El Reno schools to remain closed; alternative lesson plans to be developed

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El Reno schools to remain closed; alternative lesson plans to be developed

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 14:06
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El Reno Public School buildings will remain closed the remainder of the 2019-20 term due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The district will be following the order of the Oklahoma State Board of Education to shutter all school buildings through the week of May 8-15.

The state board voted 7-0 Wednesday morning to amend its March 16 ruling that closed schools through April 6. The board also voted to waive the state mandated 180 days of in-school instruction.

School districts will now move to a Distance Learning Curriculum to educate students through the May date. The state board also allowed districts to continue the education method past that date if school leaders determine it's needed.

“This is something so foreign it will take us a little while to come up with a plan,” said Craig McVay, El Reno superintendent. “We need to have our kids in school and our kids need to be in school.

“It’s all hands on deck as of today. Teachers will work out the rest of their contracts, not all on site.”

Districts must develop and submit a plan to the Oklahoma State Department of Education for approval. Once plans are approved, districts can start distance learning.

“We will find a way to deliver the best we can for our kids,” said McVay.

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said the decision to move to distance learning mode now and not after the April 6 date was made to give districts time to comply.

“It isn’t possible for districts to flip a switch to this kind of delivery mode without advanced notice. It’s always better to plan now than in a crisis,” said Hofmeister.