Coronavirus (COVID-19) information
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     PUBLIC NOTICE: Non Public School Participation in Services through the CARES Act

Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020, families who qualify for free or reduced price meals at school OR have had a loss in income may be eligible for a new one-time Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer

Link to the Return 2021 Plan

DuBray yearbook photo

Oct. 12, 2021

A revised plan for addressing Covid-19 in the school district will be implemented following the end of the day Oct. 15, 2021. The plan will call for masks optional. In addition, a modified quarantine will be employed for those students wearing a mask when exposed to a positive individual during the school day. Any unmasked student exposed to a Covid-positive individual at school will not qualify for the modified quarantine and will be expected to quarantine according to the guidelines set forth by the St. Charles County Department of Public Health.

The modified quarantine will allow a student to attend school wearing a mask and monitoring for    Covid-19 symptoms for 14 days. This quarantine p­­eriod can be reduced to 7 days by obtaining a negative Covid test from an authorized healthcare provider after the fifth day of the quarantine, with no symptoms in evidence. It will not allow a student to participate in extracurricular activities, including MSHSAA sports and other sanctioned activities, as set forth by MSHSAA and the St. Charles County Department of Public Health. As has been the protocol, asymptomatic vaccinated students will not be required to quarantine.

Parents/guardians will be allowed to volunteer their time in their own child’s classroom (no more than 2 in any one classroom at any one time) for various activities, including parties. Parents/guardians will be required to complete a district wellness check, including a temperature check, at the school when they arrive to visit or volunteer. Parents from the building will also be allowed to schedule a private lunch time with their child using seating separated from other students at lunch. The number of parents will be limited to no more than 5 at any given lunch session so that adequate seating can be provided away from the rest of the student body.

It is the overall goal of this plan to limit transmission of the virus while allowing as many students to be in school as possible and still protecting our entire community. This can be accomplished with the tiered levels of mitigation strategies that are the core of this plan. The following special conditions will be in effect:

If a single classroom Pre-K – 5 shows an increase in Covid cases of 3 students or more over 14 consecutive calendar days, those classroom students and staff will be masked for a period of 14 consecutive calendar days following the most recent positive case. No outside visitors will be allowed to visit at lunch or volunteer in that classroom until the positive cases subside.

  1. 2. Based on a school’s enrollment, at a 2 percent positivity rate the school will add further mitigation strategies until the positivity rate falls below 2 percent for 14 consecutive calendar days. The mitigation strategies to be included are:

          A. Students and staff will wear masks while outside a classroom in the building.

          B. Additional lunch periods might be required to offer greater social distancing.

          C. Classroom activities should take advantage of outdoor facilities as often as possible. No masks will be required for activities conducted outdoors.

           D. There will be no outside visitors allowed in the building until the positivity rate falls below 2 percent for 14 consecutive calendar days.

  2. 3. Based on a school’s enrollment, at a 4 percent positivity rate the school will continue mitigation strategies outlined in No. 2. In addition, masking will be required for all students and staff at all times in the building until the positivity rate falls below 2 percent for 14 consecutive calendar days.

In the preparation of this plan, the Board of Education consulted with Sara Evers, acting director, and Samantha Van Natta, acting assistant director, from the St. Charles County Department of Public Health and other local experts in pediatric infectious diseases who helped determine the thresholds incorporated in the tiered plan outlined above. The Board will continue to actively talk with these specialists moving forward.

Sept. 20, 2021

Dear Staff and Families,


Tonight at the Board of Education meeting the Board voted 4 - 3 that Fort Zumwalt School District will universally mask, grades pre-K through 12. This includes all Fort Zumwalt staff as well. The decision will be reviewed at the next board meeting.


Board members weighed the numbers of positive and quarantined students that we have seen in the first three weeks of the school year. With masks in place, more students will be eligible for the modified quarantine if they are exposed to a COVID positive individual. This means students will be able to stay in school unless they exhibit symptoms. 


The new policy goes into effect Sept. 23. 


Dr. Bernard J. DuBray


Sept. 9, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,
The 2021-2022 school is off to a good start. Staff has welcomed your child(ren) back to the classroom and they are settled into their daily routines. For some I know this has already been complicated by quarantines
and positive COVID tests. Currently the district operates under a masks-optional policy. As you are aware, this policy will be revisited at the next Board of Education meeting.
Our school Registered Nurses and administrators are spending part of their days contact tracing and notifying families of exposure to the virus. This is because the county health department is not properly staffed and is unable to provide this service to us. At this time, most of our schools show a minimal positivity rate, as evidenced in our daily reporting. While these numbers are encouraging, there is one school that is currently experiencing spikes in COVID positivity.

As of Sept. 9, Westhoff Elementary School has had 27 students test positive, resulting in 99 quarantines. This obviously indicates that some action is necessary to curb the spread and return the building to more normal operations. With this in mind, masks will be required indoors for all Westhoff students and staff beginning Monday, Sept. 13. This requirement, which also will be reviewed at the next Board meeting, will remain in place for at least two weeks as we monitor the data on the numbers of positive cases as a percentage of the student body as a whole. Should the number of positive cases at any school exceed 4 percent of the school’s total student population, it will be my plan to reinstate masks for a period of time at that school.
As a district, our goal has been to continue moving forward on a return to normalcy while seeking opportunities to improve quarantine measures that keep healthy children in school. We acknowledge that, at times, spikes in cases might occur at specific buildings. When this occurs, we will remain proactive in implementing measures to curb the spread.

Dr. Bernard J. DuBray

Overview on Return 2021 and Federal Stimulus 
Safe Return/Continuity of Services and ESSER III

Posted 6/22/2021
   The following is posted as a requirement of the American Rescue Plan Act for the Fort Zumwalt School District to qualify for federal stimulus funds that are a part of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER III).
uring the 2020-2021 school year Fort Zumwalt School District provided uninterrupted instruction in-person for more than 15,000 students and online for as many as 3,500 students. (This number grew smaller as the school year went on, eventually below 2,500.)  See the district’s Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan (SRCSP), also known as the Return to School 2020-2021 plan The district also provided, and will continue to provide, social emotional support for students and technology support (in the form of hardware and a help desk) that allows instruction to continue even if a student is quarantined. Weekly meal pick-up for virtual and quarantined students continues at no charge.
The district’s primary objective for the 2021-2022 school year is to resume normal school operations.
Our goals are:

  • --Prepare for students and staff to return for the 2021-2022 school year in a “masks optional” environment where those who choose to wear masks are comfortable and those who don’t are safe.

  • --Prepare students, transportation staff and parents/guardians for the federal requirement that masks be worn on school buses. (See Executive Order 13998)

  • --Implement and revise the Return to School 2020 plan (SRCSP), including health protocols, sanitization protocols and quarantining practices. Revisions will be made in consideration of current pandemic conditions and in collaboration with the St. Charles County Department of Public Health.

  • --Continue to review the SRCSP at least every six months and revise as necessary.

  • --Continue to provide high quality in-person instruction for our students 5 days a week.

  • --Continue to provide high quality virtual instruction where it has been determined to be in the best interest of the student. This determination is made through an application process and through consultation between educators, parents/guardians and students.

  • --Continue to provide accommodations as necessary or as mandated by a student’s Individualized Education Plan.

   With multiple vaccine resources in the community, the district has no plans at this time to coordinate or provide vaccinations. However, individuals who choose to get vaccinated against COVID-19 are not required to quarantine when exposed to a positive case. This helps ensure continuity of instruction. Similarly, there are many community resources for screening and testing services. The district has no plans to provide these services in our schools.
   The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) guidance states that return-to-school plans adopted as part of a public board meeting meet federal stimulus funding requirements for public input. The Fort Zumwalt Board of Education adopted the Return to School 2020 plan by consensus at it’s July 20, 2020 meeting. It can be found on the district’s website at Dialogue with our community has continued at public meetings and through other forums. In the interest of clarity and transparency, the district will seek input throughout the summer as the plan for Return 2021 is finalized. The Superintendent will continue to provide updates at upcoming Board of Education meetings, on the district website, via his regular monthly email updates to staff and parents/guardians and on the FORTiTUDE podcast.

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