District reports no positive cases of virus in first week
By Jeff Harrison
Mid-Del Schools kicked off the new school year last week with students learning both in school and at home through remote and virtual instruction.
The district offered both traditional in-person instruction and a virtual academy that is entirely online. All students in the traditional instruction started the year with an alternating A/B schedule with both in-person classes and remote learning, due to the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma County.
Superintendent Rick Cobb said he was pleased with the way students, teachers and parents have adapted to the new challenges.
“I visited every school at least once and I saw more small class sizes and kids in the cafeteria all spaced out,” Cobb said. “I was really pleased with what I saw.”
All students and staff are required to wear face coverings and observe social distancing guidelines. The district has also increased cleaning procedures. Schools recently received a significant amount of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies from the state.
School district officials reported no confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in the first week of school, which was Aug. 24 – 28.
The district reported three cases in which someone is symptomatic or has come in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. All three individuals are actively quarantined.
The three cases reported include administrative staff, support staff, teachers and students. The report include those who have come into close contact with a positive case or are symptomatic and linked to a known positive case of COVID-19. Close contacts consist of those that occurred outside of Mid-Del Schools as well as those within school facilities.
Mid-Del officials said they plan to release data related to COVID-19 spread in the school system each week, in an effort to be transparent within the boundaries of privacy laws.
The first week of the district’s virtual academy did not go smoothly. The district canceled its contract with Edgenuity, a third-party platform, for elementary school instruction due to ongoing issues with instructional content. Cobb said they will instead have district staff create content and distribute it through Canvas software. The move will save the district $600,000.
“It caused a disruption because we thought we’d let Edgenuity run it and it’d be a turnkey operation and it was not that simple at all,” Cobb said. “It was not as we understood it to be from the vendor’s explanation.”
Cobb said the district did not have the same issues with the secondary instruction through Edgenuity.