Dear Pattonville families,
Many of our families have been watching the news and waiting to hear what the new school year will look like in the midst of a global pandemic that has no immediate end in sight. Today, I share with you plans we have been developing throughout the summer months that are designed to keep the learning going for our students, no matter the health conditions in the community. The 2020-2021 school year will not be like any school year we have experienced in our lifetimes. Providing meaningful learning opportunities while attending to the health and safety needs of our students and staff will challenge all of us, but our commitment remains to both priorities.
Families have two options to choose from for the new school year: 100% virtual learning for the first semester or in-person learning with phases that will change depending on the health conditions in the community and in our schools. Information on these options can also be found on our new COVID-19 website, in our Pattonville Returns Plan Book (English or Spanish) and by viewing the following video: Superintendent Message Video.
A few important highlights to note:
- The in-person learning option for grades K-12 has three phases:
- Phase 1: Students attending school five days a week;
- Phase 2: A blended model designed for students to attend in-person learning two days a week and receive virtual instruction one day a week, thereby reducing the number of students in school by approximately half each day; and
- Phase 3: 100% virtual learning for all students.
- The Villemade Virtual Academy will be 100% online learning for the entire first semester with Pattonville teachers trained in providing quality virtual instruction.
- As of today, our plan is to begin in-person learning in phase 2, however, this could change depending on the nature of the health conditions in our community.
- Our early childhood program is unique and does not fit neatly into any of our learning options. Because of that, we have not determined which phase of in-person learning our early childhood program will start the school year with. We’re in the process of gathering more information so we can make the best decision possible for our students and staff.
We ask that all families complete an online form in their parent portal in PowerSchool by Monday, July 27, indicating which learning option you would like your child(ren) to participate in during the first semester. Instructions for completing the online form are as follows:
- Use a web browser to visit the Parent Portal and login.
- Select the student you wish to update along the top.
- Select the Forms icon on the left side.
- Click on the form called Learning Choice.
- Answer each question.
- Click Submit. (Follow these instructions for each student).
It is extremely important that all families fill this form out for their children by July 27 so we may plan instruction accordingly. If you have any technical issues completing the form, please call our technology help desk at (314) 213-8146.
It’s important to remember there are still five weeks before the first day of school. In the COVID era, that is an eternity. Our plans may still change. Our final decision on which phase of in-person learning we start the year will be based on the health and safety guidance we receive from the medical experts at the St. Louis County Department of Public Health.
This is the first of many back-to-school communications you will receive from Pattonville. We will provide you updates of any changes, as well as necessary information to help prepare for the 2020-2021 school year.
We miss our Pattonville students and staff. We long for school to get back to normal but we know that is not possible with the current state of the pandemic. We are ever mindful of the hardships our families face when school as we know it is disrupted. No matter what, please know we are here for our students, families and staff, and we will do everything we can to give our students the best school year possible. I thank you for your patience and understanding as we work together through the challenges that lie ahead.
Tim Pecoraro, Ed.D.