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Pocola Schools temporarily switch to distance learning due to rise in COVID-19 cases

The district says at this time school is scheduled to resume in-person learning on Sept. 8.

POCOLA, Okla. — The Pocola, Oklahoma School District will be switching to distance learning Tuesday (Aug. 25) due to the rise of COVID-19 cases and absences within the district.

“I believe they are doing everything in their power to keep these kids safe. Temperature checks, their desks are spread apart," mother Heather Masterson said. "They are doing their part but if we don’t continue to send our kids to school, we are going to be shut down due to just not having the number of attendance."

Mother of three Pocola Elementary students, Heather Masterson says she knows parents are scared of their kids getting exposed to COVID-19 but thinks that the parents who chose in-person school need to have faith in the district and send them to school.

“Have trust in the teachers and staff at Pocola Schools," she said. "They are doing everything they can and more. They have impressed me absolutely. I am completely okay with sending my children back to school whenever it’s time."

The district says at this time school is scheduled to resume in-person learning on Sept. 8.

Meals for students will be distributed at the high school and middle school cafeteria's each school day from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

The district says extracurricular activities will still go on as planned.

The school district released the following statement on its website:

"Dear Parents/Guardians

Due to an increase in COVID cases in our school district and an increase in absences within our school, we will transition to distance learning effective Tuesday, August 25th.  At this time, school is scheduled to resume September 8, 2020. In conjunction with distance learning, meals will be distributed at the HS/MS cafeteria each day from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Order ahead links can be found under the Parent Resource page on our website.  Please email your intent to pick up each morning by 9:00 a.m. to pvirtual20@yahoo.com.    

All students will be transitioned over to our distance learning platform. Pocola Public Schools extra-curricular activities will proceed as planned. Please contact your student’s site for further information. 

Student medications that are held in your school nurse’s office can be picked up at each site by the parent or guardian if needed during this mandatory shutdown.  Please call the school to schedule a time.  Picture ID is required for pick up.

The safety and well-being of students and employees is our top priority. We continue to monitor the evolving health crisis caused by Coronavirus. We are adhering to guidance from the Oklahoma State Department of Health, State Department of Education, the CDC, in all decisions made.

Thank you for your understanding and partnership with us as we take the necessary steps to protect our school community.  Again, the situation is being closely monitored and we will keep you apprised of any changes.

Sincerely,

Superintendent Jason Brittain

Pocola Public Schools"

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