The Fort Zumwalt School District was one of many St. Charles County school districts required to closed its doors on March 16 following recommendations from the St. Charles County Health Department and St. Charles County government. Both schools are located in O’Fallon and are in the Fort Zumwalt School District. All districts were required to close to limit the spread of COVID-19.
On March 22, teachers from schools across the Fort Zumwalt School District missed their students and decided to give them a surprise in the form of a special “parade.”
Teachers from Forest Park Elementary and J.L. Mudd Elementary drove their personal vehicles through students’ neighborhoods along normal school bus routes. Dr. Stephanie Mountain, principal of J.L. Mudd Elementary, served as the parade’s grand marshal. In total, over 70 vehicles driven by teachers who missed their students joined in the parade, all while obeying the social distancing measures put forth by St. Charles County to keep students and their families safe. Car windows were decorated with the teacher’s name and messages.
All teachers participating in the parade were given instructions to only honk and wave from their cars. The vehicles were not allowed to stop and no items were to be thrown from the cars.
While social distancing measures were followed, multiple families did gather on their lawns to witness the parade. Many students, who were given similar instructions to the teachers prior to the parade, took the opportunity to see their teachers for the first time since the district’s closure.
Also on March 22, Ostmann Elementary in Dardenne Prairie held a socially distant parade to allow students to see their teachers. The parade, which was originally scheduled for 3-4 p.m., ending up lasting three hours as cars navigated local neighborhoods.
As of March 23, 2020, all schools in St. Charles County school districts will remain closed until April 3, 2020.