McDaniel said he heard the board’s concerns “loud and clear.” The superintendent said he would propose a Sept. 28 return at a district leadership meeting Tuesday, in which administrators will finalize back-to-school logistics.

“If I had to do-over, I would have given more time, and I think we can resolve that by pushing it to the 28th,” McDaniel said to the board.

Although they worried over the start date, most members of the board supported the plan to bring students back to school incrementally. Several hundred special education students have already returned this week for in-person classes. Small groups of students have been allowed into district facilities since the first day of school.

Students would return with an A/B schedule in order of youngest to oldest, having early childhood learners come back first. High school students would be the last to return, with Nov. 9 as the earliest possible date.

Pre-K and kindergarten classes all have between 10 and 16 students in the district, McDaniel said. If they returned in an A/B schedule, classrooms would have only five to eight students at a time.

A recent dip in enrollment could impact class sizes, as well. About 32,000 students have participated in online learning through the district since the first day of school Aug. 31.

This would be a considerable drop if the trend holds, as Oklahoma City schools originally projected a total enrollment of 34,867 for the 2020-21 school year.

Group A would attend class in person on Mondays and Tuesdays and would complete a packet of at-home activities the rest of the week. Group B would come to school on Thursdays and Fridays. Schools would be deep cleaned on Wednesdays.

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