Edmond Public Schools’ Board of Education affirmed plans for the upcoming school year on Tuesday, all while emphasizing that everything could change in the coming weeks and months.
The board decided with a 4-to-1 vote to delay the first day of school until Aug. 20 and to plan on starting classes on a “blended model of instruction.”
Superintendent Bret Towne recommended multiple plans for in-person and remote classes, following recommendations from the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
The three plans, dubbed “traditional”, “blended” and “remote,” correspond to COVID-19 infection rates that, according to the OSDE, should result in certain responses from school districts.
Towne said Oklahoma County’s current infection rate warrants splitting students into two schedules in order to maximize social distancing.
Students on “Schedule A” will attend in-person classes at their school on Monday and Tuesday. Students on “Schedule B” will come in on Thursday and Friday. Students on both schedules will learn from home while the schools are deep cleaned, EPS said.
Should the infection rate significantly increase or decrease, the district would evaluate adding or removing restrictions.
“These plans could change tomorrow as our situation changes,” EPS board member Lee Ann Kuhlman said.
Kuhlman was the only person to vote against the plan. She said that in-person classes could pose a risk to teachers, staff and students.
“There’s no justification for even the loss of one life,” she said.
Each school district is creating their own plan to return to class this fall. Click here for a breakdown by district.