Positive Tomorrows addresses struggles for homeless students during pandemic

Classrooms & COVID-19

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – While many school districts have opted to move forward with virtual learning due to the coronavirus pandemic, one local school says online learning was never an option for their students.

Positive Tomorrows serves approximately 100 students who are experiencing homelessness in the heart of Oklahoma City.

“Since we serve children living in homelessness, we know they are the ones that get left behind in virtual learning situations,” President and CEO of Positive Tomorrows Susan Agel said.

Officials say that since the students don’t have a home, many of the normal precautions other districts are taking during the pandemic cannot be applied to their situation.

However, they say that doesn’t mean the students won’t be safe.

“After successfully and safely holding our summer break camp, we realized that we have the space in our new facilities and protocols in place to have children back this year. With careful planning, our staff will be ready to teach in our classrooms this fall. Things may change as circumstances change, but we’re focused on meeting needs of our students,” Angel said.

Positive Tomorrows moved into a new facility in December, which is playing a big role in this year’s safety plan.

Organizers say the building was created with extra classrooms to help the school expand in the future. Now, teachers will put those classrooms to use to help students adhere to social distancing protocols.

Right now, there is space available to place 10 students and one teacher per classroom this year.

When school begins, everyone will be screened each day for fevers and other symptoms of the virus. Masks will be required for all staff and visitors inside the facility.

This year, offsite field trips will be limited and the three daily meals the school provides to each child will be eaten in the classrooms and not in the cafeteria area.

The first day of school is set for Aug. 10.

Positive Tomorrows is currently accepting donations of cleaning and disinfectant supplies, personal-protective equipment (PPE), and seasonally appropriate new clothing and shoes for the fall semester.

Call (405) 556-5082 to make arrangements to drop off donations.

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