ST. LOUIS – Monday is the first day of the new school year for many students.
Districts are trying to give students a normal first day at least as much as they can. As many districts return to in-person learning, school officials say it’s an exciting day for kids who have not seen their friends in a while.
St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Adams says students, staff, and teachers will be required to wear masks and social distance in all school buildings following guidelines put in place by the city health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
“This is going to be an exciting year,” Adams said. “Last year was a very difficult year for everyone – 100% virtual. Difficult for kids, staff, and parents. So, having kids back in person will be a real plus for us.”
Dr. Adams plans to address the school board about whether to issue a vaccine mandate. The superintendent is expected to recommend a mask mandate be issued.
Mayor Tishaura Jones paid a special visit to Hodgen Elementary School in south St Louis to greet students and staff on the first day of classes.
The mask debate has consumed many communities. The mayor says it’s important to take extra steps this year to prep for students who might be anxious about coming back.
“I am happy that all of our children are back in school because it’s part of school socializing and seeing friends, so we are happy that we are 100% back,” she said.
Masks are also mandatory over in the Parkway School District. Superintendent Dr. Keith Marty says while it’s exciting that in-person learning has returned, coming back to the schoolhouse will be different.
“(The pandemic) has changed our lives. We are back masking, everyone. In the Parkway Schools, everyone has been understanding. No one wants to wear a mask but we understand the importance and we are glad to be back,” Marty said.
The SLPS Board meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the district’s central office in Room 108. Additional information about the board meeting can be found online at SLPS.org.