Oklahoma schools to begin ‘distance learning’ due to coronavirus pandemic

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - The State Department of Education says learning will start again April 6, but kids and teachers will not be returning to school in an effort to curb the COVID-19 outbreak.

They say educators will start a program called “Distance Learning.”

State school officials say it will take creativity and innovation to keep kids learning during this pandemic.

“We do expect our students to able continue learning and be promoted to the next grade level,” said Joy Hofmeister, State Superintendent.

In a meeting Wednesday, Oklahoma State Department of Education officials decided to keep school building closed to all but essential staff.

That means no students or teachers, and now lessons will be taught remotely through “Distance Learning.” 

For most, that means lessons online, but not for all.

“Distance learning does not mean digital learning or virtual online with a computer. It could mean we have teachers and students connecting through a telephone or could mean delivery of a lesson on a bus route that will be delivering food and meals.”

The Superintendent says lessons broadcast on public television and state-provided internet hotspots could be options used to help students with financial or connectivity issue.

“It's going to look different for every every district,” said Dr. Jason Simeroth.

The Superintendent of Yukon Schools says his district already has some coursework online. But he says two weeks to get ready for all grade levels is a huge task.

“It's going to be quite an adventure. It's nothing that any of us envisioned and nothing that any of us want obviously, but we’ll make the best of it,” said Simeroth.

State school officials say the last day of school for Oklahoma kids will be May 8-15. It's up to the district to set the date.

The superintendent says virtual graduation for high school seniors could be an option and that special efforts are being made to help healthcare workers with child care.

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