Long-Term School Closure
March 23, 2020
Parents and Guardians,
This afternoon, State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister shared that she will be making a recommendation to the State Board of Education on Wednesday, March 25th. That recommendation will be a Continuous Learning Plan that will allow the school year to be completed at home. Although the learning would look different from what your students experienced before spring break, our district will commit to deliver instruction to your students through a variety of methods.
I can only imagine how difficult the process was to get to this type of recommendation, yet I am grateful for the leadership and thoughtfulness of Superintendent Hofmeister and her staff in the State Department of Education as we navigate this unprecedented situation together.
What this would mean for our students, if the State Board of Education approves it, is that our school buildings would be closed for the remainder of this school year due to the current global pandemic. Additionally, this would mean that all extra-curricular activities and special events for the spring semester would be cancelled.
I know that for many of your children, this may be disappointing news to hear. It is likely a bit overwhelming for you as parents, as well.
The purpose of my letter today is not to provide all the answers, but to personally inform you of this decision and to share our commitment that we will navigate this window of time with you. The greatest priority is the safety of your children and that is at the forefront of every decision we are making.
After safety, our priorities shift to strong school-to-home relationships along with meeting the instructional needs of your children. The details related to what that will look like for the rest of the year are being formulated at this time. Our district leaders are holding daily virtual meetings in an effort to plan learning strategies for the remainder of the academic year.
Essential staff are serving meals to our children through a drive-through process at our high school, checking on the safety of our buildings, and conducting essential business functions. I have full confidence that our staff can plan virtually for your student’s academic needs. Future communication will provide these details to you.
Parents, this news will bring a huge array of questions. Please rest assured that we have been brainstorming many questions that you might have and will be providing specific guidance to our parents and students in the coming days and weeks. Our team is dedicated to making sure your children and you, as parents, have all the answers you need.
There will be no instructional activities between now and April 6th. This window of time is focused on supporting the requests related to the health and safety of Oklahoma’s citizens.
Thank you for the abundance of grace and patience that you are exhibiting in this difficult time. I honor you as parents and we will continue to partner with you in the days ahead.
With the greatest respect,
Amy Fichtner, Ed.D.