Affton Return to Learn graphic

2021-22 Return to Learn

UPDATE February 27, 2022

Beginning tomorrow, Monday, February 28, 2022, the district will move to a mask-recommended policy for all grades PreK-12, including staff and students regardless of vaccination status. Individual schools will return to a mask-required status for two weeks when the number of positive cases over the course of any week in a building exceeds 2% of the building’s population of students and adults. Learn more about our Health & Safety Guidelines here.

We will include daily updates on the number of cases and positivity rate for each school on our COVID-19 Dashboard and notify families and staff if a change to masking status would be needed.

NEW: Also beginning Monday, February 28, 2022, the district will move to a mask-recommended policy for all individuals regardless of vaccination status when riding the bus. This aligns with updated CDC guidance that no longer recommends universal indoor mask wearing in K-12 and early education settings in areas with a low or medium COVID-19 Community Level.

UPDATE February 16, 2022

As you know, throughout this school year, the Affton Board of Education has been carefully reviewing and voting on the COVID-19 health and safety mitigation strategies in our Return to Learn Plan at least every 30 days.

Last evening, the Affton Board of Education held their regular business meeting where they directed the district to plan for a mask-recommended, but not required, learning environment. Affton School District will revise our COVID-19 health and safety protocols as follows:

  • Face coverings will continue to be required while inside all Affton School District buildings through February 25, 2022.

  • Beginning Monday, February 28, 2022, the district will move to a mask-recommended policy for all grades PreK-12, including staff and students regardless of vaccination status. Individual schools will return to a mask-required status for two weeks when the number of positive cases over the course of any week in a building exceeds 2% of the building’s population of students and adults. (See additional details below.)

  • Face coverings will remain required on all buses pursuant to a federal mandate.

Mask-Recommended Protocols and Metrics

The mask-recommended learning environment provides choice for individuals if certain criteria are met at each school. COVID-19 community data will also be considered.

Masks will remain optional in our PreK-12 schools if a building’s weekly percentage of individuals who test positive or are presumed positive does not exceed 2% of a school’s total population (students and staff). COVID-19 data in the surrounding community will also be considered.

If the percentage of positive cases is greater than 2% of a school’s total population (students and staff), face masks will be required at that school for at least two weeks. To resume mask-recommended status, a school’s weekly percentage of positive cases must be less than 2% after the two-week period. Data will be reviewed weekly.

We will include daily updates on the number of cases and positivity rate for each school on our COVID-19 Dashboard and notify families and staff if a change to masking status would be needed.

Each school is listed below with total student and staff population, and the 2% metric referenced above:

Affton High School

  • Total population (students and staff): 851

  • 2% of total population: 17

Rogers Middle School

  • Total population (students and staff): 626

  • 2% of total population: 13

Gotsch Intermediate School

  • Total population (students and staff): 666

  • 2% of total population: 13

Mesnier Primary School

  • Total population (students and staff): 640

  • 2% of total population: 13

Affton Early Childhood

  • Total population (students and staff): 198

  • 2% of total population: 4

Thank you for your continued partnership, support, and understanding as we take steps to ensure the health and safety of our entire Affton School District community.

UPDATE January 5, 2022

As you know, throughout this school year, the Affton Board of Education has been carefully reviewing and voting on the COVID-19 health and safety mitigation strategies in our Return to Learn Plan at least every 30 days.

Last evening, the Affton Board of Education held their regular business meeting where they unanimously approved our 2021-22 Return to Learn Plan. While many of our health and safety strategies remain the same, the following recommendations and revisions were accepted:

  • Face coverings will continue to be required while inside all Affton School District buildings and on all buses.

  • Effective Jan. 5, 2022, employees, students, and visitors who test positive for COVID-19 or who are symptomatic will be excluded from Affton School District premises in accordance with our Communicable Diseases (Policy EBB) and Staff Health and Safety (Policy GBE) policies. 

    • Parents/guardians will be informed if there is a positive case of COVID-19 in their child’s classroom or school. 

    • Staff members will continue to be informed if there is a positive case of COVID-19 in their school.

  • The district will discontinue contact tracing for the purpose of identifying close contacts that are assigned modified quarantine. We will return the responsibility of contact tracing and quarantine to the St. Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH). Currently, district employees assist the County with the quarantine process. We will continue to follow any directives to quarantine students and staff. However, as we move forward, we believe St. Louis County DPH is the best entity to provide guidance when quarantine is necessary and required.

  • The district’s COVID-19 Dashboard will be updated to reflect the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in each building, as well as the percentage of positive cases in each school. 

  • Affton School District will offer limited onsite COVID-19 testing to students and employees in partnership with Nomi Health beginning Jan. 6, 2022. Click here for more information and a pre-registration link.

  • Affton School District will continue to explore the protocols and metrics needed to be met to consider a mask-recommended learning environment.

Affton School District will continue to review our school and community data, as well as our COVID-related health and safety strategies, and will keep you updated with changes and important information throughout this semester. Thank you for your continued partnership, support, and understanding as we take steps to ensure the health and safety of our entire Affton School District community.

UPDATE December 7, 2021

As you may have seen in news reports, a letter was sent yesterday to Missouri public school districts by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt regarding the November 22, 2021, court ruling around mask mandates, quarantine orders, and other public health orders. As it currently stands, this court opinion will become a final judgment on December 23, 2021. While the interpretation of this court ruling and subsequent analysis by attorneys is ongoing, Affton School District has received this letter and taken it under advisement.

As they have done since August, our Board reviews and approves any COVID-related health and safety plans at their regular business meetings. Last night, Tuesday, December 7, 2021, the elected Affton Board of Education voted unanimously to continue the district’s current health and safety mitigation strategies. However, with these new legal implications and our ongoing review of COVID-19 data in our schools and community, we were already anticipating exploring revisions to our Return to Learn Plan for next semester.

Next week, our Return to Learn Task Force will convene to discuss changes to our strategies, including the consideration of a mask optional environment based on specific metrics with regard to the percentage of positive cases in each building, changes to how quarantines could be handled, as well as increased access to COVID-19 testing for students and employees. As we shared earlier this week, a feedback opportunity around these potential changes will also be available in the Sunday update for our families, students, and staff.

The next business meeting when the Board of Education will review both current and potential changes to our COVID-related health and safety plans is scheduled for January 4, 2022, with a target date for any approved changes to go into effect after January 18, 2022.

As always, Affton School District strives to communicate clearly, transparently, and in a timely manner with all of our stakeholders, and that includes any changes made to our COVID-19 mitigation strategies. Thank you for your continued support and we will stay in touch as we move forward together.

Affton School District plans to begin the 2021-22 school year with a full in-person learning schedule across the district. The district will also offer online options for families that meet state virtual instruction guidelines. The first day of school is Monday, August 23, 2021.

The district has engaged staff, parents, and students through surveys and task force meetings to get input on key items related to a safe return to learn plan. The district reviewed guidelines and recommendations from organizations such as the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the St. Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH). The input and guidelines culminated in recommendations provided to the BOE for adoption in August 2021.

The information contained in the 2021-22 Return to Learn plan captures how the district plans to begin the school year and implement key aspects of a safe and healthy learning environment. The plan will be periodically reviewed at a minimum of once per quarter and revised when necessary. Throughout the school year, updates will be provided to the community online (email and website), through social media, and at Board of Education meetings.