A Tulsa Public Schools employee who tested positive for COVID-19 has died, Superintendent Deborah Gist confirmed this week.
Michael Angelo, an electrician who worked in the maintenance and plant operations department and joined TPS in 2007, is the district’s first COVID-related death.
Angelo’s wife, Violet Angelo, also became ill from COVID-19 but has recovered. Violet Angelo is a custodian at TPS and joined the district in 2005.
Gist made the announcement at the conclusion of Monday’s school board meeting.
“I just wanted to make sure and acknowledge that because I know the rest of the Tulsa Public Schools family will be wanting to do the same that we’re doing, which is lifting them up, sending love and appreciation for their long service to the district and thoughts for continued healing for Violet and her family,” Gist said.
Board President Stacey Woolley said she and the rest of the board are mourning the loss of Michael Angelo and continue to think about his family each day.
“My apologies for your loss, and I will certainly keep you in my thoughts and prayers,” Woolley said.
There were nine reports of confirmed COVID-19 cases among TPS staff as of Friday, which is when the district’s weekly COVID reports are released. Another 20 employees were under quarantine due to coming in close contact with individuals who have tested positive.
TPS has been engaged in distance learning since the start of the 2020-21 school year, though many employees have continued to report to work throughout the semester.
Additionally, the district is preparing to implement a phased transition to in-person learning beginning next month.
Students in prekindergarten and kindergarten will return four days a week Nov. 9, while those in first through third grades will return four days per week starting Nov. 16. Those in fourth and fifth grades will go back to campus Nov. 30, along with sixth-graders who attend elementary school.
Students in middle, junior and high school will transition on Jan. 4 to in-person instruction four days a week.
Wednesdays will be spent in distance learning, and families that wish to remain in distance learning will be able to do so.
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