Joy Hofmeister

Oklahoma State Department of Education

Joy Hofmeister wants the internet in the home of every Oklahoma student.

In an interview Monday, she said the COVID-19 closures have exposed an equity gap between students who have home internet access and those who don’t.

“I want every one of our Oklahoma students to have access to a computer and internet access at home,” she said. “And I won’t rest until that’s done.”

About a third of people in Oklahoma lack access to broadband.

Oklahoma State Department of Education

Oklahoma schools will remain shuttered for the spring 2020 semester to combat the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to close schools and implement a distance education program.

Oklahoma students are unlikely to step back into a classroom this spring as the state fights COVID-19 with massive school closures.

Oklahoma State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister announced that she wants to continue school closures until the end of the school year, a move that will require approval from the Oklahoma State Board of Education.

Oklahoma’s hospitals face a massive shortage of medical supplies.

Earlier this month, the state requested hundreds of thousands of facemasks, shields and surgical gowns from the federal government. But according to a ProPublica report, has only received a fraction of those supplies.

And now, Oklahoma’s State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is urging the state’s schools to donate surplus medical supplies to hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma students won’t come back to school until at least April 6.

In a move to stop the spread of COVID-19, a global pandemic that’s spread to Oklahoma, the Oklahoma State Board of Education voted unanimously to close schools and stop instruction for two weeks after spring break.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Even though there are just three confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma, state leaders are suggesting that school districts stay vigilant and be prepped for a potential closure.

In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Gov. Kevin Stitt and State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister urged school district leaders to take caution and use “common sense.”

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma
Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

A group of fifth graders intently watch a color-shifting octopus dream at the top of its tank.

Today, inside an outbuilding at Tahlequah’s Cherokee Elementary School these children are tasked with critically thinking about what they’re seeing. It’s all part of RISE, the school’s gifted and talented program.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Erika Buzzard Wright doesn’t hesitate to admit she doesn’t know what she’s doing.

Before today, she’s never organized a press conference or put together a media kit. That lack of experience hasn’t stopped her from trying to be a voice for rural Oklahomans who like sending their children to school four days a week instead of five.

Flickr / techgeekteacher

A third of Oklahoma schools’ performance is slipping, based on metrics released by the State Department of Education Monday.

Of about 1,500 schools assigned grades on the annual report card, 493 saw a decrease in their overall letter grades. Only 234 schools saw an increase in performance, while a vast majority had no change.