As we continue in-person learning this spring, the safety of our school community remains a top priority. While we are pleased to see Oakdale’s COVID cases have declined in recent weeks, we want to remain vigilant against any future surges throughout the remainder of the school year.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep our school open, we have partnered with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Oklahoma State Department of Education to offer a free, optional, on-site COVID-19 testing program for students and staff at Oakdale. The purpose of the Oklahoma Schools COVID-19 Prevention Program is to maximize in-person learning days and keep Oakdale kids safely in the classroom. Children learn more effectively when they’re able to interface with their teachers and peers in person.
Who is the test for? By request, the following may get a free test:
Tests are free! Results are available within 15 minutes. Testing will be done, when possible, through a drive-up method. Students and parents may stay in their vehicles. Results may be used for a child to return to school if the nurse finds it acceptable.
Participating in the program is optional and requires permission from a parent or guardian. (See links to forms below.) Allowing your child to participate can help us identify cases quickly and early, which can help us stop an outbreak before it happens. Testing will keep kids safe so they can remain in the classroom and continue to participate in all their normal activities this year.
Beginning immediately, hours available for testing are:
Please contact the school nurse, Peggy Cain, RN, to book your time slot. Additional times may be available. You may also reach the nurse by calling the school's front office at 771-3373.
Our school nurse will oversee the program with the assistance of two part-time, temporary wellness coordinators. Oakdale parents Chelsea Bixler, a nurse practitioner, and Kate Kupiec, a pharmacist, will share the role of wellness coordinators and will handle the day-to-day testing activities of the program. We are very fortunate to have highly qualified professionals from our own community step in to help us!
Test results will be shared with the student and parent or guardian through a secure system, which will protect your child’s private health information and test results. The health and safety of our students are important to us, and we are extremely grateful to our committed families and staff who continue to show great flexibility and resilience.
The costs associated with testing are covered in full by the COVID prevention program grant and will not impact Oakdale’s budget. Additionally, a portion of the grant we received will support salaries/benefits related to the extra COVID responsibilities associated with the school nurse, secretaries, and custodians. Further, we will be able to secure necessary office supplies, computers, cleaning supplies, and other equipment to support the goals of the grant.
If you have questions regarding the Oklahoma Schools COVID-19 Prevention Program, please contact Nurse Cain.
Dr. Joe Pierce, Superintendent
More Information & Additional Resources
PUBLIC HEALTH ADVISORY TEAM
The Oakdale Public Health Advisory Team is a group of parents and medical and/or public health experts. The team is advisory in nature and does not make policy. It responds to specific questions posed by the Board or by the Administration and reviews, from time to time, particular matters as are helpful to the conducting of school business.
Paul Dasari, MD, MPH: Pediatric endocrinologist at Oklahoma City Indian Clinic
Jennifer Lepard, Ph.D., MPH: Former Chief Operating Officer for the Oklahoma State Department of Health and currently the Chief of Health and Community Partnerships at the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
Lynn Mitchell, MD, MPH: Chief Medical Officer, Chief Wellness Officer, OU Physicians Associate Dean for Clinical Practice, OU Health Sciences Center. Dr. Mitchell is the former Prevention and Preparedness Director for the Oklahoma State Department of Health
Brian Plaxico, DO: Emergency Medicine physician at Oklahoma ER & Hospital