As most of you know, Mustang Public Schools utilizes the Oklahoma State Department of Health & Education’s weekly COVID-19 Alert System to determine appropriate safety protocols for our schools each week based on our revised Return To Learn Health/Safety Protocols. The alert system, which measures the risk of exposure across the state, as of today reflects Candian County as Red. This is due to an increase in cases per 100,000 individuals, from 32.85 to 60.97 in Canadian County stemming from widespread community transmission throughout the entirety of the county (which is reflected in our local schoolwide data as well). After discussing the situation with local health officials, we have made the difficult decision to transition all district students to distance learning for two weeks in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus.
Beginning Monday, November 16, 2020, we will move forward with 100% Distance Learning at all sites in our District.
This model will remain in place for at least two weeks until December 4, 2020. At that point, we will re-evaluate the situation and determine next steps/possibilities for return for the District.
As Governor Stitt and State Health Commissioner Frye echoed in their November 10 press conference, “we can all work together to keep our friends, family and neighbors safe by limiting gatherings, wearing a mask, washing our hands and social distancing. We have the power to slow the spread, but we all must do our part.” I know this is disappointing news, however, the health, safety, and well-being of our school community remains our top priority. Again, after consulting with the Canadian County Health Department, the increases we’ve seen are due to community spread and cannot be isolated to a single event as was the case when the county last turned Red. We are following sound protocols aligned with expert health guidance to ensure we are doing everything we can to minimize risk and ensure the learning process can continue.
Your school principals will follow up soon to provide more detail on how learning will look for your student(s), along with information on meal services, activities/athletics, and more.
We will continue to work with county health officials to address this, and future, situations. We will also continue to follow all COVID-related safety procedures as indicated in our Health/Safety Plan which is continually updated based on the latest guidance from the CDC and local/state health officials. We also want to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the importance of wearing face-coverings/masks, staying six feet apart from others, and regularly washing your hands. These mitigation strategies are just as important outside of the school environment as they are inside our building. During this time, as always, please monitor yourself for possible COVID-19 symptoms and continue to conduct a self-check each day as referenced in the MPS Daily Symptom Check. If you exhibit symptoms, please contact your medical provider immediately for advice/guidance. Additionally, we ask that all of our staff, students, and families continue to utilize the COVID19@mustangps.org email to report positive tests, close contacts, exposures, and/or quarantines (even during breaks, Distance Learning, etc.). Information reported here will be viewed by the MPS COVID-19 Response Team and used for monitoring and contact tracing only. No names will be made public.
While we know remote learning is not optimal, we are working hard to ensure a high-quality learning experience for all students and that connections between and among students and teachers continue. We understand this sudden transition will be inconvenient and your child will miss being in school; however, we greatly appreciate your families’ flexibility, patience and support as we navigate this difficult situation.
Charles Bradley, Superintendent
Mustang Public Schools
For questions related to COVID-19, please visit the Oklahoma State Department of Health COVID Resources site or call the Oklahoma Department of Health COVID-19 call center: (877)215-8336 or the Canadian County Health Department at (405) 262-0042. You are a valued member of the Mustang Family, and please know that we will make it through this challenging time together. Thank you for your continued support.