Jenks to return to At-School learning Sept. 10
The past three months have been a rollercoaster ride for Jenks Public Schools’ students, faculty, and parents.
In mid-July, the Jenks Public Schools Board of Education adopted a three-option return to learn plan that included an in-school option, an all virtual option or a blended learning option.
Then, in early August, Jenks Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Stacey Butterfield announced at a school board meeting she had decided to start the 2020-2021 school year under a distance learning plan because of the COVID-19 numbers in Tulsa County.
The school year began for Jenks Public Schools Aug. 24 and the past two weeks, Jenks Public Schools’ administrators, faculty, teachers, students and parents have been working tirelessly to make sure their children are getting the best possible education they can receive through a computer screen.
Distance learning was supposed to stay in place until the COVID-19 numbers dropped to the “Yellow” level for at least two consecutive weeks.
Tuesday, the first day of September, Jenks Public Schools sent a note to all parents in the district alerting them that a decision had been made to go back to the original three-option plan Sept. 10.
This means that those students who opted into the at-school learning option will now be able to go back to the classroom Sept. 10.
Those students, who opted into the all-virtual and blended formats will begin that as well on Sept. 10.
“The color-coded COVID Alert System, developed by the Oklahoma State Department of Education in consultation with the Oklahoma State Department of Health, was intended to guide districts through the beginning of the school year. As the calendar turns to September and cases have trended down in Tulsa County, it is time to pivot to in-person instruction for At-School learning,” the letter read.
The letter also stated that Jenks Public Schools District leaders discussed shifting back to At-School learning once the COVID cases in Tulsa County were at a “Yellow” level for two consecutive weeks and/or learning of other data, guidance and strategies for safer re-entry.
Tulsa County has not reached the “Yellow” level, but cases are substantially lower than when the school district made the decision Aug. 3 to open the year with distance learning.
The letter also stated that it was never the intent of the school district to utilize distance learning indefinitely and that the district is committed to implementing health and safety protocols to mitigate risk factors and work hard to manage positive cases as they arise.
Masks will be required for all employees and all students in grades third through 12th. Students in Pre-K through second grade must wear masks in hallways and common areas. Parents of students in Pre-K through second grade may choose for their student or students to wear a mask at all times.
The letter additionally states that distance learning is still an option moving forward if cases rise within the district and another shutdown in necessary.