Verdigris Public Schools approves flexible re-entry plan

Parents of two Verdigris students spoke to the school board recently about what they felt would be an age appropriate blended option for their first and third grade children. The current proposal does not included a blended option for elementary students.

Verdigris Public Schools will get a later start this year than anticipated.

In a special message from Superintendent Michael Payne, students and parents learned that the first day of school has been pushed back to Aug. 20.

"This is best for our staff and students for a few reasons," Payne said. "It gives our staff more time to become comfortable with new programs and equipment, as to provide a better set-up for student success. These new programs will allow us to be prepared for distance learning in the event it is necessitated due to a short term or extended school closure."

In addition, he said, "professional learning and training will occur on COVID-19 safety protocols within their work sites, learning and content management

systems, and strategies to support students as they transition back to school. As always, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority."

The district has shared a revised version of their return to school guidelines, which provide parents with three options.

District administration reminds parents that all students will be automatically enrolled in option one unless a parent/guardian requests the student be enrolled in option two or three.

Details about each option can be found on the district website,

The plan also stipulates that "If a student or faculty member tests positive for COVID-19, additional sanitary measures will be implemented to prevent the spread of the virus. If there is a positive case of a student or staff member, students and staff who are in that specific classroom will be notified and required to quarantine for 14 days and transition to distance learning (provided by their teacher or a substitute) during this time. If an elementary student or staff tests positive, individuals in that specific class will transition to distance learning during the quarantine period."

Parents/guardians will not be notified if there is no direct physical contact or close contact with a person testing positive, according to district administration.

Parents/guardians can also learn how the Oklahoma State Department of Health's color-coded risk identification applies to the school district on the school website.

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