LIST: Schools set plans & precautions for fall semester amid COVID-19 pandemic concerns

News

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – School districts around Oklahoma have spent the summer preparing for the start of school. Here is what you need to know about the school districts plans.

Bethany Public Schools

$199,228.38 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 13
  • Daily temperature checks
  • Traditional and Distance learning options for students
  • Masks required
  • $5k spent on COVID safety measures
  • $15k to $20k additional anticipated spending

Blanchard Public Schools

$201,137.15 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 13

“We are currently working on our plan and our goal is to share it with our patrons on July 24th. We are carefully monitoring the active cases in our district and that will drive a lot of our decisions.”

Deer Creek Public Schools

$205,031.04 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 19
  • Masks required, neck gaiter provided
  • Traditional, Blended, Virtual plans offered for students
  • $50k spent on COVID safety measures
  • $3,150 spent on staff face shields
  • Deer Creek Schools Foundation donated $15k for face coverings

Edmond Public Schools

$1,653,329.68 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 20
  • Masks required for secondary school, not provided
  • Masks encouraged for elementary school
  • Blended (A/B) or Virtual options for students
  • No Traditional model available for students currently
  • Start/End time adjustments
  • $38,167 spent on PPE for sites
  • $5,995 spent on masks & face Shields
  • $13,999 spent on thermometers for each classroom
  • $10,400 spent on Plexiglass Guards
  • $141,867 spent on PPE for custodial, transportation, maintenance
  • $7,348 spent on athletics (activity funds)
  • $250k anticipated total PPE spending

El Reno Public Schools

$692,950.32 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 13
  • Masks required, not provided
  • Daily temperature checks
  • Traditional, Blended, Virtual options for students

No PPE budget information provided

Guthrie Public Schools

$782,106.80 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 20
  • Masks encouraged, not required for students or staff
  • Traditional, Virtual options for students

No PPE budget information provided

Jones Public Schools

$167,156.22 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 21
  • Hourly classroom disinfection
  • Masks required for students +8yo, not provided
  • Teachers required to wear a mask, will be provided face shield
  • Bus drivers take temps upon boarding
  • Traditional, Virtual options for students
  • $4500 spent on PPE
  • $3500 anticipated PPE spending

Luther Public Schools

$136,624.25 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 13
  • Traditional, Blended, Virtual options for students
  • Masks optional, not provided
  • $5,500 spent on COVID precautions: no touch thermometers, hand sanitizing stations, sanitizing spray guns
  • $200,000 anticipated spending for related technology

Mid Del Public Schools

$2,773,211.98 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 14
  • Daily temperature checks
  • Masks required, district will provide neck gaiter
  • Traditional, Virtual options for students

No PPE budget information provided

Minco Public Schools

$76,413.98 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 20
  • Masks and face shields required, provided
  • Traditional, Virtual learning options for students
  • $25,000 spent on Clorox Electromagnetic sanitizing misters
  • $20,000 anticipated additional spending on PPE

Moore Public Schools

$2,074,233.83 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 13
  • Masks required for secondary students, provided for staff
  • Traditional, Distance, Virtual learning options for students
  • Installing ionizing air filtration system in school buildings
  • $125,000 spent on sanitizer

Mustang Public Schools

$609,232.61 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 14
  • Secondary students and staff required to wear masks
  • Traditional, Blended, Virtual learning options for students

No PPE budget information provided

Newcastle Public Schools

$171,745.87 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 12
  • Masks recommended, not required
  • Traditional, Blended, Virtual learning options for students
  • “Virtual Thursdays” automatic online learning 1st Thursday of every month

No PPE budget information provided

Norman Public Schools

$2,093,212.34 C.A.R.E.S Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 17
  • Masks required, provided to students if needed
  • Temperature checks twice a day
  • Traditional, Blended, Virtual learning options for students
  • Flexible attendance policy
  • No secondary student lockers

No PPE budget information provided

Oklahoma City Public Schools

$17,314,784.94 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 31
  • Virtual learning only for nine weeks
  • All students provided mobile device for distance learning
  • Students provided with ‘hot spot’ for distance learning
  • Masks required, provided to teachers and students
  • $550K spent on PPE so far (as of 7-8-20)

Oakdale School

$15,785.29 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 13
  • Masks required, provided to staff
  • Traditional learning only
  • Oakdale students eligible for Edmond Schools virtual learning plan

No PPE budget information provided

Piedmont Public Schools

$137,579.72 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 20
  • Masks required
  • Traditional, Blended, Virtual learning options for students
  • $52,000 spent on PPE

Putnam City Public Schools

$4,536,117.59 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 21
  • Masks required, provided for staff
  • Teacher Safety Kit (PPE) provided to staff
  • Remote, Virtual learning options for students
  • Semester will start with nine weeks of distance learning
  • $1,139,785 spent on PPE and disinfecting

Shawnee Public Schools

$1,219,996.84 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 13
  • Masks provided for staff
  • COVID-19 antibody testing provided for staff
  • $30,000 spent on PPE supplies & cleaning measures

Tuttle Public Schools

$99,460.31 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 20
  • Masks recommended, not required
  • Masks provided to staff, not students
  • No temperature checks at school, unless fever suspected
  • Traditional, Remote, Virtual options for students

No PPE budget information provided

Yukon Public Schools

$566,249.56 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 20
  • Virtual learning only to start school year
  • Distance learning devices provided for students
  • Masks recommended, not required
  • Traditional, Virtual, Blended learning options for students

No PPE budget information provided

Western Heights Public Schools

$1,300,048.55 C.A.R.E.S. Act Funding

  • Start of school: August 20
  • Masks required, provided
  • School board will make a decision monthly on in-person instruction
  • Distance learning device (iPad or Chrome Book) provided for every student

Everything is different this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Every district has a plan; every guideline is in motion.

“Our children have had unfinished learning and learning gaps over the summer and even last spring,” said Oklahoma State Superintendent of Schools, Joy Hofmeister. “We need them back, but we have to do this in a smart way.”

Approximately $145 million in federal C.A.R.E.S. Act funding will help superintendents afford the necessary upgrades to protect staff and students.

“Schools will not magically have extra resources like personal protective equipment, sanitizers, cleaning supplies and substitute teachers,” said Oklahoma Educators Association President, Alecia Priest.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) is encouraging safety measures in schools, but mandating none for the state’s 700,000 students.

Many metro school districts are mandating masks. Those schools are as follows: Deer Creek Public Schools, Edmond Public Schools, El Reno Public Schools, Jones Public Schools, Mid Del Public Schools, Mustang Public Schools, Norman Public Schools, Oklahoma City Public Schools, Oakdale School, Putnam City Public Schools and Piedmont Public Schools.

“We don’t want to look back on this and say we wish we had done something else; we wish we had done more,” said Piedmond Superintendent Dr. James White.

The state’s largest school district, Oklahoma City Public Schools (OCPS), got the largest amount of C.A.R.E.S. Act funding – $17.3 million.

The district will spend a chunk on personal protective equipment for staff and for students when they eventually go back to in-person instruction in November.

This week, OCPS moved the school start date from Aug. 10 to Aug. 31.

The district also decided the first nine weeks of instruction will be online only.

“If someone wants (a mask) and doesn’t have one, we want to be able to provide that,” said OCPS Deputy Superintendent, James Brown. “That’s a significant investment we are using the C.A.R.E.S. Act money for.”

Deer Creek Schools is also purchasing protection for students.

The district will spend a portion of their $205,000 C.A.R.E.S. Act dollars on masks and face covering gators.

Other districts are providing personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff only.

Putnam City will spend more than $220,000 on protective supply kits for teachers.

Edmond Public Schools will do the same, plus another $14,000 for thermometers in every classroom.

“Teachers who need a face shield, clear face shield, we’ll be providing those. Teachers who need a mask, we’ll be providing those,” said Edmond Superintendet Bret Towne. “Whatever they need in that arena, we will be providing them.”

Western Heights won’t open the doors to students in August.

They are going completely virtual.

The district has used the lion’s share of their $1.3 million federal dollars on the purchase of laptop computers for the district’s 3,400.

Western Heights is buying PPE and disinfecting supplies for educators who will teach in empty classrooms.

“Teachers will be required to teach out of their classrooms,” said Western Heights Superintendet Mannix Barnes. “When they enter the building, they will be wearing masks. When they enter the hallway they will be wearing masks. They’ll be eating lunch in their classroom.” 

Minco Public Schools expects to spend about $20,000 on masks for staff and students.

The district will also invest in online curriculum so students don’t miss out on fall learning like they did last spring.

“We walked out of here for spring break, and the next thing you know we were trying to implement an online curriculum that we had not been doing,” said Minco High School Principal, Clint Shirley. “What we’re planning on doing this year is having our online curriculum be part of our everyday curriculum, so if we do close, we just flow right into that.”

Across the board, superintendents are trying to get creative with federal funding.

Shawnee Public Schools is offering antibody testing to staff. According to Shawnee Superintendent, Dr. April Grace, the district was offered the opportunity through Oklahoma Blood Institute for free voluntary antibody testing.

Shawnee Public Schools received $1.2 million in C.A.R.E.S. funding.

Jones Public Schools will disinfect classrooms every hour using a portion of their $167,000.

Norman Public Schools is doing temperature checks twice a day with part of their $2 million cut.

Public schools in the metro were awarded about one third of the C.A.R.E.S. Act dollars distributed in Oklahoma, between $40 and $50 million.

The money was awarded based on student population below the poverty line.

All districts are are using a portion for masks, disinfecting procedures and technology.

None of the state’s school districts are 100 percent certain what school will look like this year.

Here is a breakdown of OKC-metro area C.A.R.E.S. Act funding and ‘Return To Learn’ plans for participating districts:

The Oklahoma Media Center, launched by Local Media Foundation with financial support from Inasmuch Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation, is a collaborative of 18 Oklahoma newsrooms that includes print, broadcast and digital partners. The OMC’s first project is Changing Course: Education & COVID. This story is part of that effort.

Latest News

More News

National News

More National

Washington D.C.

More Washington DC

Your Local Election HQ

More Your Local Election HQ
graphic with Oklahoma Media Center

Latest News

More News

Popular

KFOR Podcasts

More Podcasts

Follow @KFOR on Twitter