OKCPS students back in classroom part-time; district plans to vaccinate teachers

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Some Oklahoma City students headed back to in-person learning Tuesday after starting this semester completely virtual. 

“It’s been quite tough because it’s new, we never did home school, but we got through it. We had a rough patch,” said parent Ericka Colbert. 

Half of Pre-K through 4th graders, will be back in the classroom, still running on the A/B schedule. 

“I’m kind of scared, just cause of the COVID, but I think it’ll be okay,” said Colbert. “At the end of the day I think this is best, social they need also, you know being around their friends and their teachers.”

It’s not the first time the district has tried to bring students back, but they say this time is different.

“Since the first semester we have added three big time layers of safety, and these three layers allow us to say we can do this safely and responsibly,” said Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel. 

First, they upped the number of contact tracers from a total of four to now one in every building. 

Also implementing their ionization project. 

“It’s turned each of our classrooms and other spaces, gyms, libraries, cafeterias, offices, intro supersized air purifiers,” said Dr. McDaniel. 

For more information about cleaning procedures visit the OKCPS website.

Finally, adding COVID-19 rapid testing for staff and their families who are 18 years or older. 

Another key factor in their fight against the virus, the district learned over the weekend they could start vaccinating teachers and staff as early as February 12th. 

“We received word from our partner which is Passport Health, that we’re targeting February 12th, to begin our phase 2,”  said Dr. McDaniel. “We had heard it was going to be March, it might be April, and we got word this weekend that we’re targeting February 12th just 3 weeks away, to begin our process.”

Dr. McDaniel added it will be a tiered process, and the phases could take weeks to complete. 

“It’s still going to be some time before we get all of our teachers and staff vaccinated,” he said. 

Meanwhile he stresses doing this safely is a team effort. 

“If we’re good outside of our homes, outside of the school, if we’re good at the easy things wearing a mask keeping your distance washing your hands good hygiene if we’re really good at that in the community and the school and the home I think we’re going to be okay,” he said. 

Continued Coronavirus Coverage

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