OKCPS Parents, Teachers Gather To Express Return-To-School Concerns


Saturday, November 7th 2020, 10:59 pm
By: Hunter McKee


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Oklahoma City Public Schools first through 12th grade students will return to in-person learning starting on Tuesday. 

Though the district has COVID-19 protocols in place, some are still concerned because of the record number coronavirus cases statewide this week.

“There is always another option,” OKCPS parent Destiny Gonzalez said. “The best option is doing virtual.”

Parents and teachers across the district gathered Saturday at Memorial Park. Many of them expressed their concerns returning to the classroom.

“Your teachers and their families and then you have the students and their families,” Gonzalez said. “Once they start intersecting, it just makes for more exposure.”

All students will learn virtually Monday, but they'll be on an A/B schedule in-class for the rest of the week. The ‘A’ group of students will attend in-person classes on Tuesday and Thursday while the ‘B’ group of students will attend in-person classes on Wednesday and Friday. 

Some teachers said returning to the classroom added pressure on more than just the students. 

“I don't understand why teachers are being nurses,” OKCPS teacher Sarah Moore said. “We don't have that kind of training.”

The district said it has COVID-19 safety measures in place. Two district safety measures indicate that students and teachers members must wear face coverings. 

Parents, as well as faculty, are expected to take each student’s temperature before they arrive at school.

“We have a very robust cleaning plan, so every day, we will be cleaning areas within a school throughout the day,” OKCPS Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel said.

"The pandemic has caused a wide range of emotions for our students, families, staff and community, and we understand that some may be anxious about this next step... OKCPS is working to make informed decisions related to our Return to Campus Plan,” a district statement said.

School officials did mention that they will make changes to their return to campus plan if Oklahoma County were to transition to Oklahoma State Department of Education’s Red Alert Level.