Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Kay County and within Ponca City Public Schools, the Board of Education voted to transition to distance learning for the entire district beginning on Monday Nov. 23 till the end of the semester on Friday Dec. 18.
During a special Board of Education meeting held on Nov. 19, Superintendent Shelley Arrott provided COVID-19 data for the district including the weekly numbers.
Executive Director of Human Resources, Curtis Layton, shared medical data including anecdotal symptom progression data which revealed there has been a trend in the severity of symptoms in positive cases for grades nine to twelve and adults since the third week of Oct., with early symptoms consisting of loss of taste and smell, sniffles, fatigue and allergy-like symptoms. Current symptoms include GI issues, body aches/joint pain, severe cough, severe headaches often severe enough to cause vertigo and progressive fevers
Another trend that has been observed is students feeling sick, then their fever drops and they are feeling fine add return to school before experiencing symptoms again.
Superintendent Arrott closed the presentation by providing points of success during the pandemic and concerns with the new rate of cases and spread in the community.
In addition to distance learning, the Board also voted that all extracurricular activities and practices will be discontinued during the closure. The Board did reserve the right to continually review data to modify the decision if deemed necessary.
Students with disabilities, who are unable to receive a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) purely through a distance learning environment (as determined by the IEP team) and those students are unable to receive instructional services through distance learning, not to exceed 15% of students enrolled at a site, may receive certain services at a school site that is closed. Teachers and staff may be on campus as assigned. Special education teachers will reach out to parents with concerns.