First Day of School - Now Aug. 31

Posted on 08/07/2020
FHSD 2020-21 Superintendent Update

Dear families:

I want to provide you with an update on our reopening plans. 

As you recall, we gave families the option to choose in-person or virtual learning for their students About 25% of students have elected virtual learning for at least the first semester. We are excited to welcome students back to school later this month in both physical and virtual classrooms across the District. 

On Thursday, the Francis Howell Board of Education approved a delayed start to the upcoming school year, making Monday, Aug. 31 our official first day for both virtual and in-person students. This move will give our teachers and staff the planning and prep time necessary to deliver the high-quality education your children deserve, and to ensure all staff are adequately trained on our new health and safety protocols before students return.

We are constantly balancing the benefits of getting students back in school against the risk of COVID exposures in our buildings. Like many things with this pandemic, there are no perfect answers.

Instead, we must lean on our medical professionals to keep us informed about the latest COVID developments, particularly within the boundaries of our District.

To that end, we have been working in close collaboration with the St. Charles County Health Department, and also reviewing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

Based on that guidance and at this particular moment in time, we feel that the most appropriate course of action is to proceed with our plan to re-open our buildings for in-person learning five days a week for those who have selected that option.
I do, however, need to ask for your help.

We know that our schools are not immune to COVID. We will likely have some positive cases in our buildings. Our job is to manage them well so that we can minimize the spread among students and staff.

We all have a shared responsibility and obligation to make this work. We’ve put safeguards in place, but we need students and staff to follow them. As parents and guardians, I’m asking you to help your students understand the importance of wearing a mask or face covering while in school, practicing physical distancing, washing hands regularly and all the other good hygiene practices that have been shown to slow the spread of illness and disease. Additionally, please monitor your students for any COVID symptoms each day before they go to school. Please keep them home if they experience any symptoms at all until they are symptom free for 24 hours.

Let me end by acknowledging that this school year will bring challenges for all us of to work through. We will do our best to keep you informed as things change, to answer your questions, and to connect you with resources you need. 

I want to thank you for your patience and understanding, and we look forward to seeing your students in physical and virtual classrooms on Aug. 31. 

Stay well,
Dr. Nathan Hoven signature
Dr. Nathan Hoven Superintendent


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