School officials address latest concerns affecting children during pandemic
Ponca City Now - March 18, 2020 9:02 am
The Ponca City Public Schools leadership team is working diligently with top leaders in our state to stay abreast of the most recent developments. The guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic change rapidly, and it is important for our community to remain calm and continue to practice preventative measures such as good hand hygiene, staying home when sick, avoiding large crowds and social distancing.
The health of our students and staff continues to be our number one priority. If you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 and/or have symptoms, immediately self-quarantine and contact the COVID-19 Call Center at (877) 215-8336 or call the Kay County Health Department at (580-762-1641).
We have developed an informational guide in the form of “Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs) based on guidance from our state leaders. We will continue to provide guidance as it becomes available. (FAQs) based on guidance from our state leaders.
Will there be meals available for students?
Yes. The Child Nutrition Program of the Ponca City Schools will be providing grab and go meals for children ages 1-18. The meals will be available from 11:00-12:30 P.M., Monday through Friday beginning Monday, March 23rd, at the following sites:
Ponca City Senior High School (5th Street parking lot)
West Middle School
The meals will be pre-packaged and available at no cost to all children ages 1-18 who are in the vehicle or walking up to the delivery location.
How will the students receive the meal?
The meals (cold lunch items) will be packaged in a to-go container and given at a designated spot at each location outside of the building (preferred in a vehicle, but walk ups are welcome as well).
Who will be preparing the meals? The management team of the Ponca City Schools CNP will be preparing and assembling the grab and go meals.
Will concurrent students still attend classes? The student should follow the guidance and instructions of the university or college he/she is attending. Ponca City High School does not make this determination for the student enrolled in concurrent courses.
Do students enrolled in an internship continue to work at the jobsite? No. While school is closed, the student should not participate in the internship.
Will students be able to pick up transcripts during the school closure? Not at this time. However, students and parents should go to the Ponca City High School website to request a transcript after March 24, 2020. Go to www.pcps.us and select “schools” and “High School” from the drop-down menu.
How will this affect graduation? Graduation is a local decision. The local BOE has the authority to make changes to the graduation requirements if needed.
Will state testing still occur? The State Board of Education is prepared to submit waivers regarding testing. The next state BOE meeting is scheduled for March 26th. More information to follow.
What will happen to my child’s special services during the school closure?
If a school closure causes educational services for all students to stop, then the school/district is generally not required to provide services to the affected students eligible for special education services during that same period of time. After an extended closure, districts are responsible for reviewing how the closure impacted the delivery of special education and related services to students eligible for special education services. Missed services may need to be made up.
What if my child’s annual IEP or 504 is due during the school closure? If annual IEP/504 reviews or eligibility reviews are due during a school closure, you may be contacted to participate in a meeting via alternate means such as video or audio conference call. Meetings not able to be held during the closure will be held as soon as possible when school is back in session.
How will school closure affect my Special Olympics athlete? Special Olympics Oklahoma announced on March 17th that they have made the decision to cancel all April and May sports training, competitions and special events, along with the 2020 Summer Games scheduled for May 13-15.
Can teachers post educational resources for student and parent use? Teachers may post resources only on their personal social media accounts. They may not post resources or assignments of any kind on the district, site, or classroom websites or send directly to parents/guardians. Any resources posted cannot be connected to a requirement or a grade.
Operations and Activities:
Will there be Use of Facilities Events and/or Activities allowed during the school closure? No activities, events or group meetings will be allowed on PCPS property until further notice (Club Meetings, Practices, Events and etc.). Based on the action of the State Department of Education, the OSSAA is requiring that during school closure all school personnel, including certified, adjunct or volunteer coaches, are prohibited from engaging in any type of activity involving secondary students. No practice, instruction, training, weight lifting, tryouts, competition or travel is permitted. School facilities will be closed until April 6, 2020 at which time the situation will be revaluated. We have heard from OSSAA and they are committed to rescheduling all OSSAA activities if they are able. They will continue to work with the Oklahoma State Department of Education and Governor’s Office.
Will prom be canceled? Ponca City High School 2020 Grand March, Prom, and After-Prom are postponed until further notice, due to CDC and SDE event size restrictions, the necessary planning and preparation, and cancelations of venders and venues.
Can students be in the buildings during school closure? No, Students should not have access to any buildings on school property while schools are shut down.
Will fundraisers for activity accounts and booster clubs be allowed to continue? At this time, all fundraisers for both activity accounts and booster clubs will be suspended until further notice based on the CDC Meeting Regulations.
With the unprecedented events surrounding COVID-19, every day brings something new that reshapes everything we know. Thank you for your help in keeping our community healthy and safe. We will update information as it becomes available. We miss our Wildcats and cannot wait to see them again!
Shelley Arrott Superintendent, Ponca City Public Schools