During a special Board of Education meeting on Monday, Nov. 30, Chief Operations Officer Jorge Robles shared an update on the district’s COVID-19 health data. Click here to view the full presentation. . The update included a review of Superintendent Gist’s decision to shift students in pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade back into distance learning, the rationale behind Superintendent Gist’s decision, and some of the key data that the district uses to assess health and safety conditions in the district and surrounding areas.
We will shift students in pre-kindergarten through third grade back to distance learning through Friday, Dec. 18.
- Pre-kindergarten through 3rd grade will shift to distance learning through the last day of classes before winter break, Friday, Dec. 18.
- This shift to distance learning includes all of our students in level 3 and 4 special education programs and our deaf education programs.
- Students in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades will continue in distance learning through the last day of classes before winter break, which is Friday, Dec. 18.
- Students in middle, junior high, and high school will continue in distance learning through the last day of classes before winter break, which is Friday, Dec. 18.
- Students will continue to have access to Care and Connect hours at their schools; services will continue to be available by appointment only.
- Student athletes will continue to participate in winter sports following the safety protocols we have in place.
- We will continue to provide breakfast, lunch, and support meals for all Tulsa children ages 18 and under.
We considered a number of factors to inform this decision, including, but not limited to the following:
- The Tulsa Health Department has advised local school districts that “it is extremely risky to conduct in-person learning;”
- Tulsa County 7-day rolling averages have significantly increased and are expected to continue to increase following the Thanksgiving holiday;
- Nearly all Tulsa zip codes are in the Tulsa Health Department’s “red” zone; and
- The increase in community spread rates for Tulsa County erodes the stability of in-person learning experiences in our schools:
- Growing staffing challenges (school based and support professionals): increase in staff absences and limited ability to get substitutes/temporary help.
- Inconsistent in-person student attendance: increasing numbers of students shifting in and out of quarantine; students with extended quarantine periods based on positive household tests;
- Teachers are navigating a growing mix of in-person and distance learning demands; the ability to adequately plan for significant day-to-day changes in which students are in-person versus distance undermines the continuity necessary for learning.