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PCPS addresses issues district could face due to COVID-19

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With the rapid spread of the Omicron Variant of COVID-19, Ponca City Public Schools needs to advise families of possible issues the district could face as far as staffing is concerned. PCPS is committed to making sure the buildings stay open because they know students learn best with face-to-face instruction. However, PCPS could have to transition a building to Distance Learning due to staffing issues. The district must have enough staff to cover classes and supervise appropriately.

Additionally, it is possible they’ll will be short bus drivers in the district. Individuals must have a CDL-B to drive a bus and the substitutes are very limited. If PCPS does not have enough route drivers, they may have delayed pick-ups in the morning and delayed drop-offs in the afternoon. A driver shortage could also limit shuttles between sites. In the event of a driver shortage, PCPS may request support from you to bring your child to school and pick them up if at all possible. If there are delays in pick-ups by PCPS buses, students will not be counted tardy. PCPS will work with families who may arrange to bring their child to school if a tardy is inevitable. Communication will be vital.

At this crucial time of high spread, the best way to stay advised is through the PCPS App. Please download the free app wherever you download your apps. PCPS will also post on the Ponca City Public Schools Facebook page and will provide information to all local media outlets. Understand that PCPS will try to get this information to you as early as possible, but often times they have very short notice.

Please remember, PCPS is closely monitoring the mask requirement with the opt-out opportunity. PCPS wants to keep school open and activities functioning with common sense protocols in place. The opt-out form is available at www.pcpc.us. Just type in Opt-out Form in the search bar.

In addition to the airborne COVID-19 virus, there are a host of other contact and opportunistic viruses affecting students and staff. PLEASE do not send your child to school if they are symptomatic for any virus or they are awaiting COVID testing results. PCPS will provide Distance Learning and free meals. Call your child’s school and they will have specific processes in place to accommodate Distance Learning support.

If you feel it is right for you and your family, consider vaccination, and if a booster is due, please stay up-to-date if your family has chosen the vaccination path. Children age 5-17 have been approved for vaccination. Vaccines are readily available at Kay County Health Department and many pharmacies. However, testing results are delayed, so do not send children to school if you are awaiting results. Yes, people can still test positive if vaccinated and boosted, but vaccination can drastically reduce the magnitude of the symptoms.

If you have specific questions, feel free to call the PCPS COVID Facilitator, Nurse Michael Webb @ 580-718-3843.