to make decisions that will help care for all of our students, teachers, staff members, families, and communities through this time. As we have noted previously, this is a dynamic situation with frequent changes and updates. 

Over the next few days, we will communicate our plan to support families through our core priorities during this unprecedented health crisis, which include:

  1. Safety of our Affton students, staff, and community;
  2. Providing daily meals for those who count on our school Nutrition Services; 
  3. Maintaining learning momentum to the greatest extent possible, given the circumstances.

We will be sending frequent updates with information and resources via email, text messages, our website, and social media channels. Affton School District employees need to be available to work when requested during this extended closure. We will communicate directly with staff members regarding their specific roles and responsibilities in our prevention planning. 

We are so grateful for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through this difficult situation. We will get through this challenge together. Together, we are #afftonstrong.


UPDATE #3: March 12, 2020

As we head into Spring Break, a few reminders and updates for our Affton students and families:

  • Field Trips and Large Group Events: As communities continue to take precautions related to COVID-19, field trips and events that tend to draw large crowds have been postponed, canceled, or limited. Affton will continue to monitor these developments and ask for your understanding in advance when these measures are necessary. We will do everything we can to provide as much notice as possible when alternatives are being considered or have been definitively implemented.
  • Travel Over Spring Break: We know that many families are preparing to travel over spring break. If you are planning to take a cruise or travel internationally to a location designated as medium or high risk, please notify your school principal. If you are considering traveling, please take basic health precautions and stay informed about any changes in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) travel restrictions for COVID-19. This includes reviewing your destinations before you leave, during your trip, and upon your return. Travel restrictions can change with limited notice, so please be aware of those that might affect you, including the possibility of needing to self-quarantine for 14 days following your return.
  • If Schools Need to Close: At this point, the spread of COVID-19 in our area has not reached the point where health officials are recommending we close schools. However, should that become the recommendation, we are prepared to take that step. We have developed plans for maintaining continuity of student learning and district operations in the event schools do close. If there is a need for schools to close, we will communicate the plan and timeline to our families and staff as soon as possible via email, text, and robocall.
  • Frequently Asked Questions: A full list of questions regarding COVID-19 is available on the Affton School District website: COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

As always, we will share any news or changes that affect our school community with you at the earliest possible opportunity. If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me or your building principal.


UPDATE #2: March 10, 2020

The health and safety of our students and staff is paramount, and we are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19, commonly referred to as the Novel Coronavirus. At this point, the spread of COVID-19 in our area has not reached the point where health officials are recommending that schools close. 

Here are updates on how Affton School District is responding to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our schools, keep students and staff safe and healthy, and minimize the impact on student learning.

 

  • When to stay home: We ask our families and staff to stay home when they are feeling sick, and to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations that individuals stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have signs of a fever (ex: chills, feeling warm, flushed appearance, temperature above 100°F). Students and staff should not return to school until they have been fever-free for 24 hours, without the use of medication such as Tylenol or Motrin. 
  • How COVID-19 is spread: According to the CDC, COVID-19 spreads through prolonged contact with individuals who have a confirmed COVID-19 case. Prolonged contact is defined as being within six feet of an infected person for 15-30 minutes or more. If you or a family member do come in direct contact with an individual who is symptomatic, please call your primary care physician. If you do not have a family doctor, call the St. Louis County Department of Public Health at 314-615-0500.
  • Student absences: As a parent or guardian, it is up to you to decide when to keep your student home due to a health concern. If your student misses school due to your concerns about Novel Coronavirus, the absence will be excused.
  • Travel over Spring Break: We know that many families are preparing to travel over spring break. At this time, the CDC does not have any advisories in effect for travel within the United States. However, if you are planning to travel internationally to a location designated as medium or high risk, please notify your school principal. Also, please refer to the CDC’s guidance for the most up-to-date information: CDC Travel Advisory 
  • All school cleaning: Our custodial staff is working very hard to ramp up their cleaning routines in all schools, focusing on disinfecting high touch surfaces and common areas. Areas that serve as polling places for our community will be disinfected this evening, and a deep clean and sanitation is scheduled for all schools and buses over Spring Break. The disinfectant cleaner that the district is using is OXIVIR Tb, which is included in the American Chemistry Council's Center for Biocide Chemistries list of cleaners for use against emerging enveloped viral pathogens like the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • How to talk to kids about COVID-19: As news coverage continues, and conversation around COVID-19 becomes more common, we understand that such news can be frightening for young children. We suggest this resource about talking to your student from the National Association of School Psychologists: Talking to Children about COVID-19
  • Frequently asked questions: A full list of questions regarding COVID-19 is available on the Affton School District website: COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

We will continue to monitor, communicate and share all information with our families, and do everything we can to keep students and staff safe and healthy.


UPDATE #1: March 6, 2020

We know many of you have concerns about the ongoing spread of COVID-19, commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus, and its potential impact on our schools. Please be assured that we are following the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and remain in contact with our local and state health agencies.

As of today, no cases of novel coronavirus have been found in Missouri. While there are no reports of COVID-19 in our region, we are preparing for the possibility that the virus could make its way to our area and are taking extra precautions to limit the spread of germs in our schools. In addition to routine deep cleaning and encouraging hand-washing and personal hygiene, district staff are closely monitoring attendance. School buses are being disinfected each day, and our school custodians have been instructed to wipe down commonly touched surfaces multiple times each day with disinfectant.

We are also developing contingency plans so we are ready to respond if widespread illness causes greater impacts, such as school closures. We are hopeful that we will not have to operationalize these plans, but it is critical to be prepared.

When a new disease is circulating, it’s natural for people to ask what they can do to protect themselves and their families. We met this week with officials from the St. Louis County Department of Public Health and medical professionals from area hospitals. Their best advice is:

 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before leaving home, on arrival at school/work, after using the restroom, before food preparation, before eating any food (including snacks), and when arriving back at home.
    • If soap is unavailable, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Rub the sanitizer over all the surfaces of your hands, which also takes approximately 20 seconds.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Do not send your student to school if they are feeling sick.

The CDC also offers additional precautions to keep you and your families healthy on their website.

NOTE: Please DO NOT use disinfecting wipes to clean your student’s Chromebook. Using a cloth dampened with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol is the only method that will disinfect while not causing potential damage to the device.

We will continue to work with our partners at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the St. Louis County Department of Public Health as they monitor and manage the current situation with both influenza and novel coronavirus. For the most up-to-date information about COVID-19, please visit the websites for the CDC at http://cdc.gov/covid19

Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our students, staff, and community.  If you have any questions about the health and wellness of your children while at school, please contact your school nurse. 

Thank you for your partnership as we work to keep our students and staff healthy and safe at school.

Stop the Spread of Germs

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