Delay possible for in-person classes in OKC schools

The next two weeks of COVID-19 rates will decide when students in Oklahoma City Public Schools return to in-person classes.

The school district plans to bring pre-K and kindergarten students back for face-to-face classes on Oct. 19 with a hybrid schedule. However, if the per-capita rate of COVID-19 increases in Oklahoma County, the return could be delayed.

Oklahoma City schools started the academic year Aug. 31 with all students in virtual classes.

Superintendent Sean McDaniel said during a Monday school board meeting the district could push the return date for pre-K and kindergarten to Nov. 9 if Oklahoma County doesn’t spend the next two weeks below the alert level of Orange Level 2, defined as 25 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education recommends schools “give serious consideration” to online learning when their home county reaches Orange Level 2, according to the agency’s COVID-19 Alert System.

Oklahoma County is at Orange Level 1 this week with 22.6 cases per 100,000, according to data from the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The state Health Department updates county COVID-19 data every Friday.

If pre-K and kindergarten students wait until Nov. 9, they would intersect with the target return date for the rest of the district’s student population. Students in first through 12th grade also are expected to return on Nov. 9 in a hybrid schedule.

The district currently has 31,550 students enrolled.

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