Distance Learning Status & Thanksgiving Break

posted Nov 17, 2020, 11:30 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Nov 18, 2020, 5:33 AM ]

Many of the larger school districts in our area have shifted to Distance Learning until after Thanksgiving for their high schools and sometimes their middle schools, with some district-wide shifts. Most have cited a shortage of substitute teachers, with some facing bus driver shortages. Some have cited too many isolations from positive COVID-19 tests or too many quarantines from close contacts with positive cases.

Thus far, Bartlesville Public Schools has not yet experienced the levels of staff shortages, isolations, or quarantines experienced by the other districts. So, as of November 18, in-person instruction was still feasible across all grade levels in BPSD. However, the worrisome rise in city and county infections is joined by an increasing number of district quarantines and isolations.

As part of our robust contact tracing effort, we look for signs of any super-spreader events within the district. If one developed, the affected site would shift to Distance Learning. We also monitor each site's ability to staff in-person classes and overall site absenteeism.

IF we were eventually unable to staff in-person classrooms with substitute teachers or site staff, we would follow the lead of other large districts in shifting our students in grades 9-12 to Distance Learning. High school students are best equipped to succeed in Distance Learning. Such a shift would improve substitute availability in our elementary and middle schools. That would help us preserve in-person instruction for the younger students while also minimizing the impacts on child care for working parents.

We need everyone's help in preserving in-person classes:
  • Please take a moment to share with your children how much their cooperation in wearing an approved face-covering is appreciated. They are required for grades 4 and up and strongly encouraged for everyone. Health officials continue to stress the importance of face coverings to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
  • Parents, please review the COVID-19 Exposure Guidance for families, and please make sure no child comes to school exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Please continue to report positive cases of COVID-19 or close contact quarantines to your child’s school so that the appropriate steps can be taken to protect everyone's health. 
    • Over Thanksgiving Break, you can email Health & Safety Director Kerry Ickleberry or leave her a voicemail at 918-336-3311 ext. 1196 if you need to report a student who tests positive for COVID-19 or is quarantined as a close contact.
  • If you have questions about COVID-19 protocols, please refer to our COVID-19 information page or contact your child’s school.
  • Please honor the quarantines that are assigned by our contact tracing. These quarantines are not just a “quarantine from school." When a staff member or a student is notified that they must quarantine, this applies to all aspects of the individual’s day and is designed to protect all members of the school and community. These practices are aligned with those used by the Washington County Health Department and Oklahoma State Department of Health.
Everyone should be observing these basic health practices to protect themselves as well as their friends and family:
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a mask when around others.
  • Avoid close contact.
  • Wash your hands often.
COVID cases

Protect your family over Thanksgiving Break from November 23-27

Low-risk

Moderate Risk

Higher Risk