CATOOSA — Citing climbing COVID-19 case numbers, Catoosa Public Schools announced Wednesday evening that it is pivoting to distance learning.
The shift starts on Thursday for Catoosa’s secondary students, while Cherokee Elementary School and the Helen Paul Learning Center will still have in-person classes on Thursday. Friday was previously scheduled to be a distance-learning day for all Catoosa students.
Catoosa students enrolled at Tulsa Technology Center will continue to take in-person classes and be able to access regular transportation from the high school.
In-person classes are scheduled to resume on Feb. 8.
While the district is in distance learning, all Catoosa athletic facilities are closed both to school teams and outside entities, thus prompting the decision to move the Port City Classic.
Meal service for secondary students will be available starting Thursday at the Dome storm shelter from 10 a.m. to noon. Families can also pick up a week’s worth of meals on Monday and Feb. 1 at the Dome storm shelter from noon to 1 p.m.
According to data published by Catoosa Public Schools on Wednesday evening, 222 students and staff district-wide are currently in quarantine after a close contact exposure to someone with COVID-19. More than half of the people in quarantine are either at Wells Middle School or Catoosa High School.
Additionally, 13 people across the district have a confirmed case of COVID-19 and are currently in isolation.
In a letter sent to parents Wednesday, Superintendent Alicia O’Donnell acknowledged that the move would present some difficulties for families but said it was in the best interest of everyone’s safety.
“We knew this year was not going to be easy but together, we will continue to make sure our students have great success in spite of all the challenges,” she wrote.