Oklahoma State Department of Education approves safety guidelines for schools

Oklahoma State Department of Education approves safety guidelines for schools

OKLAHOMA CITY — The state board of education approved a series of school safety guidelines for school districts in a special meeting Thursday.

“We have a window right now that is going to close,” said State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister who was in favor of requiring the school safety protocol to be requirements instead of recommendations. “What has become crystal clear is masks actually work.”

State Board Member William Flanagan said he had concerns about the health guidelines being requirements.

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Flanagan said that an outbreak at a nursing home or a meat packing plant could skew county numbers.

“That doesn’t mean we ignore it,” Flanagan said.

Hofmeister reiterated the risk of community spread for students and teachers.

“We don’t know who has COVID-19… That’s why it’s so important that we look at the community transmission,” Hofmeister said.

The state board of education said they will follow the color coded Oklahoma COVID-19 Alert System for school districts within a county.

State Board Member Brian Bobek proposed an amendment that would make the school safety documents just recommendations. After debate, the board approved the amendment 4-3.

The school safety guidelines will expire at the end of September.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health has developed the Oklahoma COVID-19 Alert System; a four-tiered risk measurement tool with corresponding color categories that identify the current COVID-19 risk level.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health has developed the Oklahoma COVID-19 Alert System; a four-tiered risk measurement tool with corresponding color categories that identify the current COVID-19 risk level.

Green Level

•Instruction – Schools expected to offer in-person instruction

•Masks – Strongly recommended for students, teachers, staff

•Visitors – Recommend limiting

•Activities – Allowable, but proceed with caution

Yellow Level

• Instruction – Schools expected to offer in-person instruction

• Masks – Required for students grade 4-12, teachers, staff

• Required for students PreK-3 in common areas, not classes

• Exceptions for meals, naptime, recess, PE if distancing possible, or if unsafe

• Visitors – Required to limit

• Activities – Recommend limiting gatherings, assemblies, events

Orange Level 1

• Instruction – Schools recommended to use alternative schedules for greater social distancing or distance learning

• Continue in-person learning for SPED, others unable to be served

• Personnel continues working on campus as assigned

• Masks – Required for students, teachers and staff

• Exceptions for meals, naptime, recess, PE if distancing possible, or if unsafe

• Visitors – Required to limit

• Activities – Buildings may not be used for extracurricular activities where distancing is not possible

Orange Level 2

• Instruction – Schools required to use distance learning

• Continue in-person learning for SPED, others unable to be served

• Personnel continues working on campus as assigned

• Masks – Required for students, teachers and staff

• Exceptions for meals, naptime, recess or if unsafe

• Visitors – Required to restrict visitors

• Activities – Buildings may not be used for extracurricular activities, public gatherings

Red level

•Instruction – Schools required to use distance learning

•Continue in-person learning for SPED, others unable to be served

•Personnel continues working on campus as assigned

•Masks – Required for students, teachers and staff

•Exceptions for meals, naptime, recess or if unsafe

•Visitors – Required to restrict visitors

•Activities – Buildings may not be used for extracurricular activities, public gatherings


Oklahoma State Board of Education Meeting

Posted by Comm Erin on Thursday, July 23, 2020