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Nearly 200 Oklahoma schools districts have pivoted to distance learning as coronavirus levels surge

Steinar Engeland

UPDATED: January 13, 2022

Roughly one out of three Oklahoma school districts have had to close their doors to students because of the coronavirus this week.

Those are the findings of a StateImpact database that's combed hundreds of announcements from schools to find 195 public school districts have had to pivot to distance learning or close entirely because of COVID.

Many cite rising illness numbers among staff which leave remaining students without teachers. See the full list below.

StateImpact is again tracking school closures due to the virus. If you know of a closure or pivot to distance learning not on the list below, contact reporter Robby Korth at robby@stateimpactoklahoma.org.

ORIGINAL POST: January 11, 2022

Across Oklahoma, dozens of schools have suspended in-person learning because of the coronavirus.

Updated CDC guidance means many students and teachers are able to come back to classrooms more quickly after catching COVID-19.

But still, with classes resuming last week, the coronavirus has spread in many schools.

Oklahoma City Public Schools has been hit particularly hard. The district has roughly 3,000 students out of school because they tested positive for COVID-19 or were exposed.

Additionally, more than 300 staff members are out meaning there aren’t enough teachers.

At least four sites have pivoted to distance learning and Superintendent Sean McDaniel says more will likely join those schools in the coming days, too.

“While we want all our kids in the schoolhouse all the time, we know that there are circumstances that arise that prevent that from happening,” McDaniel said.

OKCPS is hardly alone in its fight with the coronavirus. Districts in every corner of the state have had to move classes online because of COVID-19.

StateImpact Oklahoma is a partnership of Oklahoma’s public radio stations which relies on contributions from readers and listeners to fulfill its mission of public service to Oklahoma and beyond. Donate online.

Robby Korth grew up in Ardmore, Oklahoma and Fayetteville, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Nebraska with a journalism degree.
StateImpact Oklahoma reports on education, health, environment, and the intersection of government and everyday Oklahomans. It's a reporting project and collaboration of KGOU, KOSU, KWGS and KCCU, with broadcasts heard on NPR Member stations.
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