Return to School

Overview: What will school look like in 2020-2021?

What will school look like in August and throughout the 2020-2021 school year? What are my child’s options? How is my child going to be kept safe? We understand that Mehlville School District families and staff have many questions regarding our return to school for the fall semester. Through parent and staff feedback, the work of our Return to School Committee, as well as continued guidance from the St. Louis County Department of Public Health, we are preparing to safely reopen Mehlville schools for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Mehlville School District families have two choices to make. They can select on-campus instruction with COVID-19 safety protocols in place or full-time virtual instruction through Mehlville@Home. Parents who choose on-campus instruction should understand that depending on the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community, on-campus instruction may pivot to a staggered attendance schedule with blended learning opportunities (at home and at school) or to virtual learning. We will announce which plan we intend to start on-campus instruction with on or before Friday, Aug. 7. 

Return to School
Please use the links below to explore the two options: on-campus instruction (with contingency Plan A, B and C) and Mehlville@Home. You can also review the entire plan as a PDF.
Learn more about On-Campus instructions.  Mehlville@Home

Our return to school plans will be released July 20 (July 6, 2020)
There has been media coverage about guidelines on returning to school from a task force of area school superintendents and public health officials. These guidelines serve as recommendations for school districts to consider when developing their individual plans for returning to school in August. We will be releasing our detailed return to school plan the week of July 20.

Parent survey results (July 2, 2020)

Thank you, parents, for completing the Return to School survey. Mehlville School District leaders are using these results to shape our return to school plan, which will be released the week of July 20. See the survey results.

An update on our return to school in August (June 24, 2020)

Our district budget remains sound
First, our budget is in good shape for now. During state and county stay-at-home orders, our economy slowed down significantly. As a result of a reduction in sales tax, the closure of casinos, and an extension of the tax deadline from April 15 to July 15, our revenue from state and local sources is less than what we anticipated it to be. Due to state budget shortfalls, we received less state funding in the month of June than we anticipated, and we are expecting a similar withholding in July. That said, our financial outlook remains positive. That’s because we’ve worked hard over the past few years to build up cash reserves. While we anticipate spending more than our revenue sources next year, our cash reserves will provide the cushion we need to weather this pandemic year without cutting any programs or services.

What will school look like in August?
I wish I could provide you with that answer today, but there remain too many unknowns to predict what school will look like on our first day, Aug. 25, 2020. Our Return to School Committee has been working since April to plan for a variety of scenarios. The committee has provided the framework of what instruction would look like if all students return to our buildings, if we have staggered attendance to allow for any social distancing requirements, or if it’s not safe to return to buildings and students engage in e-learning either temporarily or for an extended period of time. Currently, our principals are working on detailed operational plans to minimize risk of coronavirus infection. We will be sharing all of these plans with parents the week of July 20.

We have made a few decisions regarding our return to school that I can share with you today:
  • Our decisions will be based primarily on guidance from the St. Louis County Department of Public Health.
  • Students will continue to take their Chromebooks home.
  • We will not be buying additional buses to allow for greater social distancing.
  • If we have to stagger our attendance so that only half of students will attend at any one time, we will not split attendance by morning and afternoon. Having half of our students attend in the morning while the other half attend in the afternoon presents transportation challenges and would not provide us enough time to thoroughly clean between attendance groups.
  • If we have to stagger attendance, family groups will be on the same schedule.
What’s next?
We have reached a point where in order to continue planning, we need more feedback from you. Please take a few minutes to complete our survey on return-to-school options and Mehlville@Home.

>> Take the survey. [The survey is now closed.]

We don’t know what the impact of COVID-19 will be in the fall, and guidance from public health officials changes frequently. However, I’m optimistic that by July 20, we will have a solid plan to educate our community's children in a continuing pandemic. Thank you to the teachers and administrators who are working throughout the summer to create these plans for robust learning and safe operations. Thank you for your patience and grace as we continue to work together for the safety of our community.


Chris Gaines, Ed.D.

A new type of school: Mehlville@Home

Mehlville@Home Mehlville School District will open a virtual school in August 2020, called Mehlville@Home, for students in grades K-12. Students must enroll and commit to Mehlville@Home for at least one semester at a time. Teachers will provide engaging instruction and learning opportunities through this virtual school. Families at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 may choose this option for their student; however, we want to emphasize that this program is for any student who would like to enroll in Mehlville School District and learn in a virtual setting. We plan to continue to offer Mehlville@Home even after the pandemic is behind us.

The district hosted a series of parent meetings to discuss Mehlville@Home. You can view the information here:
Elementary School Parent Information:

Middle School Parent Information:

High School Parent Information:

Preparing for students' return in August (June 22, 2020)
Mehlville School District leaders are working throughout the summer to prepare for our students’ return to school and learning in August. Our goal is to provide high-quality instruction and learning opportunities in a clean and safe environment for students and staff.

Our Return to School Committee, which includes teachers, principals and administrators, is planning for a variety of scenarios so we can best prepare to provide school in-person, virtually, or maybe a hybrid of both, depending on guidance from St. Louis County Health.

During our planning, we are considering the feedback our parents, teachers and community provided in our ThoughtExchange on returning to school (see the results of the exchange here). The top thoughts centered around cleaning and sanitizing our learning spaces, followed by keeping sick children and staff at home, and how we can physically distance.

Our return to school plan will include heightened levels of cleaning, additional times for students and staff to wash their hands, physical distancing where possible, and guidance on the use of personal protective equipment, like face coverings. Mehlville School District will be closely following the recommendations of the St. Louis County Public Health Department.

More information will be shared with parents the week of July 20. We appreciate your patience during this time of uncertainty.
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