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COVID Changes & Update 8/22/21

COVID Changes and Update August 22, 2021

Dear DPS Staff and Parents, 

At this point, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is not notifying schools regarding contact tracing incidents, quarantines, or people in our schools with COVID.  This is a big change from last year, when we were notified of COVID cases and given orders to quarantine individuals in contact with them.  

Without such measures under direct OSDH authority, my only clear legal option is to send sick people home, as we do during flu season.  In the age of COVID, you can always assume that we have staff and students absent due to COVID, but we never knowingly have COVID positive people on site.   I have formally requested clarification from the OSDH on these issues.  

I cannot ever risk identifying the health status of a staff member or student, directly or indirectly – but I can also not allow COVID positive people to be in our buildings.  Finding a balance between individual rights and health issues is currently very difficult for schools, so please be prepared for things to change quickly.  If you have any concerns about COVID for yourself or your child, please consult your healthcare provider about vaccinations, booster vaccinations, and/or face coverings.  

I will update you weekly regarding staff and student attendance percentages.  We are currently well within normal attendance, district-wide.  We have been able to address any staff absences with subs or staff from other sites.  If those situations change, we may close sites, but until then, we will keep schools open.

Below are our numbers for the last week, through Thursday:

Attendance Snapshot Averages for the week through Thursday: 

  • District-wide Student Attendance:  96%
  • District-wide Staff Attendance: 93%

District-Wide Student Attendance Rates (M-Th):  96.29%

  • DHS: 95.29%
  • DMS: 96.71%
  • Emerson: 97.39%
  • Horace Mann: 94.86%
  • Mark Twain:  99.38%
  • Plato:  97.84%
  • Will Rogers: 96.30%
  • Woodrow Wilson: 95.04%

District-Wide Staff Numbers (percentages of 465 staff each day)

  • Monday: 93.4%  (31 total absent, for all reasons)
  • Tuesday: 92.5% (35  total absent, for all reasons  )
  • Wednesday: 92.7% (34  total absent, for all reasons  )
  • Thursday:  92.5% (35  total absent, for all reasons  )

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns: