State Superintendent proposes schools remained closed through end of academic year

State Superintendent proposes schools remained closed through end of academic year

State of Oklahoma Superintendent Joy Hofmeister proposed Monday for school buildings across the state not to reopen for the remainder of the school year due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Under the proposal, Oklahoma students are expected to continue to distance learning through the end of the school year in May.

Hofmeister said she will propose a continuous learning plan to the State Board of Education Wednesday.

Starting April 6, school districts will be expected to provide distance learning for the remainder of the school year.

Hofmeister said the Oklahoma State Department of Education will offer resources and guidance for districts to pursue distance learning.

OETA, Oklahoma’s educational public TV network, will also provide help. In partnership with education department, OETA will broadcast instructional daytime programming for the state’s PreK-12 students.

“I have faith in the commitment, innovation and creativity of Oklahoma educators and administrators,” Hofmeister said in a news release. “Many districts across our state have utilized online instruction already and likely will be able to hit the ground running. Other districts have significant technology limitations, while some might opt for instructional materials delivered to students. There will be a wide range of approaches and it will be far from ideal, but necessary as we embrace these changes and even sacrifice to protect the public health of our communities.”

Hofmeister added that the top priority for each school district across the state will be the high school seniors, who are on track to graduate in May.

The State Board of Education will vote on the proposal Wednesday.

Standardized testing and the Oklahoma School Report Cards for the 2019-2020 school year have been suspended thanks to a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education.

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