Arrott reviews COVID prevention strategies at board meeting

July 20, 2021 | Headlines

PONCA CITY  — Ponca City Public School Superintendent Shelly Arrott reviewed the Return to Learn Plan for school board members Monday night including COVID information.

She reviewed the five key COVID prevention strategies that are to be followed no matter the COVID level.

“We have to use masks correctly if the governor declares a state of emergency or if recommended by the Kay County Health Department,” she said.

She clarified for board members that the health department can’t override the governor but can make a mask recommendation if COVID spread is found throughout the district. “You know last year when we were at 141 with our COVID alert system, we could pretty much prove there was no spread within the district. Of course we were really aggressive with our contact tracing.”

Arrott listed the other strategies as physical distancing, hand washing, cleaning and maintaining facilities and contact tracing with cooperation with the health department.

Arrott said currently the COVID level is at 3.0, the highest rate this summer. She said the district has heard about a couple cases of the Delta Variant arriving in Ponca City from church camps.

She said the district intends to hold school five days a week with no virtual days and that as of July 1 the district can’t have a mask mandate unless the governor declares a state of emergency or the health department determines in school spread.

By federal order, masks are required on all public transportation networks which includes school buses.

She reviewed the colored risk zones and the plans that could be implemented if need be. Arrott said the COVID levels are monitored weekly.

Arrott said the district is looking forward to a more normal year. “I told our staff that normal is not going to cut it for us. It is going to have to be better than normal.”

Dr. DaLana Hawkins, Associate Director of Secondary Curriculum, presented the drop out report for 2019-20 to the board.  

Hawkins told the board that there were 27 total drops outs for grads sixth through 12th and that the report includes students who did not return after the March 2020 closure caused by COVID-19.

She said some of the students counted as drop outs may have moved to another district or a charter school.

Hawkins said the number includes students who left to pursue their GED and that she believes that less than five of the students listed are actual drop outs. To watch the entire board meeting click here.

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