COVID-19 – Frequently Asked Questions

Will the closure affect graduation?
As of now, the closure should not affect the commencement date. As far as what commencement looks like, we will have to wait and see the status of COVID-19 and take into account official instruction, should there be any at the time.
UPDATE (4/6/20): Due to the recent “Stay at Home” order from Governor Parson and the City of St. James we are considering moving graduation to a date later in the summer. We will continue to wait and see the status of COVID-19 and take into account official instruction, should there be any at the time. A decision about graduation will be made soon.

Will students be surveyed regarding their recent travel?
We are diligently developing plans to assess recent travel activity before allowing staff and students to return to the school setting. At this time, our plans include requiring all school staff and students returning from international travel or other high exposure areas to self-quarantine for 14 days before being allowed to return to school.

Will this impact state testing?
Information regarding state testing is ever-evolving at this point. Our leaders are remaining in contact with education officials as they work through those issues at the state level. We will provide updates once we have more information.
UPDATE (3/18/20): DESE states the testing window can be extended if the need arises.
UPDATE (3/19/20): DESE has canceled required state testing for the 2019-2020 school year. (source)

Will missed days need to be made up?
Dr. Johnson is reaching out to DESE to confirm the status of make-up days. There has been no confirmation from DESE at this time on how to proceed.
UPDATE (3/18/20): Districts can choose to submit a waiver to the Commissioner of Education upon their return to school, requesting forgiveness for the days missed due to COVID-19. Per state statute, the commissioner has the authority to forgive the hours. We will have to wait for that process to occur.
UPDATE (3/20/20): Schools will not be required to make up calendar hours lost due to the COVID-19 and missed calendar hours will not impact the calculation of average daily attendance, which is used to calculate state aid payments.

How does this affect Summer School?
At this time, we are planning for a highly academic summer school session. We want to ensure our students will receive the best possible education and help alleviate any academic loss for our students during the COVID-19 Closure. Summer school dates have been approved for June 1-25. Summer School dates are subject to change if official state and local instruction is given to postpone or cancel. If necessary, summer school could be postponed until July or even as late as early August.

Will MSHSAA cancel spring sports seasons?
UPDATE (3/31/2020): The only restriction MSHSAA has set in place for schools because of school closure due to the coronavirus epidemic states, ‘if a school district is closed due to coronavirus, they will not participate in practices or competition.’  At this time, St. James Schools will be closed until May 3rd.  The school district is scheduled to reopen on Monday, May 4th.  When school resumes sports teams will be allowed to begin their practices once again.

Teams are still required to complete 14 days of practice prior to competing.  Due to this requirement, the middle school track season has been suspended for the remainder of the school year.  High School teams, whose seasons are longer, are still scheduled to finish their seasons. As of 3/31/20, MSHSAA indicated that they are still waiting to make a potential statewide decision on high school spring sports.  If it becomes apparent there are not enough teams to proceed, the possibility of suspending the high school seasons does exist.

Can my community sports teams use the school facilities (gyms, fields, etc.)?
No. All school-operated facilities are closed to team activities until school reopens on May 4th.

How does this affect Prom?
An alternative date of May 9th has been selected at this time. Prom will not be held at Matt’s Steakhouse and instead will be held at the St. James Middle School.  If the school closure is prolonged or if we are under a “Stay at Home Order”, Prom will more than likely be postponed or canceled. We will continue to monitor the situation and will update all students and parents as soon as a final decision is made.

What about A+ attendance requirements?
Guidance from the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development should be issued in the near future. We will update when any new information is received.
UPDATE (3/20/20): Due to school closures in response to preventing the spread of COVID-19, MO Higher Education & Workforce Development has temporarily reduced or suspended certain A+ Scholarship eligibility requirements. Learn more at bit.ly/398TRt0.

How will this affect Kindergarten Screening appointments?
Kindergarten screenings have been postponed until further notice. All current appointments have been canceled. Please watch the district webpage, Lucy Wortham James Elementary Facebook page, Three Rivers Publishing and KZNN for more updates.

What about the April 7th elections?
Governor Parson has issued an executive order moving the April 7th school board/municipal elections to June 2nd due to the Coronavirus pandemic. This was done after numerous counties and election authorities prepared to petition the courts to have the election moved.

Will the St. James R-I Nutrition Services Program provide meals during the COVID-19 Closure?
Yes. This will begin on Monday, March 30 at Lucy Wortham James Elementary, 314 South Jefferson, for all children 18 and under. Pick up opportunities will be all Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays each week of the closure from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm as long as there is a need. Each child will receive two breakfast and two lunch meals. No paperwork is required. Children must be present in order for meals to be provided. Meals will be provided based on the number of children present. This program will be solely for the pick up of meals, and meals will not be consumed on-site. We encourage families to continue to be proactive in reducing the risk of COVID-19 by not congregating at the school site and utilizing social distancing once meals have been distributed. Meals will be brought to the car. If you do not have transportation you may also call 573-261-3712 and leave a message. We will call you back to make arrangements for delivery. If anyone has difficulties feeding your children outside the listed times, please call the aforementioned number to leave a message.

What do I do if I’m not returning next school year?
Please call the school or send an email to support@stjschools.org and the IT Department will arrange a time for you to drop off your devices.