PCPS developing plans to keep students and staff safe; Face coverings will be mandatory on buses

July 14, 2020 | Headlines

By SHARON ROWEN | ©kaynewscow.com

PONCA CITY  — Ponca City Public School Executive Director of Operations, Brett Smith said today that the school district has been working on developing plans to protect the health of students, staff and visitors during the upcoming school year.

“We have been developing plans and there are plans,” said Smith. “There are videos illustrating the plans from each department and school site that will be distributed soon.”

One plan that is going to be implemented is mandatory face coverings for students on buses.

“It will be mandatory that students wear some sort of face covering while on buses,” said Smith. “It can be a mask, neck gator or bandana. We are requiring this because there is no way to social distance on a bus. We are going to ask parents to provide the face coverings but if they can’t we will have some available.”

During the past several weeks, staff members have gathered and created masks. “We have made temporary disposable masks in two different sizes,” said Smith. 

Smith said as of now masks are not mandated for staff or students in the classroom but they are highly recommended.

Smith said State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is urging the wearing of masks and that she has the power to mandate masks for students and staff across the state. Hofmeister issued a press release on July 12 urging Oklahomans to wear mask after the state reported its first pediatric death. (see story)

Northern Oklahoma College has announced that masks will be mandatory for everyone on the NOC campus. (see story)

Those who would like to donate masks or face coverings to the school district are asked to contact school administration at 580-767-8000 or a school principal.