As you likely know, our community is experiencing an increased number of COVID-19 cases.
As of the time of this letter, we have approximately 24 percent of our staff members unable to report to work and 29 percent (383) of our students absent from school. I have spent the week carefully monitoring these numbers, consulting with other school superintendents and health officials.
This morning I shared our situation with local and regional health officials, sharing ideas and possible plans to get through this surge in sickness. It is the opinion of several health officials I spoke with that we will see this spike in the next 5 to 7 days. They are hopeful to see a decline after that time.
As a result, we have made the extremely difficult decision to transition all district students to virtual learning next week (January 17-21). We are already out of school to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday. Students will return to school on Monday, January 24.
Feeding our students is a top priority!
We will offer a full week of meals for students to pick up on Monday, January 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The location for the "Grab and Go" meals is the back of the Junior High at Chickasaw and Bradley streets. If you have any questions about this service, call our office at 405-238-6453. Please do not call after Monday, as all staff will be home resting and recovering as well.
During this time and beginning tomorrow, Saturday, all extracurricular activities will stop. No games or scrimmages with other school districts will be allowed from January 15-23. Practice will be allowed to start back after 5 days quarantined, as recommended by the CDC. As long as all players and coaches are symptom free and have been fever free for the prior 24 hours, they may practice with Pauls Valley students only. If all goes well, we will resume normal participation with other schools on our return January 24.
There is nothing more important to our district than the safety and health of our students, our staff, and their families. We understand this transition will be inconvenient: however, I greatly appreciate your families' flexibility, patience, and support.
I am optimistic this step will help us avoid additional interruptions through the remainder of the school year.
If you have any questions about this transition, please contact your child's building principal.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve the students of Pauls Valley Public Schools. I look forward to seeing them on campus again refreshed and healthy on Monday, January 24.