Dear BPS Staff and Families,
This week’s Tulsa County COVID-19 update continues to show a steady decline in new cases across our county and state. Over the past eight weeks, Tulsa County COVID cases have decreased by nearly two-thirds, from 2,906 cases on August 31 to 916 cases on October 27. This places our primary zip code (74008) in the Yellow alert level (moderate risk) for the second consecutive week.
In our district, we are ending October with 61 total cases, after experiencing 163 and 235 cases in August and September, respectively. Today, there are only 10 BPS students and 6 staff members currently isolated due to a positive COVID diagnosis. This represents 0.2 percent of our school population.
While these trends are certainly positive, medical experts continue to caution that the true course of the pandemic is unpredictable and that people should not view these recent declines as evidence that the pandemic has ended. Even as we move to a greater sense of normalcy, there will be continued risks associated with people gathering together, especially with colder weather and the holiday season just around the corner.
Consistent in-person learning remains our priority; in order to achieve this we must keep our students and staff safe and healthy. Given this, there is a need to continue to balance the desire to return to normal school operations with concerns about the potential for additional COVID surges in our community.
However, due to the relatively low rate of infection we are currently experiencing in our schools and community, the district will be modifying our protocols for visitors and school volunteers beginning Monday, November 1. We greatly value the service and support we receive from our families and community and recognize the need to restore some of our practices which directly benefit our students and classroom teachers.
Starting Monday, we will allow our principals to reopen their schools to volunteers and visitors on a case-by-case basis. We have developed a process which teachers will use to request and secure volunteers for specific needs. Additionally, site principals will have discretion relative to school events, assemblies, etc. Sites will be communicating more details to families next week.
We are grateful for your continued patience and support as we continue to move towards a complete return to regular school operations. We’re anxious to see parents back in our buildings as we partner to build a wonderful future for our children.