OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Pre-K through 4th grade students who attend public school in Oklahoma City will begin returning to the classroom next week.
“Pre-K through 4th grade students enrolled in the remote/traditional learning option, along with alternative education students, will be returning to their school buildings on an A/B schedule beginning Tuesday, January 19,” an Oklahoma City Public Schools news release states.
Special education students who participate in self-contained classrooms will also be back in the classroom Tuesday through Friday. Monday will serve as a remote learning day for those students, according to the news release.
Remote education will not be in effect this coming Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Fifth through 12th grade students will remain in their remote learning schedule. District leaders are consulting with Oklahoma City-County Health Department officials and will continue monitoring community conditions with a tentative plan to return those students to classrooms on Feb. 1.
“From the beginning, we have said OKCPS would only bring our students back to the classroom when it was safe and responsible to do so. The health and safety of our students, families and staff are, and always have been, our top priority,” said OKCPS Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel. “With support from our partners at the Oklahoma City-County Health Department and thorough safety protocols and additional migration efforts in place, we are excited to begin welcoming our students back to school. But this doesn’t mean we can let down our guard. Everyone must continue to be vigilant with our safety and hygiene practices so we can keep our students in classrooms.”
The school district implemented a Six-Point Safety Plan to reduce COVID-19 transmissions in the classroom. The plan includes hand washing, face coverings, social distancing and the following three added layers of safety:
- Active ionization systems in every classroom and workspace: These systems have a 99.4% kill rate for the virus and refresh the air about every 12 minutes, similar to the systems on airplanes. In addition to this, every other month, every school will be sprayed with an antimicrobial shield that lasts for 90 days. Our pre-k centers, elementary schools and alternative education schools have already received this upgrade and our middle and high schools will be completed by February 1st.
- Site-based contact tracing: Coordinated by a central team of experts, every school has at least two staff members trained to identify any risk of spread when there are positive Covid cases in our schools.
- Rapid testing for staff and their families: OKCPS now has 7 locations where staff and members of their households (over the age of 18) can voluntarily access COVID-19 testing, giving peace of mind when potential exposures occur.