Dear STJ Families,

On September 16, 2020, the St. James R-I School District was notified by the Phelps/Maries County Health Department that a Lucy Wortham James Elementary School staff member tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). The students, their families, and staff members in close contact with this individual have or are being notified by the Phelps-Maries County Health Department. The Health Department staff will be calling to discuss the health and safety of those families and provide guidance about when students may return to school. If you are not contacted by the health department within 48 hours, your child was not found to be in close contact with the individual who tested positive. If you believe your child to be a close contact, and are not notified during that period, please call the Phelps-Maries County Health Department. We are working closely with them to assist with contact tracing and have been advised that a full building closure is not necessary at this time. The St. James R-I School District will remain in Daily Mode Indicator – Level 2. 

The St. James R-I School District will continue to work closely with local health officials to monitor evolving circumstances and revise our operational plans as needed. You will be able to view updated reporting information for the entire district about positive tests and present quarantines on our website under the “COVID-19 Resources” tab. 

COVID-19 is thought to be spread via person-to-person contact through contaminated air droplets from coughing and sneezing by an infected person. As with controlling the spread of other viruses, we urge everyone to take preventive measures and monitor for symptoms daily. More information on our guidelines can be found on our website at It is truly a community effort to minimize the spread of the virus and help us keep our schools safe, healthy, and open. 


Merlyn Johnson