March 17, 2020

Dear EPS Families,

As you know, the State Board of Education has voted to enact a mandatory, statewide closure of all public schools through April 3. This closure may be lengthened due to public health and safety concerns.  We encourage everyone to prepare for this possibility should it become necessary.

We understand this closing generates a lot of questions. Please know that we are working closely with the Oklahoma State Department of Education, our legal counsel, and employee representatives to iron out details and finalize plans as we are able.

At this time please review the following key points:

Instruction: At this time, the State Department of Education has told schools not to provide online, home-based or distance learning for all students. We have developed a flyer showing several ways students can keep learning during this closure. Though not required, these activities and resources will help students maintain their skills and allow them to practice reading and math skills during time away from school. Please be reminded that this cessation of instruction includes all grading, tutoring, private lessons, extra-curricular activities including tryouts, staff development, and parent/teacher conferences.

Instructional Time Waiver: Schools may not be required to make up the days missed during this state-mandated closure. The State Board of Education will meet again later this month and is expected to approve instructional time waivers so schools will not be required to make up missed days.

ACT Testing: ACT has rescheduled its April 4 national test date to June 13 across the U.S. in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). All students registered for the April 4 date will receive an email from ACT in the next few days informing them of the postponement and instructions for free rescheduling to June 13 or a future national test date. For more information, please go to act.org.

Testing: As of this writing, state testing has not been canceled.  We expect to learn more about this issue in the future.

School Sites: We have heard from many parents and students who would like an opportunity to pick up medication, electronics, and other essential items which were left in schools prior to dismissing for spring break. On Monday and Tuesday, March 23 and 24, schools will reopen from 8:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. to give students and parents an opportunity to retrieve these items. This is the ONLY TIME students and parents will be allowed back in the buildings for this purpose. When retrieving your items enter through the front entrance and go directly to the place they are stored (locker, music room, etc.), retrieve the items, and exit the building quickly. Practice social distancing and do not gather with other students or parents during this time!

Meals for Students: Edmond Public Schools will provide free meals at seven locations to any child 18 and under regardless of whether they qualify for free and reduced-price meals or what school they attend. Children must pick up their meals in person or drive-thru (Ida Freeman and Sunset only) at the following locations at the following times:

  • Ida Freeman Elementary School (12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.)
  • Sunset Elementary School (12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.)
  • Reed’s Landing Apts (10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.)
  • Uni-City Mobile Home Park (11:30 a.m. to Noon)
  • Lamplighter Mobile Village (10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.)
  • Coffee Creek Apts (11:30 a.m. to Noon)
  • Windrush Apts (12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.)

Edmond Schools is limited in the area we can deliver meals due to federal guidelines.  We are currently approaching local churches to assist in providing meals to children in the southwest corner, central and north-central areas of the district.

The Regional Food Bank is also planning on continuing its backpack program.  The District has not formalized plans to continue this program yet but may seek volunteers to assist in the packaging of food to continue this program at schools.

Pre-K: Parent notification of Pre-K placement is still scheduled for April 2.

Special Education: Due to social distancing recommendations, we will be reaching out individually to parents to set up a phone or video conference to complete IEP/504 requirements during the school closure.  However, if these avenues are not acceptable, parents should work with school personnel to meet once school resumes. After the extended closure has ceased, IEP/504 teams are responsible for reviewing on an individualized basis how the closure impacted the delivery of special education and related services to students eligible for IEP/504 services.  Students may need additional or extended school year services (ESY) to make up the missed IEP/504 services.

Graduation: Graduation ceremonies are scheduled by local school districts. If an Edmond student has enough credits to graduate, they will receive a graduation diploma. Due to social distancing guidelines, we are unable at this time to confirm if graduation ceremonies will be held as scheduled at the Cox Convention Center.  We will send more information to families in the future as this issue becomes more defined.

If you have specific questions that have not been addressed here, please email the district at www.Covid19@edmondschools.net. We will use the information submitted to inform future communication to you. For the latest school closure information, please refer to the district’s website, www.edmondschools.net. Also, please note that employee questions about duties and compensation are being addressed in a separate email from Superintendent Towne today.

As I stated yesterday, we remain committed to doing everything we can to ease the burden on families and staff during this unprecedented closure. We will send additional communication as issues become finalized.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through the numerous matters associated with this school closure.

Respectively,

Bret Towne

Superintendent