Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent says no plans to move entirely to remote learning as COVID cases climb, 2 schools go virtual

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Masks at OKCPS

Superintendent Sean McDaniel greeting students as they return to school.

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Two Oklahoma City schools have shifted to virtual learning amid rising COVID-19 cases, but the superintendent says he does not plan to move the entire district to remote learning.

Dr. Sean McDaniel, Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent, sent a post-Winter Break update to staff and families. He assured families that while two schools have been moved to remote virtual learning, he does not plan to move the entire school district to remote education.

“A shift to remote learning — even for a short amount of time — is always our last resort,” McDaniel said. “As our COVID-19 numbers continue to rise, I want to take this opportunity to once again reassure you that I do not have plans to shift our entire district into a virtual learning environment unless or until it becomes absolutely necessary. We know our students learn best when they are together in the classroom, and OKCPS will do everything in our power to make this possible.”

OKCPS officials announced Thursday that Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary and FD Moon Middle School would shift to virtual learning on Friday. Officials also said that students will likely continue learning remotely next week.

The school district is seeing a significant number of absences among teachers, instructional staff and students due to illness.

Masks at OKCPS
Superintendent Sean McDaniel greeting students as they return to school.

McDaniel said other school sites may have to shift to virtual learning in the future.

“However, for now, all other OKCPS students should continue to come to campus for in-person learning and take their devices home with them each day just in case we need to adjust our learning,” McDaniel said.

Students who go virtual will need to log into Canvas or Seesaw for asynchronous learning at home, which requires them to complete lessons and assignments on their own.

Teachers can provide students reading material, videos to view, notes to study, assignments to complete, activities, assessments or allow independent work time, which gives families flexibility as students complete assignments at their own pace throughout the day.

OKCPS officials will monitor staffing levels and use contact tracing to identify small groups of students who may need to shift to virtual learning.

“This will all be done on a case-by-case basis and, again, only as a last resort. You can help us by reporting any absence as soon as you are aware you will be out. Early notification helps us with our contact tracing efforts, as well as our ability to find staff coverage and to arrange asynchronous learning for our students who are at home,” McDaniel said.

McDaniel urges parents and guardians to not send children to school if they are sick. Employees who are ill are also asked to call in absent.

Families and staff are reminded that free COVID-19 testing is available at OKCPS schools across the district.

Testing at school locations is currently only available to OKCPS students and staff. Students who are tested must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

“If you seek testing after an exposure, please wait 5 days. If you are symptomatic, do not come to school or work while you wait to be tested OR while you wait for your test results,” McDaniel said.

Go to the OKCPS website to schedule an appointment for COVID testing.

Visit the Oklahoma City-County Health Department’s COVID-19 vaccine clinics website to find locations where you can get either the COVID-19 vaccine or booster.

Continued Coronavirus Coverage

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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