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12/11/2020 Message from McDaniel | Weekly COVID-19 Update

OKCPS Families and Staff, 

Today, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) indicates that the cases per 100,000 for Oklahoma County are 84.5, as compared to 64.4 last week. This means Oklahoma County remains in the OSDE’s Red Alert Level.  Based on this information and ongoing advice from public health officials, OKCPS students and teachers will continue to learn/teach remotely for the remainder of the semester, and other district staff will once again report to our buildings on a staggered schedule for the week of December 14 - 18.  


OKCPS Weekly COVID Reporting

Each Friday, OKCPS reports the number of “self-reported” positive COVID-19 cases, along with the number of individuals who have been asked to isolate due to potential exposure to the virus.  In order to continue to monitor the spread of COVID-19 cases, we would ask families to continue to report positive cases of students to their schools.

“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.



Looking Ahead  

As we approach Winter Break with Oklahoma County continuing in the “Red” category, our attention is now primarily focused on the second semester that begins January 4, 2021. Last week we sent a survey to teachers, parents, caregivers, and students in grades 3-12 to gather feedback. We had 12,420 respondents to the surveys, including 533 pages of written comments and we are grateful to have this information to help us plan for next semester. In addition to the survey, we are continuing to follow our established process for decision-making, which includes consultation with a variety of officials, as well as colleagues in other districts and around the country. OKCPS has committed to sharing our plan for the 2nd semester with staff and families before we are out for winter break to allow you as much time as possible to make your plans. Stay tuned for more details. 

On Monday, our OKCPS Board of Education approved a district calendar change to address the instructional time we lost during our recent winter storm. In order to wrap our school year up before the end of May 2021, OKCPS adjusted our plan to make up the days missed through a combination of additional days and minutes. 

  • February 15th & May 26th will be added to the calendar as instructional days
  • 10 minutes will also be added to the day starting January 4, 2021.  (5 minutes at the start of the day and 5 minutes at the end of the day)
  • If additional days are needed for inclement weather, May 27th & May 28th will be designated as inclement weather days 
  • View details related to calendar changes



OKCPS remains committed to supporting our students, families and staff in every way possible. Our 58-STUDY (7-8839) hotline for academic support and 587-HELP (4357) hotline for technical support are both still available. Last week, OKCPS also launched “Routes to Resources” -- a mobile resource program for our students and families. Due to an overwhelming response, instead of staging buses around the city, these teams will spend next week focused on fulfilling requests and providing other support to the families who have already reached out to us. That said, anyone still needing assistance with emotional support or things like food, coats, housing, child-care, health resources or other needs should continue to call 587-FEEL (3335) for support. 

Winter Break is right around the corner, and we’ll have another chance to rest and recharge for the new year. So, let’s stay focused for 5 more days and finish this semester STRONG! I will bring you more information on our plan for January soon. In the meantime, let’s continue to take care of each other and stay safe, everyone. 


Dr. Sean McDaniel