Oklahoma State Department of Education releases details on new plan for pandemic recovery

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – “We have struggled, a lot of heartache, a lot of anxiety, but we’re here together now and we get to move forward,” said Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel. 

Moving forward was the focus of a new announcement Monday by local and state education leaders. 

“An action plan for supporting students through the pandemic and beyond,” said State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister. 

The ‘Ready Together Oklahoma‘ plan has many tiers, and includes investing $14 million over the next couple of years from federal funds into summer enrichment. 

Right now, $6 million will go to the Oklahoma Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs, and the Oklahoma Alliance of YMCAs to focus on crafting after-school and summer learning programs. 

“It starts with a big focus on this summer and not losing any traction and then we want to build momentum that we can sustain overtime,” said Hofmeister. 

Local districts are also part of this new plan to help get students back on track academically, mentally, and emotionally. 

“Our students and our staff suffered, and they struggled this year,” said the Superintendent for Woodward Public Schools, Kyle Reynolds. “Now is the time for healing, now is the time for restoring those bonds with one another.”

Oklahoma City Public Schools will host additional summer camps and programs this year. 

Meals will be provided, and they’ll be running 35 different bus routes for transportation. 

“So that we can remove that obstacle that generally exists with kids in the summertime,” said Dr. McDaniel. 

Leaders say their focus will continue to be the students. 

They’ll take that focus, into the summer and beyond. 

“Even through exhaustion teachers do what they do because they have a heart for kids,” said Superintendent of Sand Springs Public Schools, Sherry Durkee.

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