School board members and district leaders met Monday after pushing back the first day of school to September 3 and announced that 33 staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
School leaders said it’s the trifecta of problems, as they have positive cases, they don’t have enough protective equipment and they’re still trying to get some kids enrolled.
Broken Arrow's superintendent said last week, they had 33 staff members test positive for COVID-19. She said its led to 98 COVID-19 related absences they need to fill. The district was already in need of substitute teachers and they've temporarily raised pay to try to attract some.
The superintendent said the district also needs more protective gear. She said they're still waiting on shipments from the governor, but don't know when it's expected to arrive. Broken Arrow leaders said they really need masks and would like to be able to provide them to all students.
Broken Arrow is also still trying to enroll all their students, since nearly 4,500 students chose to take their Virtual Academy Program.
The superintendent said she prefers they don't do a staggered schedule.
"We're trying to be very cognizant and do things right, so that we can have a safe start, and also a successful start, where we won't be stopping and starting, and stopping and starting, because that's awful to do to families. You can't plan around that," BA Schools Superintendent Janet Vinson said.
The district said the good news is, because so many students enrolled in the virtual academy, that means fewer people in classrooms at the high school. Vinson said that will make it easier to physical distance in the buildings.