OKCPS sets date for Pre-K, Kindergarten students to start in-person learning

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Oklahoma City Public Schools

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma City Public Schools officials have set the date for Pre-K and Kindergarten students to return to school classrooms.

School officials plan for Pre-K and Kindergarten students to come back to the classroom on Monday, Oct. 19.

“After careful consideration and input from a variety of stakeholders, our target date for bringing back our youngest learners will be Monday, October 19. This will give our teachers more time to master virtual instruction and allow school leaders and other district teams to finalize plans to begin bringing students back to the buildings,” Dr. Sean McDaniel, Superintendent of Schools, said in a news release.

Pre-K and Kindergarten students will be back in classrooms on a part-time basis using a hybrid A/B schedule that mixes in-person learning and virtual at-home learning.

First through 12th grade students are scheduled to return to in-person learning on an A/B schedule on Monday, Nov. 9.

“These [Pre-K and Kindergarten] children are least familiar with a school setting and have some of the greatest challenges in a virtual setting, so this plan will give them a chance to acclimate before the rest of the students arrive,” McDaniel said. “We also know it is most difficult for our youngest learners to work independently, so bringing them back to the classroom first will allow them to work in small groups and develop other social skills that will be the foundation for future learning.”

Picture from one of the classrooms, Courtesy: OKCPS

In the A/B system, students are placed in either Group A or Group B.

“Depending on that assignment, students will either attend in-person school, for the full day on Monday & Tuesday or Thursday & Friday. All students will log in remotely on Wednesdays,” McDaniel said.

Pre-K and Kindergarten students have already been divided into A and B groups. Students who are currently receiving virtual education in the morning are Group A students. Students who are receiving virtual instruction in the afternoon are Group B students.

“Your child’s teacher will verify your student’s group assignment in the next few days,” McDaniel said.

School officials plan to not have more than 15 students in a classroom at a time during the initial phase of the Return to Campus plan, according to the news release.

Here’s a breakdown of what parents of Pre-K and Kindergarten students need to know:

  • Pre-K and Kindergarten students will attend school in-person two full days a week starting October 19, 2020. Students will be provided with learning activities to complete on their own at home during the other 3 days of the week, similar to what they currently do on Wednesdays. 
  • Students should bring their iPad to school with them on the days they have in-person learning. 
  • Transportation will be provided to kindergarten students who live further than 1.5 miles from their assigned school. Bus route information is available from your student’s school.
  • Historically, OKCPS hasn’t provided transportation for our Pre-K students. Families will be responsible for dropping off and picking up their Pre-K students.
  • Meals will be provided to students who are attending school in-person. Students will either eat in the cafeteria while social distancing or in their classrooms. Drive thru meal services are still available from 10:30 am to 1:00 pm  at every school for students on the days they do remote learning. 
  • Although families are encouraged to follow the uniform guidelines if at all possible, students will be allowed to wear any solid colored polo shirt, along with khaki, black or navy pants.

Student safety protocols are as follows:

  • Students should wear a face covering that covers both the nose and mouth (OKCPS can provide one if needed). 
  • Students’ temperatures will be taken upon arrival to school. If a student has a temperature of over 100.4 or more, they will be asked to return home. 
  • Students will be asked to wash their hands several times a day and/or use hand sanitizer when necessary. 
  • Students will also practice social distancing when applicable. 
  • Teachers will wear PPE and wipe down surfaces that are touched frequently.

Pre-K or Kindergarten families who do not wish to return to in-person learning on October 19 can opt into OKCPS’ e3 Online Learning program. Contact your child’s school directly to make that change, but the change muse be made no later than Wednesday, Sept. 30. 

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