Norman Public Schools superintendent Nick Migliorino told district parents in a Friday update that schools statewide are preparing for the possibility of extended closures, and that Norman schools are looking into education plans beyond in-person classes.
Migliorino's newsletter update came after the Oklahoma State Department of Education held a Friday conference call with schools across the state during which State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister offered some updates for public schools.
The state board of education voted Monday to close public schools statewide until at least April 6, but according to Migliorino's update, the state has now asked schools "to prepare for the possibility of extended school closures" as a preventative measure against the spread of COVID-19.
The state is also working to cancel annual standardized testing after the U.S. Department of Education announced Friday that it will not enforce standardized testing requirements in any state with an education system impacted by the virus. State governments must receive waivers from the department to cancel testing, but Migliorino wrote Friday that the Oklahoma State Department of Education is working on doing so.
Migliorino also noted that the College Board is working on a plan to administer AP tests remotely this year.
The superintendent shared Friday that since extended school closures are a possibility, the state has now given schools permission to develop "a distance learning plan" that would allow students to learn remotely should they not be allowed to return to school on April 6. If schools remain closed beyond that point, NPS will provide remote learning programs, Migliorino's newsletter says.
The newsletter also notes that students who are taking concurrent enrollment courses should be hearing from their principal with updates on how to continue taking the courses, and should follow guidelines from universities if they were attending classes at a university campus.
On Wednesday, the district announced that it will continue to feed all students in need and pay all salaried employees — including bus drivers — during school closures. Hourly employees will not be paid during closures, though NPS has noted that administrators are working on ways to help those employees clock some hours over coming weeks.
Beginning March 25, breakfasts and lunches will be available for drive-thru-style pick-up at every NPS school site from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily. No proof of income or need will be necessary to obtain the meals.
The district has not announced any update on the status of proms or graduation ceremonies.
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