State Department of Education releases framework for school reopening

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma State Department of Education has published a framework for Oklahoma school districts as they plan for the 2020-21 school year.

Return to Learn Oklahoma: A Framework for Reopening Schools includes considerations and recommendations for how districts can plan for a variety of contingencies that may impact the upcoming school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Educators know students will experience greater learning losses this year, given that the ‘summer slide’ has been compounded by the unconventional ending of the spring term,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “As they plan for the new school year, our districts are now focused on how to recapture learning and ensure the safety and health of students, staff and families. The details of how that is determined will vary widely, based on the extent to which COVID-19 is impacting local and school communities and what processes are feasible and practical for districts. It is our hope that Return to Learn Oklahoma will be a valuable tool as educators work to make decisions that are in the best interest of their students.” 

The Return to Learn framework is built on four categories – School Operations, Academics & Growth, Whole Child & Family Supports and School Personnel.

Each includes a checklist of actions and considerations districts can review to produce optimal safety and learning outcomes, given the challenges that may arise from COVID-19.

The information is guided by health officials including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Oklahoma State Department of Health and others.

The guidance places an emphasis on districts adhering to the CDC’s recommendation that ‘reopening protocols be layered to mitigate risk in ways that are feasible, reasonable and acceptable in local contexts.’

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