State Board Of Education Approves Closure Of Schools Until April 6 Due To Coronavirus
A historic day in Oklahoma education as the state's superintendent shuts down operations of Oklahoma public schools and career techs effective now till April 6.
“The most important thing is our children’s health, safety and wellbeing,” Oklahoma State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister. “Nothing else is more important than that.”
All extracurricular actives, including training and staff development, are canceled because of COVID-19.
Only the essentials are being allowed.
“Clerical or administrative activities such as business management, those nutritional services or maintenance may continue,” said Hofmeister.
For students that rely on free or reduced meals, it's not going anywhere. The state has been granted a special waiver from the USDA.
“The waiver that we were granted on Saturday morning allows for us to have the kind of flexibility needed in schools to not serve only meals in a school site,” said Hofmeister.
That means delivery or a grab and go situation for schools are now possible. That is something that will be dealt with at a district level.
Also being dealt with at a district level is whether or not teachers will be getting paid.
“We don't want them to be concerned that they are not going to be taken care of and planned for,” said Hofmeister. “We are actively working to do that.”
With COVID-19 the main focus, state education officials want to keep it that way. State testing may possibly be put on the backburner.
“The last thing on the minds of families or school officials needs to be assessment or accountability right now,” said Hofmeister. “We want them to feel confident that we are going to have common sense and reasonable expectations and previsions.”
The state superintendent said Governor Stitt agrees with the decision.
State education officials will revisit the plan when April 6 approaches.