3 minute read

Plans for how Oklahoma City Public Schools will return to the second semester were released Friday calling for an incremental return to in-person learning in January.

In his weekly email to parents and staff, Superintendent Sean McDaniel addressed the current remote learning plan and community spread.

“Here is what we know: we are all concerned about the threat of the coronavirus to ourselves and our loved ones. We also know that OKCPS schools being remote or in-person has not had an impact on community spread,” he wrote.

And, he added that, “…children ages 10 and under are less likely to contract or spread the virus.”

McDaniel and central office administrators who monitor the youngest and special needs students have been concerned about the impact of exclusive remote learning from conversations they have had with parents, guardians, and social workers.

So, the plan for the spring semester starting in January is to begin the first two weeks in a full remote setting with teachers teaching from their classrooms. Then starting with Pre-K through 4th grade start bringing kids back to an A/B setting for the remainder of January.

Administrators will then consider bringing back grades 5th through 12th in February on an A/B schedule.

The Plan

Here is the Return to Campus Plan as detailed in McDaniel’s letter Friday:

January 4, 2021

  • Begin the second semester utilizing the Remote Learning model for all students
  • Teachers to Return to Campus to teach from their classroom 
  • Secondary extracurricular activities will continue
  • The 90 minute extra-curricular block will be allowed for MS and HS during Remote Learning at principal’s discretion
  • Children in Workplace Program resumes for children of employees who are OKCPS students
  • Routes To Resources (R2R) program resumes
  • OKCPS Curbside Meal Service resumes at all school sites

January 19, 2021

  • Students in grades PK-4th will Return to Campus for in-person learning in A/B setting for the remainder of the month of January. 
  • Additional small groups of students will return to campus for in-person learning:
    • SPED Self-Contained Classrooms (4 days a week; Monday is remote; Tuesday-Friday is in-person)
    • Alternative Education Students (Putnam Heights, Emerson North & Emerson South) will transition to the A/B setting
    • Students in our HOPE program will transition to the A/B setting
  • Children in Workplace Program will continue for children of employees 
  • Students in grades 5th-12th will continue with Remote Learning. 

February 1, 2021

  • Consider bringing students in grades 5th – 12th back for in-person learning in A/B Setting 

New six-point safety plan

Some of McDaniel’s reasoning is based on a new safety plan for keeping schools from becoming centers of disease spread.

In addition to the original three points of their safety plan of social distancing, hand washing, and face covering, three more measures are added that include a new ionization system in every classroom, site-based contact tracing, and rapid testing for staff and families.

Six-Point Safety Plan

According to information provided by the district, the ionization devices retrofitted into “every classroom and workspace in every school” have a 99.4% kill rate for the virus and refresh the air in the room about every 12 minutes.

Also, every school will be sprayed every other month with an antimicrobial shield that is supposed to last for 90 days.