We are quickly nearing the end of January and we are still in school, teaching and loving our kids. I know families and students want to be here, but also realize it is difficult at times. I do believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and things will slowly improve. I want you to know how much I appreciate you and how proud of this district I am.
At this time, active cases in Cleveland, Pawnee County, and the state of Oklahoma as a whole are declining. Unfortunately, our school district is not following this same trend. While numbers were at their highest for staff and student active cases and quarantines before Thanksgiving Break, we have started to see a steady increase these past 2 weeks. Two weeks ago, we were averaging about 50 students and 7 staff on quarantine, with 5 total positive cases within the district. As of today, we have 162 students and 14 staff members on quarantine, with 17 total active cases within our district. This number has jumped about 200% in the past two weeks.
Fortunately, although we are seeing increases in case numbers and quarantine, we are seeing very little community spread throughout the district. The high school and middle school will continue with the A/B Schedule for the next two weeks (Feb. 1 – Feb. 12). We will continue to make these decisions every two weeks. Our goal is to get all of our students back in class 5 days a week, but we don’t want to do so until we believe we can bring everyone back safely and successfully.
I believe If we would have been on a regular schedule last week, our middle school would have been forced to transition to distance learning this week, and are reasonably sure our high school would have as well. We’ve had a couple of situations where we had to quarantine groups of students, but we did not have to quarantine students from classrooms. The A/B Schedule vastly limited the number of students we needed to quarantine, thus keeping us in school. A/B is not perfect, but I believe it is better than some other alternatives.
I greatly desire and look forward to the day we can bring all of our students back five days a week. I hope those days arrive soon. Until they do, we will continue to work on the A/B schedule, and hope this keeps us in school.
Again, thank you for all you do. Please continue to social distance, wear your mask, wash your hands and stay safe. I am thankful for the good month we have had and pray we will continue to navigate these times safely.