November 13, 2020
Dear STJ Families,
Yesterday, Governor Parson announced a statewide change in guidance for determining close contacts and resulting quarantines in school settings. In response to this announcement, the St. James R-I School District will reinforce a districtwide mask emphasis effective immediately. The Phelps-Maries County Department of Health is supportive of this change.
As a district, we are already doing a great job requiring masks for staff and students. At the elementary, we are already requiring masks upon arrival, in shared spaces outside of classrooms, and during dismissal. At the middle and high schools, we are already requiring masks from arrival until dismissal (if social distancing cannot be followed). We will continue to require face coverings and make the necessary adjustments to meet the new statewide guidelines. Feasibility in enforcement at the lower elementary grade levels will be evaluated by teachers and administration. If the mask emphasis is not implemented in these grade levels, the already established quarantine processes will be implemented when necessary. This change does not mean quarantines will stop. Quarantines will continue when circumstances make it difficult to wear masks. Quarantines will continue if there is documented transmission in the classroom setting. Exposed individuals will be notified via email to self-monitor for symptoms and stay home at the first sign they do not feel well.
All students and staff members currently quarantined will remain so until they receive additional instruction from the health department.
Please review the updates on pages 4, 14, and 15 of the Missouri School Guidance Reopening & Operating manual.