Norman Public Schools to begin school year virtually, start date pushed back

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NORMAN, Okla. (KFOR) – Norman Public Schools announced Sunday evening the school year will start virtually, with a delayed start date of Aug. 24.

“I’m coming to you this evening not only as the superintendent of Norman Public Schools, but also the father of two young ladies who attend Norman Public Schools. I also come to you as an educator,” Dr. Nick Migliorino, Superintendent of Norman Public Schools, said in a video announcement. “This is a tough time. This past few months have been incredibly tough, not only on out teachers, but our families.”

He says staff members have more time to prepare or virtual education than they did in the spring.

“I promise you that our teachers will work hard to provide the best, world-class learning opportunity for your students,” Migliorino said.

The decision came after seeing rising cases of COVID-19 in Cleveland County and talking to health experts.

“The data we received on Friday that Cleveland County went to orange. That was really troubling,” Migliorino said.

The district says it plans to phase students back into buildings when it’s safe.

A group had organized a protest for Monday, demanding the start date be pushed back and that the school year start virtually. Now, their demands have been met. 

“I’m relieved today that our teachers will be safe, I feel like my kids will be safe,” MaryAnn Martin, a parent and one of the protest organizers, said.

However, that doesn’t mean their efforts are over. Martin says there are still challenges ahead.

“We, on the one hand, are extraordinarily grateful to the district for their decision, but there’s still so many challenges ahead of the district,” she said. “I would like to see those of us who can step aside and let resources go to the children and families that need it so the district can focus in on those kids.”

The school district says those who don’t have access to a device will be assigned one. Meals will be provided to students in need.

“You are not going to be disheartened by the instruction you receive. We are going to do a great job with this, and our teachers are going to do a fabulous job at providing this,” Migliorino said. 

Migliorino says if you have any questions, reach out to your principal, counselor, or student services.

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