Local parents looking toward private schools as option for children to continue in-person learning

TULSA, Okla. — FOX23 has been hearing from several local parents as the school year begins -- including many who are unhappy about their districts’ decisions to move away from in-person learning to start the fall semester.

Some parents say they’ve decided to pull their children from public schools and enroll in private schools.

“It just put us in a bad predicament,” the Parrilli family says.

The family has an incoming 8th grader and twins in third grade and say they were counting on in-person learning in Jenks.

Jenks Public School started the year with distance learning, but Rachel Parrilli says she can’t stay home to supervise her kids.

“My husband and I both work so when we found out we panicked when we found out Jenks was doing online classes,” Parrilli says.

She says Jenks is offering parents on-site daycare.

“To me I don’t understand why they can have daycare and swim practice football practice but they can’t have in-class learning.

Parrilli says he mother recently retired and will help the twins with distance learning, but they decided to pull their 8th grader form Jenks Public Schools to put her in the private school Victory Christian.

“Although it’s expensive and a financial burden on our family we feel like that was the best thing to do for our 8th grader.”

FOX23 Investigative Reporter Janna Clark called local private schools to ask about enrollment numbers but none said they had exact numbers yet.

Rejoice Christian School in Owasso said they’ve seen a significant increase in interest.

Cascia Hall said they’re getting more inquiries from parents and Holland Hall says they’ve received a slight uptick.

Bishop Kelley, Metro Christian, and Lincoln Christian all said their numbers have been consistent so far.

Owasso Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Amy Fichtner says parents will have several different options this year.

“Some parents will choose online learning, some parents will choose pivot to home which is our virtual learning platform with Owasso teachers and some may decide neither of those is acceptable and we certainly respect parent choice in this process,” Fichtner says.

“You have to make the best decision for your kid and I know everyone’s trying to do that.”