North Tech Closure Information
As you should be already aware, North Tech closed on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, and tentatively will reopen on Monday, April 6, 2020. During our closure, our building will undergo a deep cleaning in preparation for our students’ return. All previously scheduled events during this time, other than Spring Break from March 23, 2020 to March 27, 2020, are postponed. This includes the State SkillsUSA competitions, all shadowing and internship experiences, and any other program specific events or trips that may have been on the calendar.
We care deeply about our families and students and want to encourage you to view the frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and the measures we are taking which are listed below. Our sincere hope is that you are all safe and we will return to school healthy and ready to resume our normal activities on April 6, 2020.
In our efforts to support student learning during the closure, our instructors will be offering a variety of assignments that will be accessible online. You will have received an email from your students’ instructor(s) with specific information regarding their program curricula. Our teachers will be available during normal school hours, 7:00 am to 2:30 pm, to answer questions, provide guidance, and otherwise assist students. Please encourage your students to regularly check for communications from their instructor(s). During our Spring Break, our instructors will not be online but will respond to all inquiries upon their return on Monday, March 30, 2020. If you have questions or concerns about online learning, please contact your instructor. Our online staff directory can be seen here.
Additional resources will be shared on our website and social media channels on Facebook and Twitter (@northtechstl) as they become available.
Thank you for being a part of our community! Together, we will all do our best to support you and our students. We will notify you via phone, email, and social media should there be any additional updates or information regarding our closure. Stay safe – we hope to see you in April!
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is COVID-19?
- COVID-19 is the name of the newly detected coronavirus that can cause respiratory illness. It may be spread from person to person, and possibly from touching surfaces that have the virus on them.
- What is Special School District doing about COVID-19?
- After much consideration and after consulting with school districts and schools in St. Louis County and St. Louis City, and with the St. Louis County Department of Health, SSD will be closing its schools, programs, sites and operational facilities beginning Wednesday, March 18. Students and staff at SSD schools, programs, sites and operational facilities who are not ill should report to school and/or work on Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17, to prepare for student instruction and to plan for the continuation of District operations while schools and facilities are closed. SSD schools, programs, sites, and operational facilities are tentatively scheduled to reopen on Monday, April 6.
- How can I find out the latest news about what the District is doing?
- Important information will appear on SSD’s website and Facebook page. If you have specific information regarding the health of a child or adult, please contact your school or site immediately. District staff is dedicating their time to planning and working with agencies proactively.
- What can I do to keep myself and my child healthy?
- If your child is sick, please keep them home from school. To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 and flu, follow these important tips: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay home when you are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Individuals with chronic health issues and/or individuals experiencing severe symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional.
- How can we help prevent the spread of the virus?
- It is recommended that when washing hands, wash them thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and water. If soap and water are not readily available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. It is also recommended to cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue away in the trash. Clean frequently used objects and surfaces daily. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands. For Families of Students Who Attend SSD Schools Are additional cleaning/disinfecting measures in place? Ensuring that we keep students and school learning environments safe and clean is a top priority. The District has a plan to respond to combat the spread of the flu and possible COVID-19 in our schools and on buses with the use of proper cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting agents. As circumstances evolve, custodial staff may be prioritized for daily cleaning in our schools and scheduled after-hours events. Facility use also may be curtailed in order to focus resources on keeping the schools clean and safe.
- Will SSD schools distribute facemasks?
- The St. Louis County Health Department does not recommend the use of face masks for general prevention and says that handwashing provides better protection from infectious diseases.
- What if I want to keep my child home as a precaution against COVID-19? Will the absence(s) be excused?
- Unless your child is currently sick, has a doctor’s note excusing him or her from school for medical reasons, or you have previously made some other arrangement with your child’s school, the absence is considered unexcused. For additional information on attendance, review your child’s school handbook.
- My child has flu-like symptoms, what should I do?
- First, you should contact your child’s physician and inform him or her of the illness. Second, notify your child’s school of the reason for the absence so that we can track and monitor illness-related absences. Third, consider keeping siblings home from school.
- My child has a compromised immune system. Should I send them to school?
- Please consult your medical provider for guidance.
- Will families be notified if an SSD staff member or student in an SSD school tests positive for COVID-19?
- We will follow notification guidelines from the local health department should SSD receive notice of any staff or student testing positive for COVID-19. Please know that the District is committed to maintaining the privacy of our students and staff. Our schools will work with students and families under mandatory or self-quarantine with sensitivity and confidentiality.
- What guidance is SSD following on who should be excluded from school in a self-quarantine?
- SSD is following the guidance provided by the St. Louis County Health Department. As directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the District will exclude students, teachers or staff who have a travel history over the course of the last 14 days to an area identified by the CDC as having widespread, ongoing transmission (Level 3 Travel Health Notice). Additionally, the District will exclude anyone from school who has been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 for 14 days from the day of their last exposure. Related absences will be excused.
SSD understands that missing school for any reason can cause concern and stress for its families and students. We will work collaboratively with families throughout this process. These guidelines have been put in place to maintain a healthy and safe environment for all families.
In addition, we ask parents, caregivers or others who may be under mandatory or self-quarantine to remain off campus as well.
Who should I contact if I have more questions?We will continue to keep our students, staff, and families informed as we receive guidance from public health officials. If you have any questions, please continue to visit SSD’s website or Facebook page. Other reliable information can also be found on the CDC’s website.