OKCPS To Offer Traditional & Virtual Classes, Students Not Required To Wear Masks

Monday, June 29th 2020, 10:10 pm


Oklahoma City Public School’s current plan for the fall semester was released Monday night.

Jason Brown, the deputy superintendent, reviewed the plan, which he called an “overview.”

“We are operating on what we know now,” Brown said. “Under the philosophy: hope for the best, plan for the worst.”

Brown reviewed the 22-slide presentation, which is posted on the OKCPS website while taking questions from the board of education.

Under the current plan, students may enroll in either traditional (in-person) classes or a virtual option. The choice is available for all grades, pre-kindergarten through high school.

The virtual program available for grades 3-12 has been selected, while the option for lower grades has not yet been picked. Brown said an online program for their youngest students is the most challenging to build because of the need for personal interaction associated with learning.

"We do not have what we would call a content management system" for Pre-kindergarten through second grade students, Brown said. The district will have an option for those students in August.

The school calendar, at this time, remains unchanged. Classes are scheduled to being August 10.

All staff will be required to wear face shields or coverings under the current plan. Students will be “encouraged” to do the same, but not required.

Brown said enforcing a mask requirement could prompt undesirable interactions between students and staff.

"We didn't' want to create a situation where we turned not having a mask into a discipline issue,” he said.

Two OKCPS Board of Education members, Carrie Jacobs and Ruth Veales, questioned the lack of requirement during Monday’s meeting.

Jacobs said it could be revisited during the school year if not enough students wear masks without a requirement.

School buses and campuses will be deep cleaned regularly, according to the plan. All students and staff will have their temperature checked daily and measures will be taken to encourage social distancing during class, lunch, and recess.

Brown said the extra equipment used for the sanitation aspects of the plan will be funded through funds made available by the federal CARES Act.

Also, every student in each grade will eventually receive an online learning device, either a Google Chromebook or an iPad.

Brown said getting every student a device is a “huge hurdle,” and will offer contingency plans during the school year should the state decide to close school buildings again.

Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel is scheduled to hold a press conference about the plan at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.