COVID-19 Information

 
State Board of Education closes school campuses for the remainder of the school year.
 
 
 
Letter from Whitebead Superintendent
 
March 16th, 2020
 
Dear Whitebead School District parents and staff:
 
This afternoon, the state Board of Education voted to close all Oklahoma schools, effective immediately, until at least April 6 in an effort to minimize the spread of COVID-19. This includes the Whitebead School District. Additionally, there will be no school activities during this time.
 
While state officials mandated schools to close for two weeks following spring break, they also encouraged administrators to prepare for the possibility of longer-term closures, if it becomes necessary. At least 35 other states across the country also have made the decision to close schools statewide in the interest of public health.
 
Oklahoma schools are not expected to be required to make up the missed days. At this time, schools have been instructed by the state Department of Education not to provide online, home-based, or distance learning for students.
 
This is an unprecedented situation, and it continues to evolve by the hour. We know this uncertainty can cause anxiety and worry, but we want to assure you that Whitebead School is doing everything possible to ensure the needs of students and employees will be met during this unique time. We will be closed for classes, but - as a district - we will continue to serve our community while abiding by the healthy best practices that have been recommended by the CDC. Employees will receive information about their responsibilities during the school closure over the next few days.
 
We encourage you to comply with what health officials recommended as well. If you can, please stay at home and enjoy family time. If you must go out, please practice social distancing, allowing at least six feet between you and other individuals. If you have questions about COVID-19, please contact your medical professional or the county health department. You also can learn more about how to prevent the illness by visiting https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
 
Communication will be key during the next two weeks. It is our hope that accurate and up-to-date correspondence will combat fear and panic, as well as help you make well-informed decisions for your family. As a district, we will be sending correspondence to you by text, phone call, email, and Facebook. You also can get the latest information by visiting the Whitebead School District Website whitebead.net. There, we will be posting answers to frequently asked questions as soon as they are available, including those about child nutrition services, employee payroll, end-of-year activities, and more.
 
For Whitebead, there is nothing more important than the safety and health of our students, staff, and community. We want you to be safe, and we appreciate your flexibility and understanding. Garvin county and Pauls Valley are strong, and we will get through this together.
 
Sincerely,
 
Lou Ann Wood
 
Superintendent
 
Carta de la superintendente de Whitebead
 
16 de marzo de 2020
Estimados padres y personal del Distrito Escolar Whitebead:
Esta tarde, la Junta de Educación del estado votó para cerrar todas las escuelas de Oklahoma, con vigencia inmediata, al menos hasta el 6 de abril en un esfuerzo por minimizar la propagación de COVID-19. Esto incluye el Distrito Escolar Whitebead. Además, no habrá actividades escolares durante este tiempo.
Si bien los funcionarios estatales ordenaron a las escuelas cerrar durante dos semanas después de las vacaciones de primavera, también alentaron a los administradores a prepararse para la posibilidad de cierres a largo plazo, si fuera necesario. Al menos otros 35 estados en todo el país también han tomado la decisión de cerrar las escuelas en todo el estado en interés de la salud pública.
No se espera que las escuelas de Oklahoma repongan los días perdidos. En este momento, el Departamento de Educación del estado ha ordenado a las escuelas que no brinden educación en línea, a domicilio o a distancia para los estudiantes.
Esta es una situación sin precedentes, y continúa evolucionando por horas. Sabemos que esta incertidumbre puede causar ansiedad y preocupación, pero queremos asegurarle que Whitebead School está haciendo todo lo posible para garantizar que se satisfagan las necesidades de los estudiantes y empleados durante este tiempo único. Estaremos cerrados para las clases, pero, como distrito, continuaremos sirviendo a nuestra comunidad, respetando las mejores prácticas saludables que han sido recomendadas por los CDC. Los empleados recibirán información sobre sus responsabilidades durante el cierre de la escuela en los próximos días.
Le recomendamos que cumpla con lo que los funcionarios de salud también han recomendado. Si puede, quédese en casa y disfrute el tiempo en familia. Si debe salir, practique el distanciamiento social, permitiendo al menos seis pies entre usted y otras personas. Si tiene preguntas sobre COVID-19, comuníquese con su profesional médico o con el departamento de salud del condado. También puede obtener más información sobre cómo prevenir la enfermedad visitando https://www.cdc.gov/coron…/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
La comunicación será clave durante las próximas dos semanas. Esperamos que la correspondencia precisa y actualizada combata el miedo y el pánico, y que también lo ayude a tomar decisiones bien informadas para su familia. Como distrito, le enviaremos correspondencia por mensaje de texto, llamada telefónica, correo electrónico y Facebook. También puede obtener la información más reciente visitando el sitio web del Distrito Escolar de Whitebead. Allí, publicaremos las respuestas a las preguntas frecuentes tan pronto como estén disponibles, incluidas aquellas sobre servicios de nutrición infantil, nómina de empleados, actividades de fin de año y más.
Para Whitebead, no hay nada más importante que la seguridad y la salud de nuestros estudiantes, personal y comunidad. Queremos que esté seguro, y apreciamos su flexibilidad y comprensión. El condado de Garvin y Pauls Valley son fuertes, y lo superaremos juntos.
Sinceramente,
Lou Ann Wood Superintendente
 
Breakfast and Lunch Information
Información de desayuno y almuerzo
 
If your child/children need to receive breakfast or lunch while our school is closed, please email our superintendent at lwood@whitebead.net. We are working hard to keep you informed and our children are taken care of.
 

Si su hijo(s) necesita recibir desayuno o almuerzo mientras nuestra escuela está cerrada, envíe un correo electrónico a nuestro superintendente a lwood@whitebead.net. Estamos trabajando arduamente para mantenerlo informado y cuidar a nuestros hijos.

 
 
Teacher and Staff Pay Information
 
Teachers and administrators shall be entitled to pay for any time lost when school is closed on account of epidemics or otherwise when an order for such closing has been issued by a health officer authorized by law to issue the order.

The OSSBA legal team is in agreement with the state Education Department and other education attorneys that this language applies to the current situation. Districts can rely on this statute to pay certified employees for any contract days lost because of the COVID-19 emergency.

Districts can still direct all employees, including teachers and administrators, to report to work. However, if districts decide not to do so, this statute requires certified employees to continue to be paid.

We know this provision doesn't specifically mention support employees so our team continues to review solutions to ensure support employees can continue to be paid as well.
 
 

 

Hofmeister to request federal waiver suspending state testing for school year

 

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 19, 2020) – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister announced today that the State Department of Education plans to pursue a federal waiver to suspend statewide student assessments for the 2019-20 school year.

“Oklahomans, like all Americans, are seeking to 'flatten the curve' of a global pandemic. Our foremost concern is ensuring our students and school communities remain as safe and healthy as possible, which is why the State Board of Education voted earlier this week to cease all school operations until at least April 6, and possibly longer,” said Hofmeister. 

“Our educators and district leaders need to shift their focus from assessments to essential services, including child nutrition and planning to continue student learning through alternative delivery methods. Their priority cannot be with assessments that would be of questionable validity in the wake of a global pandemic. Assessments are very important tools, but they do not outweigh other considerations during this time of uncertainty.”

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires each state to administer academic assessments in English language arts, mathematics and science in grades 3-8 as well as once in high school. The U.S. Department of Education has indicated it would consider waiver requests from states with widespread closures related to the spread of COVID-19. 

The waiver request will also seek suspension of the Oklahoma School Report Card for the current school year. The pandemic has spurred at least 39 states to close schools statewide.