Dear Ridgerunner Nation:

April 6, 2020, marks the beginning of a new and unexpected experience for Oklahoma students, teachers and school staff. Although we did not anticipate ending the year this way, we are proud of the distance learning plan Grove Schools has developed to allow students to learn from home. We know this change is difficult, and there is a sadness about missing or delaying special events and activities. During this time, students and their families can count on GPS to support them, both academically and emotionally.

While this health crisis has presented many challenges, it also has given us opportunities to help one another. In the two weeks since spring break, our district’s child nutrition team served over 9,000 meals to local children. Each school site also donated countless boxes of supplies to Integris Grove Hospital. Additionally, our staff completed the massive task of developing a distance learning plan in just a matter of days. On behalf of our administrative team, the board and our community, we commend and thank all school employees for their hard work and commitment. Grove Public Schools has an incredible team!

The next few weeks will unveil a temporary new normal for us all. Kitchen tables will double as classroom and office spaces, and our world will be limited to the walls of our own homes. We would like to thank parents for partnering with our district on this journey. While you will be assisting your children in person, you will not be alone. Teachers will be just a phone call, email or video-conference away.

We are fortunate to serve a community that values public education and understands that flexibility is necessary to meet the needs of students. A school is not a building; it is a family of caring, knowledgeable professionals making a difference for students every day. Our district is home to the best, and we will finish the school year strong.

Thank you for your support of Grove Public Schools.

With our warmest regards,

Pat Dodson, Grove Public School Superintendent

Dr. James Rutter, Grove School Board President



March 24, 2020

Parents and Guardians,

Yesterday, State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister shared that she will be making a recommendation to the State Board of Education on Wednesday, March 25th. That recommendation will be a Continuous Learning Plan that will allow the school year to be completed at home. Although the learning would look different from what our kids experienced before spring break, our district will commit to deliver instruction to our kids through a variety of methods. 

What this would mean for our kids, if the State Board of Education approves it, is that our school buildings would be closed for the remainder of this school year due to the current COVID-19 global pandemic. Additionally, this would mean that all extra-curricular activities and special events for the spring semester would be cancelled.

I know that for many of our kids, this is disappointing news to hear. Especially for our senior class. This isn’t how their year should end. I am sure there will be other celebrations and milestones in the future for all of our kids, but there are no replacements for these important missed moments. Our top priority, however, must be and always will be keeping our kids safe.

The purpose of my letter today is not to provide all the answers, but to personally inform you of this decision and to share our commitment that we will navigate this window of time with you. The greatest priority is the safety of our children and that is at the forefront of every decision we are making.

After safety, our priorities shift to meeting the instructional needs of our kids. The details related to what that will look like for the rest of the year are being formulated at this time. Our district leaders are holding virtual meetings in an effort to gain student information on internet access and device availability. At the same time we are discussing learning strategies to get us through the remainder of the academic year.

Essential staff are serving meals to our children through a drive-through process at the ECC, MS, and HS as well as three mobile sites. They are checking on the safety of our buildings, and conducting essential business functions. I have full confidence that our staff can plan virtually for your student’s academic needs. Future communication will provide these details to you.

Parents, this news will bring a huge array of questions. We will be hosting a Facebook Live session on Wednesday March 25th at 8:00. Feel free to log on to our Facebook site “Grove Public Schools, OK” and join us. If you have specific questions you would like answered, please send them to us via Facebook Messenger. Please rest assured that we have been brainstorming many questions that you might have and will be providing specific guidance to our parents and students in the coming days and weeks. Our team is dedicated to making sure your children and you, as parents, have all the answers you need.

There will be no instructional activities between now and April 6th. This window of time is focused on supporting the requests related to the health and safety of Oklahoma’s citizens. 

Thank you for the abundance of grace and patience that you are exhibiting in this difficult time. I honor you as parents and we will continue to partner with you in the days ahead.

With the greatest respect,

Pat Dodson, Superintendent

School closure update 3-20-2020


14 Day Quarantine Letter


State Superintendent Joy Hoffmeister has provided information to help us prepare and prevent the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).  Its recent emergence in the U.S. is prompting questions about its potential impact on schools. I have attached some information put out by the CDC to help guide us in the event of contamination. Grove School Board President, Dr. James Rutter and I have discussed and concluded that the best prevention plan is to continue to sanitize all contact surface areas on a regular schedule. I have asked Maintenance Director, Bobby Jeffries to begin "fogging" treatments at all sites on a weekly basis.  All custodians and bus drivers will wipe down surfaces with sanitizer as if we are in flu protocol.  As you know, the situation is receiving significant media attention, but there is no reason for panic. No confirmed cases of COVID-19 exist in Oklahoma as of now, however, flu season is still in process. The best response to any infectious virus is prevention. We encourage all community members to follow the best preventive measures, including:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and do so frequently.

  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick.

  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers when hand-washing is unavailable.

  • Avoid large crowds.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, and cough into your elbow.

  • Clean frequently touched objects and surfaces using regular household detergent and water.

  • If you or your child feel sick, stay home, with the exception of seeking medical care.  Students should remain home until 24 hours fever, vomit and diarrhea free without medication.   

In the unlikely event of school closure, we have in place a plan from the SDE to guide us through spring state assessments.  We would make arrangements to continue to provide child nutrition, as well as online learning to the best of our capabilities. 

Thank you for prioritizing the safety and security of our students and staff. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions.  


Pat Dodson



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