The Oklahoma State Board of Education Board, including the State Superintendent and Chairwoman, Joy Hofmeister, met Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in a special session in Oklahoma City. Many items were discussed, but most importantly, a Distance Learning Plan was unanimously approved from April 6 until the end of the school year.
The state board previously closed all public schools from Tuesday, March 17 until Monday, April 6. The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) stated that there “will not be traditional, in-person instruction or extracurricular activities [for the rest of the year]. Districts will be expected to follow critical safety guidance from the Centers for Disease Control with regard to social distancing for students, staff, and school families.”
Local administrators will set the last day of school for their respective districts.
Distance learning will not necessarily consist of internet or web-based learning. It will differ in each district depending on its students’ access to the internet and technological capabilities. Board members acknowledged that although this was a tough decision to make, the health of Oklahoma students is their top priority.
One action gave the OSDE the authority to issue a blanket medical exemption for state testing, and two more stated that Average Daily Attendance and Average Daily Membership numbers, crucial for how much funding a district receives from the state, will be tracked from the beginning of the school year until Thursday, March 12.
The key takeaway is that traditional school buildings, classes, and activities will continue to be closed through the end of the year. It will be up to individual districts to implement what form their “distance learning” will take and what the graduation requirements for the Class of 2020 will be. Sapulpa Times will be talking to local administrators to understand what this means specifically for Sapulpa Public Schools.