Opinions vary on reopening OKC schools

Nov 14, 2020 by

Although their first day of school was months ago, Tuesday marked a new start for thousands of students in Oklahoma City Public Schools.

<strong>Students have their temperature taken at the door as they wait in line to return to class at U.S. Grant High School in Oklahoma City, Okla. on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. Students in grades first through 12th return to Oklahoma City Public Schools for the first time since March. The school district will have students attend in-person classes twice a week in a hybrid A/B schedule. [Chris Landsberger/The Oklahoman]</strong>

First through 12th graders returned to classrooms for the first time since March. The long-awaited Tuesday-Thursday and Wednesday-Friday class schedules have begun after the district started the school year Aug. 31 in virtual learning.

“For us, this feels like the first day of school,” Deputy Superintendent Jason Brown said.

Small groups of high-need students trickled into schools in September, and pre-K and kindergarten classes resumed twice a week Oct. 20.

But for the greatest number of families in the school district, this week was the one circled on the calendar. The district has 31,500 students enrolled, most of whom are transitioning to in-person learning.

Irma Gudino-Saenz said the return to school is a relief for her family. She’s the caretaker of two Oklahoma City students, her 10-year-old daughter at Southeast Middle School and her 5-year-old nephew at Cleveland Elementary.

Her two school-age sons, age 13 and 6, attend a local charter school that’s still in virtual learning. She said the two in Oklahoma City Public Schools are eager to go back.

“I can tell you how my little girl has been excited,” Gudino-Saenz said. “She cannot stop talking about meeting her new friends that she’s met online or seeing older friends that she went to school with in elementary. I can’t take that from her. Seeing her light up like that, it’s just like, oh wow, we really were holding our children back, and they didn’t need that.”

Source: Opinions vary on reopening OKC schools

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