The Ponca City Board of Education held their regular meeting on Monday Sept. 14 during which the board was briefed by Superintendent Shelley Arrott on COVID-19 updates.
During the presentation it was revealed that over the 14 days of school currently held, nine were without a positive case and five did possess a positive case.
Arrott updated the board on the process of contact tracing using close contact guidelines and definition from the CDC:
- Being within 6 feet of someone for at least 15 minutes.
- Direct physical contact (hugging or kissing).
- Sharing eating or drinking utensils.
- Sneezing, coughing, or getting respiratory droplets on another person.
- The contact tracer can also consult relevant seatings charts, class rosters and other references to identify any students or staff who are close contacts.
Arrott also showed peer district data to show the comparison in cases with other Northern Oklahoma districts and data from the Oklahoma State Health Department key highlights for the week with probable and confirmed cases combined for the data.
An overview of the Distance Learning Practice day held on the same day as the meeting was also shown as well as an update on the USDA making breakfast and lunch available free to all Ponca City Public School children through Dec. 31, 2020, subject to USDA funds.
Lunch and breakfast will be available free everyday to all students 18 and under, starting Sept. 15, 2020. Students normally not part of the free or reduced lunch programs will also be included in these free meal distributions.
The board then voted to update the school’s safety protocols to include the phrase “upon Board of Education approval” and “when deemed appropriate” on several items on the chart. This is due in part to add flexibility and to look more closely at numbers going on within the schools on separate sites versus using county wide numbers to make the decision to initiate district wide distance learning or to make building and campus unavailable for public use or extra-curricular activities.