County returns to yellow status

posted Sep 18, 2020, 2:05 PM by Granger Meador   [ updated Sep 18, 2020, 2:11 PM ]
Yellow status

On September 18, Bartlesville Public Schools was informed that Washington County had officially shifted back again from Orange Level 1 to Yellow in the Safety Protocols recommended by the State Board of Education. 

The district's Pandemic Response Committee continues to meet weekly to review the district's COVID-19 status and address procedural and policy issues. Our experience has been that the county COVID-19 alert status in the systems from the state Education and Health departments and White House Task Force have significant shortcomings.

All of the systems are volatile, even when weekly averages are used. In the five weeks since the district re-opened, the county has transitioned four times between Yellow and Orange Level 1 status. We also have observed that none of those systems are strongly coupled to our district's observed positive cases and close contact quarantines. 

So we have abandoned having specific district actions triggered by such systems. Below is what the Pandemic Response Committee would consider regarding any school-wide or district-wide Distance Learning periods:

Prioritized factors in school-wide or district-wide Distance Learning 

  1. Ability to staff in-person classrooms with substitute teachers or site staff
  2. Number and frequency of site-level positive cases and close contact quarantines
  3. Overall site absenteeism
  4. County status in the various COVID-19 alert systems

Additional details on this topic are in the latest update to the district's Pandemic Procedures.

Many differing alert systems

There are multiple systems in use for Washington County's COVID-19 status. These include:
Granger Meador, the district's Executive Director of Technology and Communications, chairs the district's Pandemic Response Committee. He tracks all of the above systems in his own public Google sheet, as well as the daily county cases reported via Johns Hopkins, with color coding for the state, COVID ActNow, and daily cases following the recommendations of the State Board of Education.

The district is transparent about its data and procedures, within the limits of federal privacy laws. So we publicly share our: