Reopening The Biome

Reopening Our School

As you know, this past March, The Biome School was closed under the guidance of local health officials and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  Since then, we have been working tirelessly to re-open our school. Our goal, supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, is to have all learners physically present at the beginning of the school year; however, this is impossible considering the escalating community health issues that we are facing.  Our current Phase One AMI Reopening Plan Overview can be downloaded here.

To accomplish this, we are implementing several policies, mandated by the City of St. Louis Health Department, and practices will help protect learners, the staff at the Biome, and provide the members of our school community with the confidence to return to school and fully engage in our primary mission of educating children. 

School leadership, staff, parents, and board members contributed to a draft of the re-opening plan, which will be accessible on this page soon.

There are four critical principles for re-opening.   To minimize the spread of infectious diseases, we will:

  1. Understand how likely it is that someone with a virus will be part of our school community (community spread)
  2. Reduce time and exposure – The basic idea is to reduce time exposed to anyone new (reduce or eliminate mixing between batches of students) and to minimize exposure (either people emitting coronavirus or surfaces that can carry SARS-CoV-2; or removing someone who is known to have active Covid-19 from the school setting).
  3. Creating Learning Cohorts  (batching -keeping the same group of students together when possible) and monitoring (quickly identifying, isolating and containing the spread of infection)
  4. Proactive outreach – Communicate early and reinforce the expectations, policies, practices, and changes to the school community

Key Re-opening Dates:

    • Re-opening Plan for families and staff:  Wednesday, July 22; 6 – 7 PM
    • Kindergarten Meeting:  Thursday, July 30; 6 – 7 PM
    • Back to School Meeting for families:  Thursday, August 6; 6 – 7 PM
    • Meet the Teacher:  Monday, August 10; 6 – 7 PM
    • First Day of School – Monday, August 17 – UPDATED

The Biome School Family and Staff Reopening Webinar – Wednesday, July 22th
The Biome School will host a webinar to review our re-opening plan with our community.  We want to thank our parents, staff, and board members who participated in this critical work.  During the webinar, we will discuss the policies and practices designed to mitigate the spread of viral infections and to provide the members of our school community with the confidence to return to school and fully engage in our primary mission of educating children. Additionally, the agenda includes a Q&A session. The webinar will begin promptly at 6 PM.  

Kindergarten Meeting (Deferred Placement) – Thursday, July 30
Kindergarten is an exciting time for learners and families, and for many children, a great start in kindergarten lays the foundation for meaningful learning throughout the elementary years.   Recognizing the importance of the kindergarten experience and considering learners’ individual strengths, challenges, social-emotional development, and levels of independence, The Biome will defer kindergarten placements to ensure that we have created two cohesive and balanced kindergarten classrooms.  If you are a kindergarten parent/guardian, please join us on July 30 at 6 PM for this webinar, during which we will outline our kindergarten deferred placement plan.

Back to School Meeting – Thursday, August 6
This webinar will provide the first opportunity for you to hear from The Biome’s new principal, Julie Harris.  During her address, Julie will discuss the academic direction of the school and will inform families about some exciting changes regarding mathematics at The Biome.  Additionally, she will spend time addressing the academic expectations for Biome learners and the learning benchmarks required for promotion to the next grade level. We hope you will join us for this important meeting – Thursday, August 6, at 6 PM.

Meet the Teacher – Monday, August 10
In adherence to the social distancing measures recommended by the CDC, “Meet the Teacher” is going virtual!  Via Zoom, teachers will communicate information about the upcoming school year and will be available to answer questions.  The teachers are looking forward to the start of school and are excited about connecting with you and your child(ren) virtually before school begins.  We hope you will participate; Zoom meetings will be open from 6 to 7 PM.

First Day of School – Wednesday, August 17
After much hard work and planning, we are excited to welcome leaners back to The Biome.  The doors open at 7:30 AM.

Immunization Requirements

In the COVID era, it is important that all learners are protected against vaccine-preventable diseases, some of which can be life-threatening. There are no changes in the requirements for students to be immunized for the 2020-21 school year. Under the Missouri Code of Regulations, Immunization Requirements for School Children 19 CSR 20-28.010, it is important that families partner with the school to ensure that every learner is compliant.

  1. Children in Progress – According to Missouri regulation, children who have not received immunizations required for child care and school attendance cannot attend until their immunizations are up-to-date. However, a child is allowed to attend if the required immunization series has begun and an appointment for the next dose is scheduled. This immunization appointment must be documented on an in-progress card and filed with the child care facility or school.
  2. Religious Exemption – Claiming a religious exemption represents a parent or guardian’s belief that the family’s religious preference does not support immunizing against vaccine-preventable diseases. A religious exemption can be filed for selected vaccines or for all vaccines. Parents and guardians should indicate which vaccines are included on the Religious Immunization Exemption. The Religious Immunization Exemption card must be provided on an original Department of Health and Senior Services’ form Imm.P.11A and shall be signed by the parent or guardian and placed on file with the school immunization health record.
  3. Medical Exemption – A student shall be exempted from the immunization requirements, upon signed certification by a licensed doctor of medicine (MD), doctor of osteopathy (DO), or his or her designee indicating that either the immunization would seriously endanger the student’s health or life or the student has documentation of disease or laboratory evidence of immunity to the disease. The Medical Immunization Exemption card must be provided on an original Department of Health and Senior Services’ form Imm.P.12 and placed on file with the school immunization health record or child care facility.

Immunization Resources