ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Schools across the St. Louis area will begin rolling out their back-to-school plans for the fall as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said many of those plans will include options for parents and students: return to in-person learning or continue virtual learning from home.
“Parents will be asked to make this choice over the next few weeks,” Page said, adding that it will be a tough decision to make. “I encourage them to talk to school administrators, to teachers and to their doctors.”
Page said he believes school buildings will be as safe as they can be for students, teachers, staff members and parents.
However, he encouraged parents to choose virtual learning if at all possible.
“It’s a recommendation that many teachers and parents support and who I’ve heard from the most,” Page added. “It’s a recommendation that St. Louis County will support with its resources as well.”
Page said he encouraged Missouri Governor Mike Parson to make sure schools that heavily offer online learning aren’t penalized by having their funding reduced. He added that St. Louis County will offer CARES Act funding to schools to help with their technology needs.
Page pointed to the rise in COVID-19 cases among young people in the county and across the country. He said the county will be doing what it can between now and the start of school to bend the curve back in a downward direction — and that masks still remain key.
“Masks remain mandatory in St. Louis County. Please wear them,” he urged residents, while also asking them to continue practicing social distancing.
He also said occupancy limits at businesses will remain at 50% in the county, and there is no intention on increasing that anytime soon.
"With more people out and about, so is the virus. We are in unprecedented times," Page said. "We know that the virus is still very present in our community. So, let’s continue to pull it together, working together and doing everything we can to get everyone back to work and back to school safely.”