Some School Districts Remain Virtual, Some Return To In-Person Class After Winter Break

Monday, January 4th 2021, 6:14 pm

Some Green Country schools are pivoting to virtual learning this week after an increase in COVID-19 cases, while others are sticking to their plan of getting kids back in the classroom.

In-person classes are something that Governor Kevin Stitt has pushes for schools across the state to prioritize this semester.

News On 6 spoke with the superintendent of Claremore Public Schools as their students returned to campus. They have the same health measures in place as they did in the fall semester like wearing masks and social distancing.

"We made a commitment that as long as we felt and believed that the data showed us we could have school face-to-face, that we were going to do that," Superintendent Bryan Frazier said

Frazier said there's optimism a return to normal is in sight because of vaccines.

The district is also waiting on COVID-19 test kits they've been approved for. Frazier said those will likely be used for teachers and staff who've been potentially exposed to the virus.

He said if they test negative, the number of days they would need to quarantine could be cut down to seven days.

"One of the things we saw, we had to close two of our buildings last semester for a 10-day period of time, and really that was the inability for us to be able to staff the building," Frazier said.

He said in that case, it wasn't that they had a big outbreak of COVID-19 cases, but that they had so many teachers and staff who had to quarantine.

Frazier said having those test kits on hand could allow them to continue having classes in-person.

"Hopefully if things turn a little bit and the numbers come down a little bit, everything will be manageable so we can have a very productive second semester for our students and our families," Frazier said.

Other districts in Green Country moved to online classes this week. They include Okmulgee, Coweta, and Tulsa Public Schools.