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Broken Arrow pushes school start to September to monitor COVID-19 situation

Broken Arrow pushes school start to September to monitor COVID-19 situation

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BROKEN ARROW SCHOOL PLAN

Superintendent Janet Vinson speaks at a Broken Arrow School Board meeting Wednesday. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World

After initially setting an August start date for the academic year to begin, Broken Arrow Public Schools said Friday it's pushing to September as the district monitors the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

The first day of school for kindergarten through 12th grade will be Sept. 3, with pre-K starting Sept. 8.

“As we continue making data-driven decisions, we will utilize the extra two weeks before school starts to focus on protocol, planning and preparation,” Superintendent Janet Vinson said in a news release. “During this time, district administrators and staff will receive additional training on proper cleaning and disinfecting techniques; will be able to adjust and plan for a possible staggered schedule or distance learning situation, should the need arise; and to prepare our Virtual Academy for the 5,000+ students who have already enrolled in the program.”

The district also extended its deadline for students to enroll in the Virtual Academy: 5 p.m. Aug. 19.

“While I know this has been a difficult time as we head into the new school year, we want to thank our parents and students for being patient as we strive to provide the safest environment for our students and staff,” Vinson said. “We know these changes may pose additional questions or concerns, but please know our team is working around the clock to ensure the best outcome for as many people as possible. Your flexibility and empathy are crucial to everyone’s success.”

The Broken Arrow school board is set to meet at 6 p.m. Monday, and those who want more information on the plan may watch the live stream at facebook.com/baschools.

Last week, the Broken Arrow school board voted to begin the school year with in-person instruction. But some other local districts — Tulsa, Jenks and Owasso — have since decided to start through distance learning in response to high COVID numbers in Tulsa County, as well as input from health and education officials. 

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