School Districts Must Have Safe Return Plans In Place By The End Of June

Wednesday, June 9th 2021, 5:20 pm

EDMOND, Oklahoma -

School districts across the state have been preparing for the upcoming school year.

That includes preparing a return to learn plan that must have public input if that district received federal funding through the American Rescue Plan.

Edmond Public Schools was one of the first districts to finalize their safe return plan.

“We had two working committees that had parents on it teachers and administrators,” said Angela Grunewald, the incoming Superintendent for Edmond. “Then we wanted more parent input, so we have a parent advisory committee we meet with once a month.”

After that input, the safe return plan was approved by their board of education on Monday night.

Their plan included students in class five days a week, masks have become optional but also states if COVID-19 cases rise, some restrictions deemed necessary could be reinstated.

“We’re excited to take what we have learned and apply it to a fairly normal situation,” said Grunewald.

Districts across the state that have received funding through the American Rescue Plan must have a safe return plan that takes into account public feedback. It is a requirement of the U.S. Department of Education.

They must also complete the application for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Funds, which must be approved by the state’s education department in order to begin to obligate the funds.

“I have looked at our data from the end of the year and our students grew,” said Grunewald. “But there are still some gaps so, we want to target our spending on what we can do to catch those students up.”

Districts like Oklahoma City Public Schools have been working on finalizing their plan, too.

They sent News 9 the following statement in regards to where they are at in the process:

"We will begin collecting feedback from our stakeholders over the summer through a variety of channels and look forward to sharing our final plan with state officials in mid-August."

Districts are required to submit their safe return plan and proof that it was published on the district website by June 22. American Rescue Plan applications are due August 19.