Stillwater Public Schools moving to all online learning after increase in COVID-19 cases

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STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – Students in one Oklahoma school district are preparing for a big change after a weekend announcement.

On Sunday afternoon, Stillwater Public Schools sent out an email notifying parents all students will be switching to online learning after tracking an uptick in COVID-19 cases in Payne County. 

The district says they are moving from the yellow zone to the orange zone, following the state’s guidelines.  

As a result, the district is closing its traditional classrooms starting Monday. 

“They told us Friday we would be in school this week and now it’s 4 p.m. on a Sunday,” parent Brenda Tidwell said. “That’s not giving people enough time to plan I don’t think.”

Brenda Tidwell, a single mom of three, says she is now scrambling while scheduled to work all week. 

“Those of us who signed up for traditional have no clue about virtual,” Tidwell said. 

After only two days of in-person class, Stillwater Public Schools sounded the orange alert. Everyone must now move to online learning for the time being.  

“I am proud of them for making the difficult decision to cancel school the night before,” parent Julia Boyd said. 

Mom Julia Boyd tells KFOR she’s relieved. 

“I didn’t think we should’ve gone back to begin with,” Boyd said. 

Also in Stillwater this week, OSU students are back in class, causing cases in the county to continue to climb. 

“I thought it was pretty inevitable,” Boyd said. 

Stillwater schools says they will continue to update their community for the weeks to come. 

“I am lucky because I already have somewhere where my child can go, but if we close for even longer, I am going to have to quit my job,” Boyd said. 

But Brenda says she is forced to figure out childcare for herself. 

“What are the odds I can find someone week by week?” Tidwell said. 

Monday is reserved for students to pick up laptops and hotspots they need for time being. 

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