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COVID-19 surge sends some St. Louis-area schools back to remote learning

East St. Louis School District 189's administrative offices are three miles west of the district's high school. First day of school this year is Aug. 16.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio
The East St. Louis school district is among those temporarily returning to virtual learning.

Updated at 1:30 p.m., Jan. 4, to include more schools moving to remote instruction.

A handful of school districts in the St. Louis region announced temporary returns to virtual learning as COVID-19 cases are once again rising sharply.

East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Belleville Township High School and Brooklyn in the Metro East and some private schools in Missouri said some of their students will be learning from home starting this week.

All East St. Louis grades will return to remote instruction beginning on Tuesday and running through Jan. 14. The district plans to return to in-person learning on Jan. 18, but in a letter to parents, it said COVID-19 data could change that decision. On Jan. 10, the district will begin providing free meals by bus.

The Edwardsville school district announced grades 6-12 will return to remote instruction when school resumes tomorrow, citing the outbreak’s impact on staff.

“During the last two weeks while we have been on winter break an unprecedented surge in COVID-19 cases, both locally and nationally, has occurred with the omicron variant,” Superintendent Patrick Shelton wrote in a letter to families.

The district said it will reevaluate the data on Friday. For now, grades K-5 will continue to learn in person.

St. Louis University High students will also learn virtually in the second half of this week, according to an announcement on its website.

In St. Louis Public Schools, Bryan Hill Elementary and Ashland Elementary are moving to virtual instruction this week because of staff exposure to COVID-19.

Follow Kate on Twitter: @KGrumke

Kate Grumke covers the environment, climate and agriculture for St. Louis Public Radio and Harvest Public Media.