Verdigris Public School

Across the state, schools are navigating the uncharted territory of returning to classes amid a pandemic.

Most schools returned offered differing learning options and are seeing different results.

In Verdigris, 46 students and two teachers have been quarantined after possible exposure to students who have received positive COVID test results.

"We had some students that contacted us over the weekend saying they'd tested positive," said Superintendent Mike Payne, adding that calls went out to the parents/guardians of any student who may have come into contact with these students.

"These were two classrooms, 46 students, we have quarantined, and two teachers based on contact. We work in pods, so they weren't crossing patches with the rest of the student population."

Payne said, "We want everyone to have peace of mind. So we also did a call to parents letting them know, yes there had been a positive case but your student was not in contact so you don't have to quarantine."

He said those quarantined will move to virtual learning for the duration of their 14 day quarantine.

"And Friday is our first district-wide Virtual day. Everybody is doing distance learning on Friday," he said.


Inola Public School Superintendent Dr. Kent Holbrook said the Inola school district has not had any positive cases as of yet.

"We've had a couple that were quarantined after exposure outside the school. But all tests are coming back negative," Holbrook said. "If we have one test positive, a letter will go out to anyone that was in the six foot radius and those students will be quarantined."

He said notification will be done through a letter and a phone call for those who had a child in an area of concern.

If their child was not in an area of concern, Holbrook said, no notice will be given.

"As of this moment, no one has tested positive yet. We know it's a possibility and we have plans in place should that happen," he said.

Claremore Public School Superintendent Bryan Frazier said the district has been very fortunate in that no students or staff have tested positive for COVID since returning to school.

“We received notification that a couple students had prior to school starting, but they have not been in the building, “ he said.

Frazier said that if a student or staff member tests positive, the school district will follow CDC protocol and first alert the health department.

“Those who came into close contact will go into quarantine,” Frazier said. “The big question we have to answer is what counts as close contact...but we will always, always err on the side of caution and quarantine the entire class or grade level if necessary.”

He said contact tracing, in these situations, is crucial but often misunderstood.

“People often think quarantining is necessary for anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive,” Frazier said. “But that’s not the case. It’s just those who have had close contact with the positive case.”

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