Jenks Superintendent responds to state’s order to close doors for remainder of school year

Jenks Superintendent responds to state’s order to close doors for remainder of school year

The State Board of Education approved a plan Wednesday to keep school buildings closed for the remainder of the academic year due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

Jenks Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Stacey Butterfield issued this statement following the State Board of Education’s decision.

Dr. Stacey Butterfield, Superintendent Jenks Public Schools, issued a statement Wednesday following the State Board of Education’s decision to close school buildings for the remainder of the academic year.

“These decisions to close our schools and transition to a distance learning plan for the remainder of the school year are not taken lightly,” Butterfield said. “We understand these closures create challenges for our students and families, as well as our employees. However, the health and safety of our students and staff members must be the top priority as we all do our part to stop the spread of coronavirus in our community.”

Each school district across the State of Oklahoma will have the responsibility of implementing a distance learning plan that will take effect April 6.

“I have the utmost confidence in our teachers and administrators to implement an effective distance learning plan which will not only provide instruction, but flexibility for our students and families during this uncertain time,” Butterfield said. “I am grateful for the hard work and diligence of the State Department of Education and the State Board to provide districts with guidance on a variety of topics.”

Oklahoma State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister announced Monday a proposal that would close school buildings for the remainder of the school year and suggested distance learning be implemented for each school district.

“While these are difficult times, it is a time that’s going to involve sacrifice,” Hofmeister said at the Wednesday Special State School Board Meeting. “And it is a time that we put the well-being of our family and others ahead of doing things the same way we always have.”

Butterfield said this situation is unprecedented, but she is confident this is a temporary circumstance.

“This is completely new territory for all of us, and we will continue to communicate with our employees and families,” Butterfield said. “Our Trojan family remains strong, and I look forward to the day we can open the doors of our schools and gather together.”

This parking lot on the west side of Jenks High School will be empty for the remainder of the school year. Photo/Kyle Salomon

Jenks Public Schools’ statement on its distance learning plan

Details of the Jenks Public Schools’ distance learning plan have not been finalized. Before sharing any plan for distance learning, Jenks schools must first submit its plan to the State Department of Education for approval. Once this occurs, we will notify our employees, students and families with further instructions for April 6 and beyond. There are still many more questions than answers at this point, but we will be keeping our stakeholders informed and up to date with the very latest info as we all try to navigate this rapidly evolving situation.

Kyle Salomon

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