Edmond Public Schools' board said it will start the 2020 fall semester a week later with a blended, split-schedule model.
In that model, the district said half the students will show up for in-person classes on Monday and Tuesday. The other half will be at home, learning on their own schedule through lessons delivered on a learning portal or non-digital methods. Then, the students will switch roles on Thursday and Friday.
The district said this will allow the buildings to be clear on Wednesday so it can deep clean.
During the school board meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, board members said parents can avoid the shift in learning methods by committing to a semester of online classes. They said this would be the safest option for everyone.
“I have agonized over this decision,” said board member Kathleen Duncan.
“It’s been an emotional week, I got to say. I just want everyone to know that all lives are valued. Regardless of the decision we make, we have to look at all lives,” said Meredith Exline, another board member.
The district said it will decide how many students will be inside each classroom depending on how many positive COVID-19 cases there are in Oklahoma County. If the cases drop, then the district will go back to business as usual. If it get’s worse, then everyone will shift back to online learning.
“These plans could change tomorrow as our situation changes,” said board member Lee Ann Kulman. “There’s no justification for even the loss of one life.”
Board members said parents will learn which days their students will attend in-person classes by Aug. 11.
The first day of school has been pushed back to Aug. 20.