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PCPS sees 18 new COVID-19 cases in the past week

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Last week, there were a total of 18 in-school positive COVID-19 cases for Ponca City Public Schools: Po-Hi-14, West-2, East-1 and District Offices-1. Po-Hi transitioned to Distance Learning on Wednesday, Nov. 11, and will return November 30. (Po-Hi has 12% of enrolled students attending PCVA or Wildcat Academy.)

The COVID Alert System Risk Level increased this week from 27.9-Orange Level 2 Moderate Risk + to 68.6-Red Level High Risk.

This week, in addition to the totals for this week, the total % of those affected by a positive or close contact is included. The % of students not in school is remaining relatively constant at EMS and WMS, but that could change rapidly. The % at PCPS’ elementary schools is very low, and PCPS has not had an infectious positive at an elementary school since Oct. 14, 2020.

There are many factors to consider when making the decision for the entire district to move to Distance Learning, and it’s the goal of the Board of Education to keep in-person learning a top priority if low numbers can be maintained. However, the BOE will act without hesitation if there is significant increase in cases as safety is the number 1 priority.

PCPS also said in their press release that as a parent, you should be prepared for your child to move to Distance Learning for up to two weeks or longer if the situation warrants. Stay connected to all PCPS social media. The future is unknown, but PCPS is monitoring the data minute-by-minute. Superintendent Shelly Arrott can make the pivotal decision Distance Learning when significant increases occur, and she will do so quickly. However, by BOE Policy, the BOE makes the decision for the entire district to move to Distance Learning. They can schedule an emergency BOE Meeting at a moment’s notice and are prepared to do so.

With 22 days left in the semester, moving to Ponca City Virtual Academy would be highly impossible for students. It’s a different curriculum and students would literally have to complete a semester’s course in 22 school days to receive the credit. However, PCPS knows families have unique situations and need options.