The following is a letter from Ponca City Public Schools Superintendent Shelley Arrott that was released on Sunday, Sept. 27.
Dear PCPS Parents, Staff, and Community Members:
Below you will find the weekly update informing our public of the COVID-19 positive cases and quarantined, close contact totals for PCPS occurring the week of September 21. However, you may refer to the PCPS Contact Tracing Totals Spreadsheet each evening for daily updates. The link to the spreadsheet is at the top of the homepage on our district website: www.pcps.us
This week, we have had 13 COVID-19 positive cases and 144 close contacts. This number reflects an up-tick in cases correlating with the COVID-19 Alert System for Kay County of 27.9, or Orange Level 2 – Moderate Risk +. Last week, we had 8 COVID-19 positive cases and 231 close contacts, so the number of close contacts affected are situational depending on many factors. Physical contact activities lead to a
significant number of close contacts.
We have had 24 school days and 41 COVID-19 in school positive cases, both active and recovered and that is with a district-wide mask mandate. Eleven close contacts have changed to positive cases after numbers were reported. We will continue to rigidly mitigate to prevent widespread positives at a site or throughout the district. Currently, the positive cases in our schools appear to be isolated among sites or classrooms, but positives are widespread throughout families living in the same household, so it is critical we remain diligent with wearing face coverings and social distancing. In-person instruction, for Option 1 Learners, will continue the week of September 28-October-2.
We will continue to strictly mitigate as directed by the legal guidance of the State Department of Education and Oklahoma Department of Health to follow CDC Guideline for Schools to avoid widespread site positives. Keep in mind, there are a multitude of CDC Guidelines available, BUT the State Department of Education’s legal guidance directs schools to follow the CDC Guideline for Schools. The state epidemiologist or Oklahoma State Department of Health will intervene if schools do not react to positive cases as advised. Our best opportunity to keep school open, as well as extracurriculars in place, is to follow these guidelines with diligence.
The PCPS Administration and Board of Education are committed to maintaining in-person instruction as long as it is safe to do so. Please help us keep schools open and activities in place by following protocols recommended by health officials such as wearing masks, washing hands, socially distancing and quarantining, whether in school or out of school. These protocols will help increase the probability that we will be able to continue school and extra-curricular activities. Thank you for your cooperation and for your support of Ponca City Public Schools.
We have completed 24 days of school: 11 days NO POSITIVES, 13 days POSITIVES
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this global pandemic. Our greatest priority is the health and safety of our students, staff, and community members. We will continue to stay in constant communication with our families and patrons.
Please feel free to contact Curtis Layton, Executive Director of Human Resources, or me with any questions at 580-767-8000.
Superintendent, Ponca City Public Schools