Letter from Superintendent Dr. Jarod Mendenhall - Jan. 13, 2021
January 13, 2021
Yesterday, Governor Kevin Stitt announced that Oklahoma schools following safety protocols, including mask-wearing and social distancing, will be permitted to forgo the mandatory two-week quarantine period for potential COVID-19 exposures.
Let me be clear, I want Muskogee Public Schools students back in school and learning in-person, and I agree with Governor Stitt on the importance of this model of instruction for the growth of our students. However, I can not in good conscience place our staff or students in danger if they have been exposed to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The health and safety of our students and staff is of the utmost importance. We believe that following the guidance of our local Muskogee County Health Department is the correct path for our district. Beginning January 1, Muskogee Public Schools moved to the CDC’s option of 10 day quarantine if no symptoms have been reported during daily monitoring with continued monitoring through day 14.
This decision was made following conversations with the Muskogee County Health Department. In reducing the number of quarantine days for a potential COVID-19 exposure, although not a significant number of days, gets students back into the classroom quicker yet does so safely.
We are appreciative of the Governor in moving teachers and other district personnel into Phase 2 of the state’s vaccination plan. We are currently working with our local health officials to develop a path for distribution to our staff.
We continue to implore our community to wear their masks, watch their distance, and wash their hands to help slow the spread of COVID-19 allowing our students to continue to learn within our school buildings.
Jarod Mendenhall, Ed.D
Muskogee Public Schools