Board of Education Reviews Return to Learn Plan
Mike Seals - July 20, 2021 9:29 am
The Ponca City Board of Education met Monday night and reviewed the Return to Learn Plan for PCPS for the upcoming school year.
Ponca City Superintendent Shelley Arrott said there are five key prevention strategies:
- Correct use of masks if the governor declares a state of emergency or if recommended by the Kay County Health Department
- Physical distancing as much as possible – grouping/cohorting
- Handwashing and respiratory etiquette
- Cleaning and maintaining facilities
- Contact tracing in combination with cooperation with KCHD on isolations and quarantines
PCPS will follow the regular 2021-2022 school calendar and students will attend in-person learning each day unless they are enrolled as a Ponca City Virtual Academy student.
Arrott said masks are recommended unless consultation or recommendation from the KCHD determines the need for a mandate or if a state of emergency is recommended by the Governor of Oklahoma. If a mask mandate is implemented, the board of education must make it an agenda item each month to discuss the rationale for the local health department’s recommendation.
By federal order, masks are REQUIRED for all public transportation networks. The current federal order is in effect through Sept. 13, 2021. Masks will be required on all school buses and school vehicles.
Arrott noted that students will automatically transition to distance learning supported by the regular classroom teacher if intermittent closure occurs.
Arrott also wanted to remind the board and parents that meals will be free this year for in-person learning or distance learning.
The first day of school for all PCPS students will be Wednesday, Aug. 18.
During the Superintendent’s Report, Arrott said 1,400 more teachers retired from May 2020 to May 2021 and an additional 1,000 Oklahoma teachers retired in June 2021. Arrott said there are hundreds of teaching positions posted on the OSSBA website and several schools the size of Ponca City have multiple postings on their websites. PCPS currently only has two open positions that have yet to be filled.
In other matters, the board approved an agreement with CDW-G for GoGuardian, which will allow teachers to monitor student activity while online. The cost will be paid with ESSER III funds.
The board approved an agreement with the City of Ponca City for two school resource officers. One officer is located at the high school and the other is shared between West and East Middle Schools.
Other items approved at the meeting included an agreement with Taylor’d Therapy for a licensed physical therapist, agreement with TeleComp Holdings Inc. for replacing and adding cameras to school sites, an agreement with Trafera for chromebook cases for West Middle School and an agreement with United Community Action Program Head Start for early childhood services.