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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma City children will return to the classroom part-time in mid-October or early November, depending on their grade, under a plan adopted by the school board in state’s largest district.
Under the plan agreed to on Tuesday night, pre-K and kindergarten students will get two days per week of in-person instruction and three days of virtual classes starting Oct. 19.
“These children are least familiar with a school setting and have some of the greatest challenges in a virtual setting, so this plan will give them a chance to acclimate before the rest of the students arrive,” Superintendent Sean McCasland said in a statement.
Half of the students will attend in-person classes on Mondays and Tuesdays and the other half will do so on Thursdays and Fridays. All students will receive remote instruction on Wednesdays. Students will have their temperatures checked when they arrive at school each day, and will be encouraged to wear masks and to wash their hands often.
The district’s remaining students will begin returning under a similar plan starting Nov. 9. The district’s school year started on Aug. 31 with all virtual classes in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The state health department on Wednesday reported 970 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 12 more deaths from the disease, raising the state’s totals since the pandemic began to 72,284 confirmed cases and 924 deaths. The actual number of cases is likely higher, though, because many people haven’t been tested and some people who have the disease don’t show symptoms.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and a cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.