Correction: This story originally listed incorrect information on when Tulsa Public Schools students will be able to transition back to in-person learning. It has been corrected.
Union schools will offer both in-person and online “pathways” for students to return to classes next month as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the school board decided Monday night.
Also announced Monday night, Jenks Public Schools will offer three options, with students and their parents choosing among in-person, online-only or “blended learning” — a combination of at-school and online lessons.
Jenks’ blended option is available for grades seven through 12 only and will involve attending school “daily for a portion of the school day” while completing remaining courses online, officials announced on Jenks Public Schools’ website.
The district noted that “when necessitated by COVID-19 conditions, At-School Learning will move to Distance Learning” through an online platform.
Parents have until July 31 to choose among the three options, after which students will be “locked in” for the semester.
“These options were created to provide choice and flexibility for JPS families,” the Jenks district said.
Union students will have to commit to one choice or the other for the entire semester, although schools will be ready to switch entirely to distance learning if the outbreak gets worse, the board decided.
Parents will need to decide by 5 p.m. July 27, a week later than Union administrators recommended. An earlier deadline would not have given parents enough time to weigh the options, board members said.
“There’s a lot of information to be considered,” said board member Stacey Roemerman.
Changing that deadline, however, prompted the board to postpone the start of school for a week to give teachers enough time to finalize plans for classes.
The school year will start Aug. 24 and end May 25, the board decided.
“What I’m hearing from parents is that they are happy that we are moving forward with a plan,” said Superintendent Kirt Hartzler. “It won’t be a perfect plan, but it’s a plan.”
No plan will be perfect, said Roemerman, describing the reentry plan as “a jumping off point” that will continue to evolve before the semester begins Aug. 17.
In a survey of parents, 70% wanted to return to in-person classes this fall, officials told the board.
Tulsa Public Schools announced last week that it is launching a district-wide virtual option for families who don’t want to send their children to school amid the COVID-19 pandemic this fall.
Students participating in the Tulsa Virtual Academy will be able to transition back to in-person learning at the semester break, the district said.
For more information, go to www.tulsaschools.org/back2school.
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