Oklahoma Department of Education

The Oklahoma State Department of Education on Wednesday released a comprehensive framework for returning to school next fall.

The 74-page "Return To Learn" plan will help guide schools as they reopen in the fall. The framework includes guidance on School Operations, Academics and Growth, Whole Child and Family Supports and School Personnel.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

The coronavirus will change school next fall.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education has issued a series of guidelines for schools. But will we see a statewide shutdown of schools and shift to distance learning next fall like we did this spring?

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The body that oversees high school sports narrowly voted Friday to not approve rules to phase in summer activities.

The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association board of directors voted 7-6 Friday to reject a proposed plan that would have eased into high school sport summer activities.

The rejection paves the way for schools to begin hosting sporting clinic and camps the first week of June as long as there aren’t any superseding local or state restrictions.

Because of a legislative session shortened by COVID-19, only a handful of education policy bills moved through the House and Senate to make it to the governor’s desk.

Time constraints meant only the bills most important to lawmakers could make it to Gov. Kevin Stitt.

So a hodgepodge of priority education legislation is currently being considered by the governor.

If signed by the governor, they would tweak virtual charter school rules, combat the teacher shortage and take other narrow measures.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

School is about to be out for summer.

Spring 2020 was a semester like no other after Oklahoma schools switched to a distance learning environment to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Oklahoma school districts will receive up to $145 million in emergency funding from the federal CARES Act. The money will be doled out based on how many low income students attend each school.

The state’s two largest districts — Oklahoma City and Tulsa — are by far the largest recipients, receiving $17.3 million and $16.2 million respectively. Putnam City Schools sit at number three and could get $4.5 million.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Shortly after U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos urged Governor Kevin Stitt to spend federal relief funds on private school vouchers, Oklahoma’s top education official touted a different idea.

A group of rural Oklahoma lawmakers are asking the State Department of Education to reconsider rules they say would end four-day school weeks.

The 16 Republican representatives are calling on the state to make a waiver that would allow for shorter school calendars more attainable.

Sherrie Conley, R-Newcastle, is leading the charge. In a statement, she said four-day school weeks are important for keeping rural school districts afloat.

Feliphe Schiarolli / Unsplash

School has shifted to distance learning for the rest of this academic year. And it’s too soon to say if in-person classes at Oklahoma schools will be back in session next fall.  But State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister says educators are working carefully to prepare for any educational scenario in the fall.

"That work has just begun, but it will address many scenarios," Hofmeister said.

Though it’s unclear what school will look like, recent graduates and others will be able to teach in Oklahoma in fall 2020.

The state school board voted to unanimously allow a one-time, single year certification for people who were on track to get their certification. Typical certification procedures were halted because teaching candidates couldn’t finish student teaching or take some final required tests.