BROKEN ARROW — Broken Arrow Public Schools announce 33 employees tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
The announcement came after the district had decided to delay the first day of school by two weeks.
The Broken Arrow Public Schools Human Resources department provided voluntary coronavirus testing to its employees last week, officials said.
A total of 33 employees tested positive, officials said. Since employees were tested last week, this will allow those who tested positive to isolate and get healthy prior to the school year starting. Officials said this led to 98 COVID-19 related absences the district needs to fill.
School leaders said it’s a trifecta of problems. Along with the positive cases, the district doesn’t have enough protective equipment and they’re still trying to get kids enrolled in their Virtual Academy. School officials said the enrollment for their virtual school continues to increase.
Officials said, the district temporarily raised its pay to try to attract substitute teachers since the district is already in need of them.
This announcement came after BAPS decided to delay the start of their school year. The new first day of school for Kindergarten through 12th grades is Sept. 3. For Pre-K, the first day of school is Sept 8, said officials.
As we continue making data-driven decisions, we will utilize the extra two weeks before school starts to focus on protocol, planning and preparation. During this time, district administrators and staff will receive additional training on proper cleaning and disinfecting techniques, and to prepare our Virtual Academy for the nearly 5,000 students who have already enrolled in the program.
According to a BAPS press release, the employees who tested positive for COVID-19 will have to provide a negative test dating no earlier than a 10-day window from their positive diagnosis to return to work.
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