Oklahoma schools making plans after CDC announces new guidelines

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – New CDC guidelines came out earlier this week, specifically addressing how students will be able to head back to school.

“I will not send my kids to school if they’re going to have to wear a mask all day,” said former Oklahoma teacher Jeanna Lichtenbeger, who is a parent of five school-aged children.

The CDC recommends kids wear face masks at times, saying in part, “face coverings should be worn by staff and students (particularly older students) as feasible, and are most essential in times when physical distancing is difficult.”

It also says to “close communal use shared spaces such as dining halls and playgrounds” and discourages students from sharing “items that are difficult to clean or disinfect.”

Lichtenbeger says she’s homeschooled her kids before and will go back if she believes the state’s recommendations are too strict on kids.

“It would depend on our recommendations in Oklahoma and what our Oklahoma government decides,” Lichtenbeger said.

Edmond Public Schools says they’ve already begun working on their plans. While they’re not ready to release anything yet, the district says their recommendations may change depending on students’ ages and grade levels.

“These guidelines just came out. We’re going to look to the state department for guidance. We’re going to look to our local county state health departments, state epidemiologist. We’re gonna look at all those recommendations,” said Edmond Superintendent Bret Towne.

Oklahoma PTA has already spoken with dozens of parents across the state, voicing similar concerns about wearing face masks and social distancing with large class sizes.

But the group says it’s important for parents to be patient, as the state has yet to announce its own roadmap.

“Let the school officials, state officials have a moment to grasp it themselves,” said Alison Taylor, Oklahoma PTA President. “I would hate for them to jump the gun and not allow us to be in the buildings. Not allow our kids and just pull the plug now.”

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