Superintendent's Update


Superintendent Denia Reese
Mrs. Denia Reese

Superintendent’s Message September 24, 2020

I would like to thank everyone who responded to the PreK and secondary school survey about returning to school on a traditional schedule. We had excellent participation with over 2,500 responses. I also appreciate all the emails I received about when we should reopen school on a 5-day schedule. I have read and considered every email.

I’m going to be honest, there hasn’t been much “middle ground” in the emails. Most people are absolutely adamant that we immediately go back to school five days, or that we stay on hybrid schedule at least until the beginning of the year. I understand I can’t make a decision that is going to make everyone happy. I want you to know I’ve considered your input, and I’ve spoken with the Director of Public Health for our region.

Eighty percent of all people who responded to the survey said “yes” to returning to school five days a week. Families who are not ready to return to face-to-face may continue to participate in Distance Learning.

Fifty percent of all people who responded want to return in September/October, and thirty-five percent want to return at the beginning of next semester (January). (Note: 15% chose another random date).

After listening and researching, I believe we can return to a five-day schedule in a two phase approach.

Phase I Beginning October 26th (after the end of first grading period on 10/21):

PreK classes will return 5 days a week.

Middle and High School Students will return on a 4-day schedule: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Wednesday will be a digital learning day for students. Since middle and high schools have a large student population, school nurses will use this day for contact tracing. The system will also use this mid-week break to clean/disinfect without students in the buildings.

Note: If students are currently in hybrid, parents don’t need to do anything. If students are in digital learning and want to return to in-person, parents need to contact their child’s school.

Phase II Beginning November 30th:

Middle and High School Students will return to school on a 5-day traditional schedule.

I will continue to monitor the spread of COVID in our schools, so this plan is fluid. If the virus spreads in a grade level, or school, we may have to switch to a hybrid or distance learning schedule. With less social distancing, you may observe the number of quarantines increase on our weekly report. Also, teachers may require masks in classrooms that can’t social distance, or if the teacher has an underlying health condition.

I believe face-to-face learning with teachers is best for our children, but I understand some parents are still concerned about returning to a more traditional schedule. We have enhanced our cleaning/disinfecting procedures specifically for COVID, and we are purchasing additional temperature scanners to make sure students/employees are healthy when they come to school. Schools are also adjusting transition schedules to limit the number of students in hallways, and keeping seating charts to track people who are close contacts.

During COVID, I understand everyone isn’t going to agree on the best way to attend school. I’m asking that we cooperate and work together during this challenging and uncertain time. I’m not on social media, but I’ve heard there have been very “spirited” conversations on both sides of this issue. While we can’t all agree, we can agree to be kind.

Superintendent Reese

For additional information please click on the links below:

COVID 19 Weekly Report

Letters to Parents

Catoosa Reopening Plan

COVID 19 Contact Tracing

Decision Tree


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Value Promise

Every child, every day, without exception.

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