Tulsa Public Schools asking parents to “get in touch!”
Tulsa Public Schools will conduct school this year in an either in-person, staggered attendance, or distance learning model. This week, Tulsa families received a letter with information about their child’s schedule in the event that the school year begins in the staggered attendance model: two days of in-person learning and three days of distance learning. The Tulsa Public Schools Board of Education will make the decision about how the district will begin school on Monday, Aug. 3. The district is preparing to begin the year in all of the three possible models.
“We are prepared for the possibility of beginning our year in any of the three possible models and will likely need to shift between them based on community spread of the coronavirus,” said Superintendent Deborah A. Gist. “Our staggered option would allow us to provide some in-person instruction while creating space for social distancing between students and their peers in their classrooms, school buildings, and on our buses.”
Gist said: “Although we have not yet made decisions about how we will return to school, we have to prepare for every possible contingency including our staggered attendance model, which relies on students being separated into two groups–A or B. We know that some families will need changes to their child’s A or B assignment, and beginning this process now ensures that we have time to update assignments and be ready to implement the staggered attendance model without delay whether that is for the first day of school or later.”
In addition to providing possible schedule assignments, the district is asking families to verify information about their child’s access to the internet and to a working computer. Tulsa Public Schools is continuing the district’s commitment to access for all students to a Chromebook. This ability to have a computer for every child is funded by the 2015 Bond, which was generously approved by Tulsans. The district is developing plans for safe Chromebook distribution to students who do not yet have one.
“We know that there is a significant digital divide in our city: one-third of our families do not have reliable internet access at home,” said Gist. “We have plans to supplement access, and we are working closely with community partners and the City of Tulsa to further improve internet access for Tulsans. This information from parents will help us prepare to match computers and internet access to our students who need them most.”
The district is also asking that parents and guardians provide updated email addresses and cell-phone numbers.
“Now more than ever, we need to be able to be in close and consistent touch with our families,” said Gist. “We have been sharing frequent parent updates through email and text messages, so it’s important that we have updated contact information for each family.”
Parents should call their child’s school if they have not received an email, text message, or postcard from Tulsa Public Schools before Aug. 1.