The COVID virus struck Henryetta school Monday with over 300 students absent. That forced officials to move to virtual learning for the rest of the week.
In addition to the student absences, 24 teachers and support personnel have either been tested as positive for the virus or are out due to illness.
“As of today this is the worst we have been hit,” said Superintendent Dwayne Noble at the Monday night board meeting.
Before being bombarded with sick students, school officials were already trying to deal with getting children to class. “We were short on bus drivers already and that caused us to cancel one route,” he said. “Now with three more gone, it is impossible for us to run routes.”
The move to virtual also resulted in cancelation of the Tuesday night basketball game with Keifer. Noble said the entire girls basketball team either tested positive or in quarantine along with the coach.
Maintenance director Harold Fox said custodians will be disinfecting all of the buildings Friday then lock the school down. Monday is a federal holiday and school was not going to be in session.
With those numbers in mind, board members made some changes to the school COVID policy.
That included shortening the quarantine period from ten to five days and strongly recommend students and teachers returning to wear face coverings or masks.
The board also approved a change giving the school the opportunity to change the policy to follow CDC recommendations that may change in coming weeks or months.
In other business, the board accepted the retirement letter from high school principal Kelly Furer. She pointed out she had been in Henryetta schools for the past 22 years. Her resignation will be effective June 30, 22.
Her retirement was short-lived following an executive session where she was hired as Federal Programs Director for the school.
Also retiring was Judy Varner. She will be leaving the school January 31, 2022.
Board members heard there were no problems with the annual school audit.