School districts preparing for another COVID year

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 5:57 PM CDT
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ELGIN, Okla. (KSWO) - Just weeks before school starts coronavirus cases are starting to ramp back up.

Since Elgin Public Schools ended the school year with low COVID cases Superintendent Nate Meraz said that pushed him to get students and teachers back in the classroom this upcoming school year, and virtual school won’t be an option at this time.

Despite delta variant cases jumping daily, Meraz will stick with his decision for now.

“Just considering a couple factors the vaccination is available. It has been available now to the general public, and even ages 12 and up for some time period. So, people have had that choice to go and decided if they wanted to get that vaccination which obviously is adding a layer of protection, a solid layer of protection for people,” Meraz said.

There are no worries going into the school year, Meraz said that doesn’t help anything.

“But we’re also intelligent, and we take a look at the latest recommendations and guidance that comes out. We also, and I’ve used this term many times we pride ourselves on being very common sense, and we don’t want to overreact; we don’t want to underreact; we just want to have a good, solid response to what’s going on,” Meraz said.

Superintendent Tom Deighan over at Duncan Public Schools is on the same page.

“According to health department officials and following their guidance. We feel like they have a good plan we’re going to rely on them for any mandates, any guidance through this whole process, and at this point, we don’t have any reason to change what we are doing for the start of school,” Deighan said.

Virtual school was an option for Duncan students before COVID, so that’ll continue to be an option.

Deighan said ahead of the school year he’s been getting a lot of questions from parents about masks more than anything else.

“Masks are not going to be required. By law Senate Bill 658 means schools can not require mask, mask will be optional, and we want anyone who wants to wear a mask to wear one, we even have free mask for any staff or students who want one,” Deighan said.

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