McAlester Public Schools has created a dedicated confidential COVID-19 Hotline that allows parents the option to report if their child needs to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19.
The number is 918-471-2373 and the hotline is answered by our District’s school nurse.
If a student tests positive for an active case of COVID-19, parents must report that to the school so that isolation is ensured and for school-related contact tracing and disinfection procedures. No personally identifying information is to be released about the student by a contact tracer in order to protect student and family privacy and encourage people to report positive tests.
Whenever a district staff member tests positive for an active case of COVID-19, they must report that to their supervisor for the same reasons.
Isolation for Positive Cases
A person who tests positive must isolate and will not be allowed back onto school property until at least 5 days after their positive test OR the onset of their symptoms. Even then, they must have 24 hours with no fever (and no fever-reducing medicine) AND improvement in their symptoms.
Isolated persons should check and log their temperature twice per day and log daily any COVID-19 symptoms.
People who are not vaccinated for COVID or are not up to date on their COVID vaccinations and live with a person who is positive for COVID-19 should quarantine for 5 days and get tested on day 5. If they do not develop symptoms and test negative, they may return on day 6 while wearing a mask from days 6-10. People who are current on their COVID vaccinations (has had the original 2 shot series in the last 5 months, or has had 1 booster vaccination) may attend school wearing a mask from days 6-10, but if they develop symptoms they should stay home and get tested.
Students are expected to engage via Distance Learning while under self-quarantine or isolation UNLESS they are ill.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. District restrooms are equipped with soap, which is preferred over hand sanitizers.
If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water, not sanitizer, if hands are visibly dirty.
The District strongly encourages you to wear a cloth mask or other facial covering when in public and are expected to wear one whenever you must be on-campus.
Practice social distancing by avoiding all close contact with people who are sick and staying six feet away from anyone not part of your household.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick. The district sends home any student or staff member who has a fever of 100.4°F and they may NOT return to school until their temperature is below 100.4°F for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication (Tylenol, ibuprofen) or with a release from a physician.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. See Disinfecting Chromebooks and Computers.
What should I do if someone in my family tests positive for an active case of COVID-19?
If a staff member or student tests positive, call the school and please be prepared to share the date the sample was taken that later tested positive for COVID-19 and the date on which any COVID-19 signs or symptoms developed. You will be connected to a contact tracer who can calculate the isolation and self-quarantine periods and work with you to identify close contacts who will need to self-quarantine.
If the person who tests positive is not a student or staff member, everyone who lives with that person should quarantine. Typically the isolation for the positive individual would need to last for the 10 days after the positive test or after symptoms developed. If the infected person is cleared from isolation, fellow family members would CONTINUE to self-quarantine for an additional 14 days. Notify the school of any students or staff members who must quarantine and for how long. If needed, a district contact tracer can help calculate the isolation period for an infected person AND the likely length of an extended self-quarantine for the rest of the family members.
What information will the district release?
The district is bound by FERPA, the federal privacy law. So it cannot release personally identifiable information about any student who is a positive case. This protects personal and family privacy and thus encourages people to report positive cases to the district. The district only releases numeric tallies of isolation and quarantine cases for students and staffs at the site level. Please do not pressure district personnel for the identities of people who have tested positive for COVID-19. The district cannot release that information.
When would a school be closed due to COVID-19?
When a school has areas that need deep cleaning and cannot be closed off without affecting school operations, the site may temporarily close. If a school site needed to temporarily close for deep cleaning, the district would send an E-Note text and email about that to all district contacts in PowerSchool, with additional text and voice messages to parents at the affected school.
In the event 35% of the student and staff population become quarantined, the individual school will need to close.
When might the entire district go to Distance Learning?
The district's Pandemic Response Committee meets regularly and monitors the county's new case rate and state alert system status, student and staff absenteeism, and the district's contact tracing tallies to determine if any large-scale Distance Learning might be needed across a school or the entire district. In the event 35% of the district student and staff population become quarantined, the entire district would need to go to Distance Learning. However, something that could force the district into a widespread closure regardless of the county alert level would be if it exhausts its substitute pool such that it cannot adequately staff in-person instruction.