COVID-19 Information

and Return-to-Campus Plan

List of 1 news stories.

  • Updated Mask Policy

    Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2022
    From the beginning of the pandemic, The Barstow School has put the safety of our community at the forefront of every decision we make. As one of the only schools in the region with a preschool-grade 12 program under one roof, we have carefully considered the daily interactions that take place between our very youngest and oldest students, faculty and staff when making decisions about COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

    With the announcement from Mayor Lucas ending Kansas City’s mask mandate inside school buildings effective Thursday, Feb. 17, Barstow administrators met with our medical advisory committee to discuss how to follow our safety protocols while moving forward with best educational practice. 

    Beginning Tuesday, Feb. 22, The Barstow School will move to a mask-optional policy. Students, faculty and staff may wear a mask in the building if they choose, but they are not required to do so. The mask requirement will be reinstated if the COVID positivity rate in our building rises above 3%. In that case, the mask requirement will remain in place for 14 days and until the percentage of cases drops to less than 3%. Social distancing and cleaning protocols will remain in place.

    The school has sought advice from medical professionals and followed guidance from Kansas City leaders to implement protocols that best safeguard our the community. This change to masking guidance follows a significant decline in case numbers since the January post-holiday peak as reported by the Mid-America Regional Council. Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we work together to ensure a healthy school community.

    Dr. Tom Niermann
    Vice President & Head of School

For More Information

Back to Barstow Return-to-Campus 2021 Plan.

Back to Barstow 2021 FAQ

List of 16 frequently asked questions.

  • What are the school's online learning options? (Updated January 7, 2022)

    Barstow students attend school full time and in person for the 2021-2022 school year. However, there are currently two options for online learning, designed to accommodate conditions caused by COVID-19.

    1) The school will offer a semester-long online option for any student whose attendance during the pandemic puts them or their family members at an unreasonable risk of significant illness. Students who apply for and are approved for this option must complete the entire semester online. Alternating between online and in-person learning will not be allowed. Online students will not be allowed to participate in any in-person campus activities, including athletics, theatre, clubs, debate, speech and robotics. If activities are offered virtually, online students may participate.

    2) Students who are in Barstow's COVID-19 quarantine protocols after an exposure may attend online classes during their quarantine.
  • If a student must quarantine after a COVID-19 exposure, can the  quarantine period be shortened with a negative PCR test?

    Yes. In keeping with CDC guidelines and the recommendations of our Medical Advisory Committee, a shortened quarantine period is possible for students exposed to COVID-19.
    If quarantine is necessary due to COVID-19 exposure, students who have not tested positive and are also asymptomatic may take a PCR test on day 5 of their quarantine (but not earlier). If the test results are negative, the student may return to school as soon as we have documentation of a negative PCR test.  
    Students who test positive must remain quarantined for the full 7-day period. 

    We do not require a negative test if your child quarantines for the normal 7-day period. A negative test result is only required if you would like your child to shorten the quarantine period. 

    Please send documentation for the negative PCR test result to our Director of Health Services Ashley Zinkus.  
  • Online students must complete the entire semester remotely. Are there any exceptions that would allow a student to return mid-semester?

    Yes. Some parents may want their child to learn online only until they are fully vaccinated. If an online student turns 5 (the minimum age for vaccination) and becomes fully vaccinated mid-semester, they may return to in-person learning.
  • What are the guidelines for testing, quarantine and return to school for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals?

    Guidelines for Vaccinated Individuals 
    • Get tested if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
    • If you have a known contact or direct exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 you should:
      • Be very diligent in wearing your mask. 
      • Be tested 3-5 days after exposure and inform the school of results. However, if you choose not to get a rapid COVID test the school will monitor you for symptoms for one week after exposure. If you become symptomatic, you will have to quarantine for 7 days.    
    • Fully vaccinated individuals can return to work or school while wearing a face mask. No quarantine is necessary if the exposed individual is not experiencing symptoms. Exposed individuals will need to test after 3-5 days from time of exposure. 
    • If you test positive for COVID-19, you must isolate and avoid other people for 7 days. Your isolation begins on the day you start having symptoms. If you don’t have symptoms, the 7 days begins the day you tested positive. You must be fever free for 24 hours prior to returning to work or school.
    Preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with COVID-19 can be infectious and can spread the virus to others.

    People are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or two weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson/Janssen). There is no post-vaccination time limit on fully vaccinated status. People are considered not fully vaccinated if they have not completed a two-dose vaccination series or have not received a single-dose vaccine, regardless of age.

    Guidelines for Unvaccinated Individuals
    • Quarantine and avoid other people for 10 days after your last direct contact or exposure with a COVID-19 positive individual.  
    • Your 7-day isolation begins on the day you started having symptoms or the day you tested positive. You must be fever free for 24 hours prior to returning to work or school. 
    • Testing is recommended 5-7 days after your last exposure to a person with COVID-19 if you are not symptomatic. If you have a direct exposure and a negative test, you must still quarantine for 7 days. Testing helps identify early infection and help prevent the spread of COVID.

  • If a student or employee who has previously had COVID-19 is exposed again, will they need to quarantine?

    If you have tested positive to COVID-19 within the last 90 days
    you will not need to quarantine after a direct exposure. Exposed persons can return to work or school wearing a mask and will need to monitor for symptoms.
  • If a student needs to quarantine after a positive COVID-19 test or direct exposure, can they participate in online learning?

    Yes. Anyone unable to attend school in person due to extended illness or quarantine can learn online until they have recovered or quarantine ends. 
  • Will middle and upper school athletics resume this fall?

    Yes. All middle and upper school athletics will resume. Practices begin the week of Aug. 9 for upper school athletes and the week of Aug. 223 for middle school athletes. Visit the athletic page for schedules and health form information.
  • Are visitors allowed on campus?

    Parents and other visitors are welcome to visit campus, but must comply with the indoor mask mandate. We will not allow visitors for lunch during the first quarter.
  • Will off-campus field trips be offered in the fall?

    Yes. Field trips to local destinations will resume. Masks must be worn by all individuals while on buses and inside buildings. Decisions about field trips that require travel and overnight stays are yet to be made.
  • Will student lockers return in the middle and upper school?

    No The absence of lockers provides more space in common areas of the school. Boys and girls locker rooms are available near the school gyms. Students who need a locker are welcome to use those facilities if they bring a lock from home.
  • Will the school conduct COVID-19 tests on faculty, staff and students?

    No. The CDC policy on testing is quoted below.

    "Universal SARS-CoV-2 testing of all students and staff in school settings has not been systematically studied. It is not known if testing in school settings provides any additional reduction in person-to-person transmission of the virus beyond what would be expected with the implementation of other infection preventive measures (e.g., social distancing, cloth face covering, hand washing, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting). Therefore, the CDC does not recommend universal testing of all students and staff. Implementation of a universal approach to testing in schools may pose challenges, such as the lack of infrastructure to support routine testing and follow up in the school setting, unknown acceptability of this testing approach among students, parents, and staff, lack of dedicated resources, practical considerations related to testing minors and potential disruption in the educational environment."
  • What type of COVID-19 testing will the school accept?

    The school, in consultation with the Medical Advisory Committee, has adopted the following protocol for testing:
    The only test the school will accept is a PCR test. If your child is going to be tested for COVID-19, please ensure that they receive a PCR test. 
  • If a student or employee tests positive for COVID-19, how will we be notified?

    If a student or employee has a COVID-19 infection, school officials will conduct campus contact tracing and will notify affected individuals. Information about positive cases will be emailed from division directors and a resource board accessible via myBarstow will be updated weekly. 
  • Am I entitled to know who has returned a positive test for COVID-19?

    Due to legal reasons, the school is unable to provide this information.
  • What should a parent do if their child has a fever?

    Keep the child home from school until fever is resolved. Have the child evaluated by a doctor for a potential other cause of fever and to discuss testing.

From Our Counselors

During uncertain times, anxiety can increase or arise in our children and in ourselves. When your children ask why these events are happening or what happens next, knowing how to answer can be difficult. We've developed resources for families to help guide these conversations. They each recommend a few basic, but important steps: take the time to talk, to listen and to reassure. 

Jessica Chanos

From the Medical Advisory Committee

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    The holidays are upon us! When we think about the holidays we think about gathering with family and friends and enjoying the company of others. 
  • Guarding Against a "Twindemic"

    Dr. Kala Subramanian
    During the first year of the pandemic, experts warned of an impending “twindemic” — a mixture of COVID-19 and influenza. Thankfully, this did not happen. Public health measures put in place to control COVID-19 helped to practically wipe out the flu and other common respiratory illnesses in the U.S. last year. But experts are concerned about the approaching flu season.
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