MOORE, Okla. (KFOR) – In one week, students are expected to head back to class in the Moore Public School District.
However, the district’s current back-to-school plan isn’t sitting well with some parents.
Moore Public Schools has two options for students enrolled in the 2020-2021 school year. Students can choose whether they want to take part in the ‘Traditional Classroom Setting’ or ‘Virtual/Online Education.’
District officials say if they encounter situations where closures are necessary, they will temporarily move to a ‘Distance Learning’ option for the students enrolled in the ‘Traditional Classroom Setting.’
At this time, Moore’s school calendar will remain the same and students are to report back to school on Thursday, Aug. 13.
All students and staff should take their temperatures on a daily basis at home prior to arriving at school. Not student or staff with a fever of 100 degrees or higher may enter any Moore Public Schools facility.
If a student or staff has a fever at school, they must go home immediately. They cannot return to school until they are fever free for 24 hours without fever reducing medications.
Officials updated the policy to require face masks for all students during class and transportation. Also, face masks must not include messages or images that distract for the learning environment.
Students are also asked to bring their own water bottles that they can refill. Standard water fountains will not be available.
Moore has also started installing ionization systems in schools that will filter and kill bacteria, viruses, and mold pathogens.
After the district released it’s plan for the school year, hundreds of parents spoke out about a variety of concerns.
Recently, a petition has circulated, asking the district to make a few changes to the current plan.
“As parents, caregivers, educators, support staff, and community members of Moore Public Schools, we write with our grave concerns regarding the MPS Back-to-School Plan released on July 17th and modified on July 31st, 2020. We have reviewed the plan and cannot, with peace of mind, support sending our children, teachers, and support staff back in person on August 13th, given the recent, stark rise of positive COVID-19 cases in our community,” the petition states. “The lack of safety for all parties involved, including teachers and staff with high risk conditions, and of course, our children and families, is simply unacceptable.”
The petition asks the district to make the following changes:
- Delay the start of instruction date to address flaws in the Back-to-School Plan and allow further preparations for faculty and staff
- Provide an option for all students to learn remotely from MPS teachers, to include AP and NCAA pursuant students. Earlier this week, the district agreed to make this change.
- Provide a safe workplace for teachers and support staff by giving them the choice to work 100% remotely until the pandemic is over.
- Provide families with clear and detailed criteria and benchmarks for closing and reopening on-site instruction, based on current scientific data.
- When sites reopen, make face coverings mandatory at all times for anyone physically on school premises. The district has agreed to make this change as well.
- Develop a feasible plan for physical distancing that includes, but is not limited to, staggered schedules, start times and alternating schedules, or even attendance rezoning in order to decrease class and school sizes.
- Communicate immediately to families with children receiving special services through IEPs and 504 plans about the implementation for online learning.
- Develop a proactive and comprehensive plan in cooperation with community agencies to address the needs of students who are vulnerable, in crisis, and/or need additional support during periods of virtual-only schooling. Needs may include, but are not limited to, care, schooling, technology, internet access, food, social services, and mental health services. It is imperative that these needs be addressed to keep every single student in our schools safe.
So far, more than 1,500 people have signed the petition.
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