Frequently Asked Questions About COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

We are very aware of the many concerns and questions our parents and students have about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and how it will impact our school district. On this page, we will share information on topics we are asked about most frequently. In addition, we will share our plans and procedures for helping to keep our Ladue Schools community as healthy as possible during this challenging time.

If you have a question that is not addressed here, please talk to your
child’s teacher or principal (if your concern/question is class or building specific)
or send
your question to input@ladueschools.net and it will be answered by
the appropriate person as quickly as possible. 

Current Status:

At this time, the Ladue School District, along with all St. Louis County public school districts will be closed at least through April 22, 2020.  

Most of our staff are working remotely and our focus is on ensuring our students are served as best they can be in these challenging times. Please do not hesitate to send an email directly to teachers and other staff members with your questions. If your question is very general in nature, or you don’t know who is in the best position to answer it, please send it to input@ladueschools.net and we will route it to someone who can help you. 

While we realize we cannot replicate having students in our schools through online learning, it is our hope that it will allow some continuity until we can all be together again.

(Added 3.27.20) How are the Ladue School District and Special School District (SSD) collaborating during this time? As always, the partnership between Ladue School District and SSD remains strong. On Friday, March 18, 2020 this letter and its attachment were sent to the families of all students who receive services from SSD. While this information was provided prior to the decision to close school through April 22, the information remains accurate and answers many of the questions parents may have about the services SSD will provide during this time.

(Added 03.18.20) Did you complete the survey? If your child would benefit from breakfast and/or lunch being provided while students are not in school, please complete this survey. (Due to the overwhelming response to our request for volunteers, we will be removing that portion from the survey. We now have more volunteers than we could possibly know what to do with! Thank you, Ladue!)

(Added 03.18.20) Did you miss a communication?  We realize there have been a lot of communications on this topic in the last few weeks, and there will definitely be many more. We want to make sure you can find them easily, so please feel free to click here for a listing of all communications sent by the Ladue School District about COVID-19.

(Updated 03.15.20) Why was it necessary to close schools? On Sunday, March 15, leaders from St. Louis County school districts, the St. Louis Public School District (including charter schools) and the Archdiocese of St. Louis met with St. Louis County Department of Health officials and were advised that it would be in the best interest of our greater community for schools to close through April 3. On Monday, March 23, the decision was made for all St. Louis County public school districts to remain closed through at least April 22, 2020 based on the county’s Executive Order dated March 21, 2020.

(Updated 3.15.20) What plans are being made to ensure learning continues with the schools closed? As you might imagine, the approach will vary by grade level. Following is an overview of what you should expect:

    • For students in kindergarten through fifth grade, your school will recommend online resources and other activities for you to make available to your child. Many of these are already used in the classroom and familiar to your child. 
    • Many students in middle school already utilize Google Classroom and this provides an excellent platform for issuing assignments, collaborating on work and grading, without the students and teacher being in the same location. (Middle school students took their Chromebooks home prior to Spring Break.) 
    • The vast majority of teachers at the high school use Google Classroom and this will be the platform used for teaching and learning until school is back in session. The various departments are already identifying what upcoming assignments are essential, which can be modified for remote learning and which can be easily eliminated without changing student outcomes.

(Updated 3.15.20) Will the district be canceling events, field trips, games or large group meetings? As long as school is not in session, all activities, games and events will be canceled. Once we know when school will resume, information about the status of upcoming events will be shared. 

(Updated 03.12.20) What are the restrictions for students or staff members who travel outside of the U.S. or to areas in the U.S. with sustained or widespread community transmission? Students and staff members who plan to travel at any time during this health crisis should be aware of the COVID-19 status of the location they are visiting. These are continuously updated on the CDC’s Travel Health Notices page. Any students or employees traveling to these locations must self-quarantine in their homes for a period of fourteen days from their last day in that location or from the last day that the location is designated as a Warning Level 3 nation (outside of the U.S.) or an area with sustained or widespread community transmission (inside the U.S.) whichever occurs first.  On March 12, 2020, the CDC released updated guidance regarding domestic travel. 

(Added 3.10.20) Do administrators and teachers pursue leads, rumors, overheard comments about people potentially being infected with COVID-19? Yes. We pursue all of these, including those on social media, that we see or hear ourselves or are reported to us by others. To this point, the vast majority of these are groundless, but we do not take any chances. Calls are made home to parents as soon as one of these incidences is reported.

(Added 3.10.20) What happens when students joke about the virus or pretend to cough, sneeze, etc.? As we all know, this is a serious situation. Our teachers and building administrators immediately have conversations with students when they joke in any way about the virus to let them know how important it is for us to have a clear, accurate vision of what is happening in our schools so we can make decisions that will keep our students and staff healthy.

What consequences will there be if my child is out of school for an extended period of time? None. While the district has made the decisions to close schools through April 3, the decision about whether or not you send your child to school is always yours. If you choose to keep your child out of school due to this health concern, even when school is in session, your child’s teacher will work with you to ensure they have the ability to keep up with their coursework just as they would anytime your child was sick for an extended period of time.

What is being done to keep the schools disinfected? First, we want to assure you we have ample cleaning supplies and access to more, if and when we need them. Although empty shelves at area retailers are being shown by the media, our supplies come in bulk from wholesalers and there is no concern that we will not have access to whatever we need for the foreseeable future.  

While schools are closed, access to buildings will be extremely limited and we will take this opportunity to clean and disinfect, using special equipment and products that are specifically designed for large and/or public facilities. 

Who is being affected most by this virus?  Children are less affected than adults and the clinical attack rates among children aged 0 – 19 yrs are low. Studies in China indicate that household transmission occurs more often from adults to children than from child to adult — like we see with influenza. In addition, 80% of infections are mild or asymptomatic; this rate is even higher among children. The highest risk groups for severe or critical infection with COVID-19 are those who are elderly or have comorbidities (other underlying health conditions).

How long do staff and students have to stay out of school if they have confirmation that they are carrying the virus? The CDC is currently recommending that those who have/had confirmed COVID-19 disease stay home for 14 days after they have two negative tests for COVID-19. 

What is considered “exposure?” According to the CDC: “Based on what is currently known about COVID-19 and what is known about other coronaviruses, spread is thought to occur mostly from person-to-person via respiratory droplets among close contacts.

Close contact can occur while: 1) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time. Close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case. 2) having direct contact with infectious secretions from a person with COVID-19. Infectious secretions may include sputum, serum, blood, and respiratory droplets.”

Should a person be in social isolation if they were exposed to the virus or only if they are symptomatic?  If someone is absolutely sure they have been exposed to the virus, public health officials need to be aware of this. That person will be told to self-monitor. If they develop symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath), they should report it to their healthcare officials and see their healthcare provider immediately.

Those who are symptomatic should be on home isolation. Information on home isolation can be found here: 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html#precautions

If you crossed paths with someone who is currently asymptomatic but was exposed to the virus, should you be on social isolation? People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest). However, some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.  

If someone you work with or provide service to is a family member of someone who has a positive diagnosis of coronavirus, should you be isolated? No. Isolation is only needed for those who are symptomatic or believed to be contagious. If public health believes that you have been exposed to an infected COVID-19 individual, they will consider you a contact and will have you self-monitor for signs/symptoms of disease.

Should all family members of a person with a positive diagnosis be quarantined? If so,  for how long? The CDC currently recommends that a person who is in the same household as a known COVID-19 carrier should follow these recommendations:

Household members, intimate partners, and caregivers in a non-healthcare setting may have close contact with a person with symptomatic, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 or a person under investigation. Close contacts should monitor their health; they should call their healthcare provider right away if they develop symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath).

There is also a long list of other general infection prevention precautions to follow if you live with someone infected with COVID-19. Here is a link to the full list of recommendations: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html#precautions

How do I talk to my young children about COVID-19?  This article that provides tips on how to discuss the virus with your children.

Are the drinking water supply and swimming pools safe? Yes. Current recommended disinfection practices are sufficient to inactivate the COVID-19 virus in chlorinated drinking water and swimming pools.