With 164 cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Oklahoma and five deaths, the state board of education voted today to cancel school for the rest of the school year.
Schools have until April 6 to prepare for distance learning for students for the rest of the semester.
State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister says she has been working with DHS to take care of students in difficult home situations, but no details have emerged about how parents who cannot stay home with their students are supposed to deal with the schools being out. Oklahoma law does not prescribe a specific age beneath which children cannot be home alone, but leaving small children at home alone will almost certainly result in criminal charges.
Some parents cannot afford to miss work to care for small children during the week, but as of yet, no information has emerged on resources that might help those parents.
Students who do not have access to technology for distance learning may be cared for in other ways, such as broadcast network PBS running school programming, Hofmeister said, but again no details have emerged.
UPDATE 3:53 PM: Muskogee Public Schools has a plan in place to supplement the district’s Chromebooks already in possession of students with more to students who don’t have them. The district is also doing grab-and-go meals for students who can’t afford food. The meals are available at the following locations:
- Muskogee High School
- Cherokee Elementary, 2400 Estelle Ave.
- Pershing Elementary, 301 N. 54th St.
- Irving Elementary, 1100 N. J. St.
Breakfast is served from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., lunch is 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Buses will also run meals to the following offsite locations:
- Port City Acres Apartments, 2103 N. 36th St.
- Riverside Mobile Home Park, 4400 N. Gibson St.
- Whispering Pines Apartments, 2061 Carroll Ste.
- Green Country Village, 1518 S. 5th St.
Breakfast buses run at 7:30 a.m., lunch buses run at 11:30 a.m.