Green Country School Districts Consider New CDC Guidelines, State Recommendations


Friday, July 24th 2020, 5:19 pm
By: Amy Slanchik


OKLAHOMA -

Owasso Public Schools reversed course Friday, saying it will now require some students to wear masks this fall. 

This decision comes at the same time the CDC is releasing new guidelines for school districts across the country to consider. 

At least one Green Country school district is making a change because of the new guidelines, but in Owasso, the district made a move based on state recommendations.  

The new CDC guidelines talk about wearing masks, screening students, testing in schools, sports, what to do when someone gets sick, and even bullying issues that could come up when it comes to children wearing or not wearing a mask. The CDC also has a back-to-school decision making tool for parents and guardians. 

Owasso Superintendent Amy Fichtner admits, there is a lot to absorb. 

"It has been a decision-making rollercoaster almost on a regular basis,” Fichtner said. 

Related Story: Owasso Public Schools Will Not Require Masks, Temperature Checks For Fall 

Just last week the district's plan was to only recommend masks. Now it is a requirement for grades 4-12.

"Really it came down to just what we teach our students. Study, know what the facts are, respond to the facts, don't let yourself get caught up in emotion and do what's best,” Fichtner said.  

On a phone call with reporters Friday, the CDC said less than 0.1% of all COVID-19 related deaths in the U.S. have been among children.

"Although the scientist in me acknowledges that this is a very small percentage, I am also a mom. In both roles, I am heartbroken that 64 children and adolescents under the age of 18 have died from COVID-19,” Dr. Erin Sauber-Schatz said. 

Union Public Schools released a 10-page document Friday, answering frequently asked questions. The new guidance from the CDC prompted the district to make a change to its policy when it comes to returning to school after having COVID-19 symptoms.  

Jenks Public Schools said it is not considering any changes to its plan at the moment. Tulsa Public Schools said it will base recommendations to its board based on guidance from local health leaders.