May 5 Letter to Parents

May 5, 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

For many of our district’s families, we respect that life has taken many twists and turns since early March. I honor you for supporting your children as they learn from home. Our teachers and school administrators have all done an incredible job maintaining your children - Owasso’s students - as the priority.  

We are passionate about returning to school as we knew it before Spring Break when we return in August. While we can’t make the promise that will happen, we want you to know that is certainly the plan we are pursuing at this time. 

We know that you likely have new questions and concerns as we head into the summer. With that in mind, here are some items that I hope you find helpful.

      • The last group of lessons for the 2019-20 school year will be posted on Monday, May 11th. 
      • All of the distance learning lessons from the spring semester will remain on our district website through at least the end of July.
      • In response to the pandemic and sudden closure of school, we shared with you that students’ grades could either remain the same or go up but could not go down during distance learning. We did that in good faith as we knew some families were also being disrupted due to COVID-19 and learning might be challenging.  That practice will end with the school year on May 15th and general grading practices will resume when we begin the new school year.
      • Complimentary meals will continue to be available for students after May 15th through July 31st.
      • Currently, meals are available at the 7th Grade Center and Owasso High School from 10:00 a.m. to Noon.
      • If any changes are made to the schedules or locations, those changes will be announced on social media and through SchoolMessenger.
      • Items that are at your child’s school will be distributed during the week of May 11th through 15th. 
      • Your child’s principal will share specific details about schedules and directions for picking up those items.
      • Picking up of items will be done in a “drive through” manner.
        • Items will be in a bag marked with your student’s name.
        • Staff will deliver your student’s items to your car as you drive through.
        • Students will remain in the car with their parents or guardian.
      • Please gather any district items that have been checked out to your child this year. These items could include textbooks, library books, musical instruments, calculators,etc.
      • On the same day you drive through to pick up your child’s belongings, you are asked to return the items that belong to the school.
      • Thank you for returning these items, as maintaining that inventory helps the district have resources to spend for our students rather than on replacing previously purchased items.
      • Summer school for June will be delivered through distance learning.
      • Parents of elementary students who would benefit from summer school learning will be notified by May 15th.
      • Parents of 6th/7th/8th grade students who would benefit from summer school learning will be notified by June 1st.
      • Parents of high school students who need to recover credits, gain credits, etc. in order to graduate on time will be notified by June 1st.
      • As of today, there will be no activities - clubs, athletics, fine arts, etc. - in the month of May for students. The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association (OSSAA) has made that determination and we have followed suit at the local level.
      • As conditions are assessed in the days ahead, students and parents will receive communication over the summer from the leaders in their areas.
        • Athletics - Mr. Zach Duffield and Coaches
        • Fine Arts - Mr. Chris Barber and Directors
        • Other Activities - Site Principals and Activity Sponsors
      • One of the biggest questions on the minds of parents and educators is: “What about the Fall of 2020?” For Owasso Public Schools, we are planning for a traditional start to school in August.
      • A traditional start would mean the following:
        • Teachers would return to their classrooms in August to prepare their classrooms for students.
        • Students’ first day of school in their classrooms would be Thursday, August 13th.  
      • The full 2020-2021 school calendar can be found on our district website.
      • We would hope that traditional start would also mean that all of our traditional activities - fine arts, athletics, activities, etc. - would occur also.

With the information outlined above, there are likely still thoughts about “What if?” We know, from observing conversations among health professionals and government leaders, that there may be a chance in the fall that schools could be affected by COVID-19. This could mean any window of time where school could be interrupted due to illness.  While planning on a traditional start, we will also be prepared for multiple scenarios so that we can pivot as needed to be sure high-caliber education continues for your students.  

If there are any substantial changes in this information over the summer, we will certainly communicate those with you. Parents and guardians, thank you again for partnering with your children’s teachers over the last five weeks.  

I hope your family has a summer full of wonderful memories.  

Amy Fichtner, Ed.D.