Oklahoma City Public Schools leaders are preparing to bring Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students back to the classroom on October 19, after a three hour virtual board meeting.
“There is no perfect plan, we acknowledge that,” said the OKCPS superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel. “Whatever direction we go and when we decide to bring students back, there’s going to be a level of concern.”
The district decided to bring the students back in slow stages through an A-B model. Half of the students will learn inside the classroom on Monday and Tuesday, while the other half are learning from home. On Wednesday, all students will be at home so the district can deep clean the schools. Then, the two halves of the class will switch on Thursday and Friday.
The district said if a child is currently virtually learning in the morning, they are assigned to “Group A.” If they are virtually learning in the afternoon, they will be put in “Group B”.
Dr. Sean McDaniel said this model will allow for smaller class sizes with no more than 15 students at a time.
OKCPS said students should bring their iPad to school with them on the days they’re inside the classroom.
The district will provide meals for the students inside the schools, but they will either eat inside the cafeteria while social distancing, or in the classroom.
District leaders said students should wear a face covering that covers both the mouth and nose. If the student does not have a mask, the district can provide one.
Students temperatures will be taken when they get to school. If they have a 100.4 or more temperature, they will be sent home.
Throughout the day, the district is encouraging students to wash their hands several times a day and/or use hand sanitizer when necessary. They’re also asked to socially distance themselves as much as possible.
Teachers will wear PPE and wipe down surfaces that are touched often.
If the plan runs smoothly, the district plans to bring back first through 12th grade students on November 9, following the same model.
“We think we need to do is put this in place and monitor and manage it,” said Dr. McDaniel. “and if we don’t get the outcomes we anticipate we shut it back down.
OKCPS’s original plan was to have classes learn virtually for the first 9 weeks of school, but then district leaders say they heard about issues with distance learning.
Some parents said they wouldn’t enroll their students if school was completely virtual.