Spiking COVID case numbers in Oklahoma County have sent Oklahoma City Public Schools students and teachers back home to remote learning starting Monday, Nov. 16 and for the rest of the semester ending December 18.
The Oklahoma State Department of Education Red Level Alert has gone into effect for Oklahoma County due to infections spiking according to Oklahoma State Department of Health numbers.
That level was the trigger established by OKCPS as a part of the Return to Campus plan that would send students back home for more remote learning as they had been since the beginning of the school year.
This comes after considerable planning and work to convince teachers, parents, and students to cooperate with the Return to Campus A/B plan that started Tuesday.
Four days later
The longer-than-usual Board of Education meeting Monday featured sign-carrying picketers on the sidewalk at the new administration building called The Clara Luper Center at Classen and 6th.
Others put away their signs and came inside to speak to the Board. They were advocating for the district to wait since COVID levels were already spiking in Oklahoma County.
In the end, the Board decided to support the administration’s Return to Campus plan.
Meagan Kenner, a reading intervention teacher at Douglass High School circulated a letter from about 300 teachers against returning before the Board meeting.
She told Free Press after the meeting, “I’m very disappointed with the decision and still unclear as to the origins and accuracy of the data the superintendent presented, since it did not align with other publicly available information.”
“I hope that district leaders will follow the plan they set forth when infections in our county reach 50 per 100k.”
“Sticking to their commitment”
We are proud that the district is sticking to their commitment to transition to remote learning based on Oklahoma County reaching red status,” Torie Shoecraft messaged Free Press Friday. Shoecraft is president of the American Federation of Teachers Oklahoma City local (AFT-OKC).
“However, it has become very apparent we need the State of Oklahoma to take action and control the spread of COVID-19.”
“Although our health officials have continuously supported our Return to Campus plan, they now recommend that we transition to Red Alert Level protocols,” wrote Superintendent Sean McDaniel in his weekly newsletter to families and staff Friday.
“Data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) indicates that the cases per 100,000 for Oklahoma County are 67.3 for this week, as compared to 30.4 last week,” McDaniels wrote.
Students will return to the remote learning similar to the remote learning plans instituted before Return to Campus went into effect.
Here is information that was in McDaniel’s newsletter Friday:
ELEMENTARY (Pre-K through 4th Grades):
- Mondays will be a combination of synchronous instruction and asynchronous learning. Elementary students will log in (via Google Meet) on Monday at the time assigned by the student’s teacher.
- Tuesday through Friday will be full-time remote synchronous (live) learning with a teacher. This will include a combination of whole group, small group, and individualized asynchronous learning opportunities.
- Teachers will provide students their specific daily schedules through Canvas for remote learning for the week.
SECONDARY (5th -12th Grades)
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday will be synchronous (live) remote learning with a teacher.
- Wednesdays will consist of asynchronous remote learning where students will work on assignment independently, along with teacher directed interventions (synchronously) for students who may need extra support.
- Students participating in our e3 Online Learning program will continue with their self-paced learning and check-ins with OKCPS mentor teachers. It’s important to note that students who have opted into e3 Online Learning will remain in that program through the end of this semester.
- OKCPS has made a decision to suspend our in-person learning for Special Education self-contained and ED classes until further notice. These families should watch for additional communication from Erin Trussell, our Director of Special Education. If questions, please contact 405-587-0447 or email [email protected]
- OKCPS will allow for the completion of Fall outdoor athletic events. However, Winter athletics competitions and practices are postponed immediately and until further notice.
- All 90-minute Co-Curricular activities are canceled until further notice.
- Visitation to any OKCPS building will be by appointment only for students, families and visitors. Please reach out to your child’s school via phone or email to make arrangements.
- OKCPS Meal Service will continue as a drive-thru option only at all school sites from 10:30am – 12:30pm daily: www.okcps.org/meals
This is the information provided for staff:
- In order to reduce the amount of staff at each site, OKCPS teachers are encouraged to provide instruction from home. Those who cannot teach from home or have challenges with connectivity will be allowed to work from school as necessary. Please work with your supervisor to finalize your schedule during this time.
- All other site staff, including administrators and central office employees, should distance their workspaces as much as possible. Sites may use a staggered in-person schedule to reduce the number of employees per site and increase social distancing while still providing service. Supervisors will assist with scheduling and assignment of work tasks.
- Essential staff will continue to report five days a week. Supervisors will assist with identification, notification, and scheduling for those employees.
- All school and district sites will ensure office coverage each day of the week including phones, technical, and student support.
- All break rooms and conference rooms will be closed until further notice.
- Building visitation will be by appointment only for students, families, and visitors. Due to staggered scheduling, we recommend that staff wishing to visit a department located at the Clara Luper Center, Operations or Westwood make an appointment.
- OKCPS’ “Children In the Workplace” program is suspended immediately.