As Oklahoma continues to fight the spread of COVID-19, the Oklahoma State Board of Education (SBE) voted Wednesday that Oklahoma students should not return to their classrooms for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.
“This is an unprecedented situation, and it has required an unprecedented response,” said Edmond Supt. Bret Towne. “We can still take care of our students, though. Edmond is a community that sticks together in challenging times, and we know this experience will be no different.”
The SBE recommended that school districts develop continuous learning plans allowing students to complete their school year at home.
All extracurricular activities and special events were cancelled as well.
“Edmond has quickly developed plans to ensure your child will continue to have opportunities to learn and to grow academically, especially with parental support,” said district spokesperson Susan Parks-Schlepp.
The plan is pending approval by the Oklahoma State Department of Education. From now until April 6 the school district is providing resources for parents and students to utilize through the new EPS Learning Dashboard which is now a quick link on www.edmondschools.net.
“We are only providing resources (no lessons) through April 6 due to the state mandate to cease instruction until then,” Parks-Schlepp said.
After April 6 new content lessons and activities will be delivered each Monday on the Learning Dashboard.
Parents don’t have to teach these lessons, just facilitate them, Parks-Schlepp said.
The lessons will align with the curriculum for the specific content areas students would normally be learning each week of the fourth quarter for elementary students or second semester for high school students, Parks-Schlepp said. This is what will be submitted to the SDE for approval.
Faculty members as well as students will be transitioning during this time.
“Our staff is committed to doing everything possible to assist your children during this time,” Parks-Schlepp said.
“Please stay safe,” Supt. Towne said, and “as always, we appreciate your support.” Any questions may be sent to Covid19@edmondschools.net.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is a login needed to access the new EPS Learning Dashboard?
No, the dashboard is website based. Some resources may require a login and password. For those specific accounts, the login and password will be included.
How much time should be spent on distance learning? Teachers are trying to keep lessons to 30 minutes each. Two or three lessons a day are suggested for elementary student and four or five lessons a day recommended for high school students.
What if no device is available for an elementary student? Work is being done toward checking out devices to elementary households, but several logistical issues, such as content filters are being considered before that can be done.
What if a child doesn’t learn well on a device? Until April 6 most resources are digital resources, but some have printable options as well. After April 6, some of the activities will be non-digital.
How can a parent work from home and teach at home? This is a problem teachers with children are facing also. First, focus on what is realistic and works for your family. Schedule a time to work and also time you spend with your child. You don’t have to be a teacher. You just need to facilitate.
What if someone can’t afford wifi? Some internet providers are offering free internet, specifically for families who qualify for free and reduced lunches. To see if you qualify for free and reduced lunch status, thus qualifying your family for discounted services, apply by contacting Cox Cable, AT&T, Verizon, etc.
What should be done about emails from various programs offering free learning products? It is suggested to stick with programs included on the EPS Learning Dashboard. These programs have been vetted and are currently used in the schools.
Why should my children participate in distance learning if they are not going to receive a grade for participating? To stop learning now would likely mean a regression in skills that would have to be relearned next year. By participating in distance learning, students will continue to learn and grow academically and will be better prepared for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
Will free meals continue beyond Friday, April 3? Yes, carry away meals will continue to be provided at several locations within the district each day. Breakfast and lunch are available for pick up. Please check the district website for locations and times for meal drop off.
For answers to other frequently asked questions,
go to the district’s website www.edmondschools.net.