OKCPS Excited To Start In-Person Learning For The New School Year Amid COVID-19 Pandemic


Wednesday, August 4th 2021, 4:21 pm
By: Erica Rankin


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Students from Oklahoma City Public Schools will head back to the classroom on Monday. They will be in school to start with for five days a week for in-person instruction.

District leaders held their last update before the first day.

"I am not 100% excited right now, but I am pretty close. I am so fired up to get school back in session," said Sean McDaniel, the superintendent of the district.

Going into the school year, public schools can't mandate mitigation efforts like masking due to the passing of a senate bill in the last session.

"The fact of the matter is these are choices people have to make," McDaniel said. "If they choose to make up when appropriate, get vaccinated, quarantine when appropriate, we give ourselves a better chance of remaining healthy in the building and staying in face to face learning." 

District leaders said they are staffed 99% and of their staff, about 60% are self-reported as vaccinated. 

"That still gives about 30% to 35% who are not," said Dr. McDaniel. "Calculate that to numbers and we have about 1,500 adults in our system who aren't."

As things with COVID-19 change rapidly, the district is prepared to move virtually or to an A and B schedule if needed with guidance and recommendations from the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.

"My message to moms and dads and others is this is a good place for your kids to be in the schoolhouse," McDaniel said. "They will be taken care of, and our buildings are a safe as they can be. And we aren't a stubborn bunch. We're not going to because we said so stay in school and stick to the plan. If we need to, we are going to adjust, as necessary."

The district is expected to welcome more than 30,000 children back. They are working to make sure every student has a device before the start of school, and they have been working to get families hotspots if they need one.