By CRAIG HALL
Because of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, Heavener Public Schools is going virtual Tuesday and students are not expected to return to the classroom until Jan. 18 at the earliest.
Support staff will work a half day Tuesday and Wednesday, before it will be fully virtual. Next Monday, Jan. 17, was already a scheduled day off for professional development.
This is the first time this year Heavener has had to go to the virtual learning, but Superintendent Ed Wilson said the school and staff were already prepared.
Monday, there were 99 students absent in the elementary school and 83 in the high school, along with 14 staff members and four bus drivers.
The item was not previously on the agenda, but was added because of the increasing number of staff and students out. The omicron variety was discovered recently and is sweeping through the state.
Heavener becomes the third LeFlore County school to go virtual after Pocola and Bokoshe had already made the decision.
Board President Dylan Roberts was absent. The principal and assistant principal at the high school are out with COVId-19, along with the middle school principal. Wilson said the numbers are split between boys and girls.
Heavener’s home basketball game with Hartshorne Tuesday night was rescheduled for Jan. 31
Elementary Principal Diane Cox said there are now 376 students from pre-k through fifth grade. Seven new students had enrolled in those grades since Christmas. A parent-teacher conference is Jan. 27, along with a visit from the dental van.
Upper Elementary numbers were 62 students in sixth grade, 51 in seventh and 68 in eighth.
After approving the consent agenda, the Board voted to approve a bus drivers’ clearinghouse. This is a federal directive and Heavener’s second year in the program. All the drivers’ name are placed in the clearinghouse and reports are ran to make sure there are no problems.
There were no resignations.
After an executive session, Brent Laneave was named a temporary high school teacher assistant/tutor to complete the school year.
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