OKLAHOMA CITY – Officials with Oklahoma City Public Schools say classes will resume Monday.
They say they will also be adding one hour to each school day, with May 31 serving as the last day of school for students.
School officials released a letter to parents and students saying:
The OKCPS Board of Education and administration have worked tirelessly to support our teachers since we brought the idea of a board resolution to OKC-AFT in March. We have rallied partners, coordinated donations and nearly 20,000 meal deliveries, and even laid out the welcome mat to teachers from across the state. We are disappointed that the OKC-AFT has informed us of their flawed survey results via a press release and has put our OKCPS Board and administration in the position of standing alone to share the reality that the best way for our team to fight for our students at this point is from our classrooms, schools, and offices now that the statewide teacher walkout has evolved into a movement for long-term advocacy for public education in Oklahoma.
While we share the OKC-AFT’s frustration that state leaders have made only a first step toward adequately funding our schools, classes in OKCPS will resume on Monday, April 16. Board Chair Paula Lewis remarked, “Our board’s first responsibility is to improving outcomes for our students. While the fight for funding will continue to be a part of our work, the window for required state assessments is now compressed, and we must provide relief to our partners who have so graciously stepped in to fill the gap for our students and families. We hear that our teachers want to continue to advocate at the Capitol, and we have been waiting for a plan from OKC-AFT to help us send a delegation from our schools each day. We hope that OKC-AFT will partner with us to ensure that OKCPS is represented Monday when lawmakers return.”
As the largest district in the state and the home of our state Capitol, OKCPS is committed to being a leader as this movement grows to include every Oklahoman who values the future of our state and the vital institution of public schools. We will continue to listen to our dedicated teachers who have so fiercely kept the focus on their students as the movement continues to emerge.
As teachers across our state begin to return to their classrooms, OKCPS Acting Superintendent Rebecca Kaye offered these words of encouragement, “Most of all, do not despair. Don’t you dare feel defeated. You have proven that you are fearless. You have taught your students to stand up for what is right and for what you believe in. You have shown them how to use their voices. They are going to look you in the eye on Monday and see a warrior who fights for them, no matter what.
Today, I call on all Oklahomans – educators, students, parents, city leaders and community members – to bring the energy, teamwork, resolve, and spirit we have witnessed in the last two weeks into our classrooms, homes, offices and, maybe most importantly, to the ballot box. Every single child needs all of us to fight this hard for his or her education. Every day. Together, we are stronger.”
OKCPS looks forward to welcoming our teachers and students back to classes on Monday, April 16th. Please note that due to the teacher walkout, we will be adding one hour to the end of each school day through the end of our instructional calendar, and May 31 will be the last day of school for our students. We will share additional details about how the added hour will impact bus schedules, athletics, meals, and after-school programs with our families later this weekend.