Consistency a challenge for Oklahoma schools in COVID-19 era

On Oct. 26, Putnam City schools will implement a plan to transition its students back to in-person learning in an A/B schedule.

Not all teachers are enthusiastic about returning to face-to-face instruction.

Britton Elementary teacher Austin Thompson objected to Oklahoma City’s earlier plan.

The district promised nine weeks of virtual learning. Bringing students back sooner would betray families’ trust and endanger teachers, Thompson wrote in a letter to district leaders, which The Oklahoman obtained.

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Other metro-area districts have had to quarantine hundreds of teachers and students. Thompson said Oklahoma City schools couldn’t afford to lose teachers to isolation, resignations or COVID-related deaths.

“Arrangements will have to be made for all of the children in the class to also quarantine, with little to no notice for parents who struggle to know their own schedule from week to week,” Thompson wrote. “This is not sustainable, safe, or practical in any way for a student population who stand to benefit the most from consistency and routine.”

Meanwhile, families and educators across the metro area have protested for a full reopening of schools.

A group has protested outside the Edmond Public Schools administration offices every Wednesday for the past three weeks, demanding their children have five days of in-person classes per week. Currently, Edmond students come to school for two days and complete online learning the rest of the week.

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