Skiatook High School moves to distance learning for two weeks

Another Osage County school is pivoting to distance learning due to COVID-19.

On Oct. 23, officials with Skiatook Public Schools announced that its high school will switch to distance learning for two weeks starting on Oct. 26.

Along with four confirmed positive cases among the student body, the school has eight staff members and 120 students in quarantine.

Skiatook High School’s football game scheduled for Oct. 23 against Bristow has been canceled. As of Oct. 23, no announcement has been made about the Bulldogs’ games on Oct. 30 at Miami or Nov. 2 against Oologah-Talala.

All of the district’s other sites will still continue to offer in person classes. Marrs Elementary, which serves pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and first grade, has 15 students and two faculty members in quarantine as of Oct. 23. Skiatook Elementary, Skiatook Intermediate Elementary and Newman Middle School each have less than five people in quarantine due to close contact with a confirmed positive case.

According to data updated Oct. 22 by the Oklahoma Department of Health, Skiatook has 51 active cases.  

Since the start of the 2020-2021 school year, both Avant and Pawhuska have had to transition to distance learning due to the virus.

Avant School is scheduled to resume in-person instruction on Oct. 26 after almost a full month in distance learning. The district initially made the shift on Oct. 1 after exposure in the building, then had to extend it by an extra week after a faculty member tested positive, prompting four more faculty members to quarantine.

In a Facebook Live video posted Oct. 12, Avant Superintendent Mindy Englett said even though no students tested positive, the district had to make the move because there were not enough adults out of quarantine to continue in person instruction safely.

“It’s the times we’re living in right now, unfortunately,” she said. “We have to keep everyone safe. We have some students whose health is at risk and I can’t risk one student’s safety for everyone else. I just can’t do that.”

Pawhuska Public Schools went to distance learning Oct. 13-14 after a student tested positive. It resumed in-person instruction on Oct. 19.

Positive cases have also been reported within the school systems at Hominy and Barnsdall.