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OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — After a tough struggle to keep educating Oklahoma City Public Schools students and a careful return to in-person learning earlier this year, COVID has shown just how stubborn it can be.

Due to increasing COVID infections, students at Taft Middle School and the Fifth Grade Center at Linwood both near N.W. 23rd and May Avenue are returning to virtual synchronous learning Wednesday.

The two buildings are closed for in-person learning until the end of the school year, Wednesday, May 26.

Parents received an email from the district Tuesday with the announcement explaining the procedure and expressing regret that about the situation and the need to go back to virtual learning.

“This decision was made in consultation with Oklahoma City-County Health Department and out of an abundance of caution after a large number of positive COVID-19 cases and close contact exposures were reported to OKCPS,” district officials said.

Board of Education District 3 member Carrie Coppernoll Jacobs spoke to Free Press after the announcement.

“This is so heartbreaking for the families and staff,” said Jacobs. “I know everybody wanted to finish the year together. We’ve been listening to the health experts since the beginning, and I still trust them.”

Unique skills

Students have been doing virtual synchronous learning with their teachers during this on-and-off year of attempts to return to in-person learning with only partial success. Even in the earlier outbreak school year, the district began to try to find ways for teachers and students to still engage virtually.

In a strange and stressful way, students and teachers have had to develop skills of adapting to the shift from virtual to in-person and then back again. They know what to do.


Students will be receiving more instructions from their teachers about the plan for the remainder of the school year.

“As a reminder, synchronous instruction means that students will receive live instruction from their teacher or teachers. Students should log in from home using their device based on their school or class schedule,” district officials said in the email.

The communication said that curbside meal service would be provided at both Taft Middle School and Taft 5th Grade Center at Linwood beginning Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Last Updated May 18, 2021, 9:04 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor