OKLAHOMA CITY – House Common Education Committee Chairwoman Rhonda Baker held an interim study on Wednesday, examining Oklahoma schools’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic versus other states in the region.
“Oklahoma students and those around the nation have suffered during this current pandemic,” Baker, R-Yukon, said in a news release. “In many instances, they’ve had to adapt to virtual education or to blended-learning models, and they’ve lost learning time in vital subject areas, putting them at risk of not being prepared for their next grade or even graduation. Even upon being able to return to their classrooms this fall, many are facing changes to the classroom structure and different standards for participating in extracurricular activities. “
Baker said the study examined Oklahoma’s response to the pandemic and the steps other states took to address it.
Oklahoma school districts closed in March in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Students moved to virtual instruction, while many measures of student success were suspended for the year, including testing and state-issued school report cards.
School districts were allowed to reopen in August for the current school year, with each district deciding its own method of instruction. Many districts are offering virtual or blended-learning models as well as in-person classes, and many have varying policies on mask usage, social distancing and other health and safety measures.
Baker said schools will face additional challenges as cases of COVID-19 continue to surface.