Parties, outside school events spike COVID cases and exposure, led to school closure


ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Parkway North High School pivoted to at-home learning Thursday after a recent spike in coronavirus cases and exposure.

The district sent a letter to families Wednesday alerting them the district would move to all virtual learning beginning Thursday and lasting until after spring break. Classes will resume in person on Monday, March 29. The district had about 20% of students in quarantine due to exposure, 15 positive test results among students, and more reporting symptoms and awaiting test results.

About 1,100 students are enrolled at Parkway North High School, but only 519 of them are enrolled for in-person learning at the high school. Of the 519 students, 31% of them were absent Wednesday due to COVID-related issues.

Parkway North High School Freshman Kendall Klepacki said she has never seen this many of her classmates quarantined at one time.

“I was disappointed because I was excited to be back, but I think it was a smart decision to keep us all safe,” Klepacki said. “I was starting to get nervous because I knew that it was becoming more dangerous.”

The district said it can’t rule our exposure at school, but their investigation has pointed to the cases stemming from parties and activities outside of school.

“Because it was outside of school and wasn’t really involving the district at all, the district can only do what they can do, parents need to be responsible for their own kids and if they’re making those decisions that’s the consequences that come out of it, unfortunately, it impacts all the other kids at school, not just those kids,” said Christopher Skiles, parent of a Parkway North High School student.

Sports and extracurricular activities are also canceled until students return, which meant a forfeited playoff basketball game Wednesday night.

“My son is no longer going to be doing practice for track for two more weeks, so he’s really down, because he really likes track and there’s a lot of extracurricular activities and stuff that the kids look forward to that they just can’t do now,” Skiles said.

North High Principal Tori Cain sent a letter to staff, parents and students Thursday afternoon and said the school started deep-cleaning the building Thursday using special cleaning procedures.

“I realize this temporary closure is both unexpected and disappointing. Thank you for your patience as we work through this together in order to maintain the health and safety of the North High community,” Cain said in her letter Thursday afternoon.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News