4/23/2021 Message from McDaniel | Weekly COVID-19 Update
OKCPS Families and Staff,
Our recent weather may be crazy, but OKCPS remains focused on making the most of our next few weeks together. Learning and state testing is in full swing inside our classrooms and school leaders are busy planning a variety of end-of-year events and celebrations...including our highly anticipated in-person graduation ceremonies! Although I’m still very proud of our ability to quickly adapt to virtual graduation ceremonies last year, I must admit I’m especially excited for the opportunity to safely celebrate our graduates with physically distanced in-person ceremonies this May!
But we don’t have to wait for May to start celebrating! This week we took time to appreciate our amazing volunteers and community partners! Although COVID-19 has not allowed us to be together in the ways we are used to, many of you stepped up to find new and innovative ways to support OKCPS and our students, families and staff are deeply grateful. We look forward to welcoming our volunteers and community partners back to our campuses when it’s safe to do so.
Like many others, OKCPS also took time to celebrate Administrative Professionals Day this week. As is true in so many organizations, our front office staff and the others who provide administrative support are the heartbeat of our district.
Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up in the first week of May, along with the Stars of Education event which is hosted by our partners at the Foundation for OKCPS. I hope you’ll take a moment to do something special for the teachers in your life and that you’ll make plans to join us for the virtual ceremony on May 6th as we honor the 2021 OKCPS Teacher of the Year, the Partners in Action Community Partner of the Year, Super Support Staff, Valuable Volunteers and our Sam and Charolet Shirley Outstanding Principals.
Reminders & Supports
Oklahoma State Academic Testing: As our 3rd-8th and 11th grade students have already begun taking their state assessments, families are asked to ensure your students get plenty of rest and come to school with their devices charged up and ready to go!
Severe Weather Season: Some of our schools have safe rooms, please remember, these shelters are not open to the public. We also don’t allow families to check students out during a major weather event for the safety of our staff, students and families. Our students and staff practice severe weather drills and OKCPS works closely with local officials to monitor weather and other conditions. Learn about the district’s notification protocols related to severe weather. www.okcps.org/Page/3266
Masks & Attendance: As our students settle into learning in-person four days a week, we want to remind families that students SHOULD NOT come to school if they have a fever, are feeling ill, have symptoms of COVID-19, have tested positive for COVID-19, have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 or who are waiting for test results. Instead, please keep your child at home and notify the school. Additionally, please remember that all students, staff, and visitors are still required to wear a face mask or covering while on buses, in the school building or any part of a school’s campus, and we expect this to be the case for the remainder of the school year. While our students have been doing a great job, we must all continue to work together to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our students and staff to learn and work. If you have any questions, please contact your child's school or visit the district website at www.okcps.org/covid19
COVID-19 Vaccine: Still looking to sign up to receive the vaccine? Visit www.vaxokc.com. OKCPS encourages our families and staff to receive the vaccine if they are interested.
Supports: OKCPS remains committed to supporting you in every way possible. Below are some resources for families and staff:
- 58-STUDY (587-8839) for academic support and 587-HELP (4357) for technical support, and our Student Services Team is also available for emotional support and crisis intervention at 587-0489.
- OKCPS Employee Assistance Program is available to district staff for emotional support, legal and financial guidance and much more at no cost.
- 2-1-1 HeartLine is open 24/7 for help with counseling, rental assistance, food pantries, affordable housing, health resources, child care, after-school programs, caregiver support, financial programs, literacy, and job programs. As always, please call 911 for emergencies.
- If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, call 2-1-1 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-TALK (8255) for 24/7 support.
Let’s continue to remain vigilant in the safety practices outlined in our OKCPS Six-Point Safety Plan and enjoy the next few weeks together. As always, thank you for your ongoing support. Stay safe, everyone.
OKCPS Weekly COVID-19 Update
On April 21st, OSDH reported that the cases per 100,000 for Oklahoma County were 7.1, which moves Oklahoma County back into the OSDE’s Yellow Alert Level. We must remain vigilant and closely follow all safety protocols if we want our students to be able to remain in the classroom. The next alert report from the OSDH will be on Wednesday, April 28.
Each Friday, OKCPS reports the number of active “self-reported” positive COVID-19 cases, as well as the number of individuals who have been asked to isolate due to potential exposure to the virus.
“Close Contact” Exposure refers to the number of cases when a staff member or student was in “close contact” with a person who has tested positive for COVID and has been asked to isolate. “Close contact” as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention occurs when an individual is within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days (or 48 hours) before the infected person’s onset of symptoms.
Self-Reported Positive Cases refers to the number of cases when a staff member or student has notified OKCPS of positive results from a COVID-19 test.
OKCPS employees who work at a school building (with the exception of SNS staff) should report a positive COVID-19 test or exposure to your principal and/or your school’s contact tracer.
OKCPS employees who work at the Clara Luper Center for Educational Services, the Operations Center, Student Support Services at Westwood should report a positive COVID-19 test or exposure by calling the district’s COVID-19 line, (405) 587-CV19. SNS staff members should also use the CV19 line to report a positive COVID-19 test or exposure.
Families should report student positive test results for COVID-19 or exposure to a positive case by calling their child’s school. The school’s designated contact tracer will provide instructions related to isolating and receiving instruction remotely during the isolation period.
Additionally, if a child or staff member is showing any symptoms, is waiting on the result of a COVID-19 test or has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they must stay home and contact their school for guidance. Do not come to campus.