Wentzville Middle School moves to virtual classes in response to COVID-19 cases

WENTZVILLE — Wentzville Middle School moved to all-virtual classes on Thursday, in response to an increase in COVID-19 cases.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the school had identified 25 students who had either confirmed or probable cases of the coronavirus, said Derrick Docket, chief communications officer for Wentzville School District.

"We recognize that it's a challenging year for all students, and staff and families," Docket said. "It's our intent at the district just to maintain a safe learning environment. … We're thankful for patience and understanding as we navigate through the remainder of the school year."

The school teaches 850 seventh and eighth graders. At an emergency meeting Wednesday night, the School Board voted to move the middle school to all virtual classes, Docket said. The school is tentatively planning to return to in-person learning on May 6, he said. The school will undergo a deep cleaning in the meantime.

Docket said there had been a smaller number of cases among school staff, but he did not know the exact amount. Docket said the district was not aware of any hospitalizations for COVID-19 among the students or staff.

The school district's policy, Docket said, requires students and staff to wear masks when they can't socially distance. Student athletes have not been required to wear masks when playing sports in the county.