Superintendent’s update for Monday, March 23

Ponca City Now - March 23, 2020 10:00 pm

March 23, 2020 10:00 PM

PCPS Families, Staff, and Community,

State superintendents participated in a conference call with Oklahoma State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister. I would like to provide you information based on today’s call.

 The State Department of Education (SDE) is going to make a recommendation to the Oklahoma State Board of Education on Wednesday, March 25, for the closure of Oklahoma schools for the remainder of the school year. If approved, it will mean all extra-curricular activities are cancelled for the remainder of the school year.

 Oklahoma public school districts will use a continuous learning model for the remainder of the year, which will likely include multiple online learning platforms. The SDE is going to provide a framework for all grade-levels and will provide schools much guidance. We have already begun planning and are assessing the Internet and device access our students have available at home. All families need to complete the survey we requested you to complete one time. If you have not done so, here is the link to the survey:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1F AIpQLSfOO1CjwF58UhELMYzALrH24xKxopywMLwviN6cUwZgR ep44Q/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1

 Try not to worry about this unknown for us; we are well underway with planning for an alternative delivery for instruction. Our leaders and our teachers are ready for this task and are excited about interacting with your children even if it is in a digital format. Stay connected to our Facebook Page and website www.pcps.us. We will have all information to you as quickly as possible, and we will go the extra distance to make sure you and your children are supported.

 If you do not know by now, the state has been granted a federal waiver to forego all federally mandated testing this year. The state is requesting waivers for multiple other items including required hours, days, instructional time, and other items. We will provide you information that may affect your child once the waivers have been granted. The SDE has assured us that all issues will be resolved to ensure our graduates will not be penalized for specific course requirements such as Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) or Personal Financial Literacy.

 As you are well aware, these global issues change by the day and even the hour. The SDE will guide us on graduation timeframes. This year is certainly a year of deep hurt for our seniors. But they still have many great achievements to accomplish and a bright future ahead. Our pain for all our students, especially our seniors, is profound.

 Until directed otherwise by the SDE, we are not permitted to have students enter any school facility before April 5 to collect items, such as gear or instruments, as a matter of public safety to responsibly help prevent the spread of COVID-19 after the likelihood of Spring Break travel. We will create a plan for access after this date, or sooner if permissible, that allows for social distancing and follows CDC guidelines.

 We are going to begin reaching out to our students to tell them we miss them and their smiling faces through site Facebook Pages. Many of our students and staff members are heartbroken, and it will be great therapy for everyone. Without question, there will be NO instruction through April 5 as mandated by the SDE. However, we do have review and practice resources linked under the COVID-19 Link on our school website, www.pcps.us.

 Our amazing CNP staff served over 520 lunches today. They had to prepare more than they had planned for! CNP will begin providing lunch AND breakfast, packed in the same bag, for the following morning beginning March 30 and will be served in the same locations. Please refer to the Ponca City Public Schools Facebook Page for details.

 Questions may be sent to [email protected] We appreciate your ideas, concerns, and comments; however, personnel will only respond to valid questions.

I know these are uncharted waters for all of us. We miss seeing our students and being involved in their education, activities, and their lives. We miss the human interaction with our students, our staff, parents, and community. When the global pandemic is over, and it will be some day, we will find we are more united and stronger because of this tragedy.

We still have our families, our students, and each other, and all these decisions were made to protect the lives of everyone. Thankfully we have the means to communicate other than in person!

Do not worry! We will get through these uncertain times because that is the Wildcat Way. #wildcatway

Best,

Shelley Arrott
Superintendent, Ponca City Public Schools

 

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