Education

Immersion school, Skiatook middle school going to distance learning

Photo caption: On Dec. 10, 2020, parents at Daposka Ahnkodapi, the Osage Nation’s immersion elementary school, were notified that a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. SHANNON SHAW DUTY/Osage News

Two more local schools are ending fall in-person instruction early thanks to COVID-19.

On Dec. 10, parents at Daposka Ahnkodapi, the Osage Nation’s immersion elementary school, were notified that a staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

In accordance with the tribe’s COVID-19 mitigation policies, the school has stopped in-person classes until Jan. 4, 2021.  

On the same day, officials with Skiatook Public Schools announced that the district’s middle school would finish out the semester in distance learning after three students and a staff member all tested positive.

Under the “close contact” exposure guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those four positives led to an additional eight staff members and 156 students needing to quarantine.

Newman Middle School students will not return for in-person instruction until Jan. 6, 2021. Meal pick up will be available weekdays from noon to 1 p.m. through Dec. 18 at the school’s drop-off loop.

On Dec. 11, the district announced that its Early Childhood Center will be closed until January due to a staff member testing positive, prompting seven more employees to quarantine.

However, Skiatook Public Schools’ other sites will continue to offer in-person instruction for the rest of the fall semester.

According to data published Dec. 11 by the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Osage County has 61.8 cases for every 100,000 residents. As per the recommendations approved by the Oklahoma State Department of Education, that puts the county in the red zone, at which time distance learning is strongly encouraged.  

As of Dec. 11, area school districts staying entirely in distance learning until after the holidays include Bartlesville, Ponca City, Shidler, Tulsa and Wynona.