The Oklahoma Education Association wants to keep the lines of communication open about what we are learning about the coronavirus/COVID-19.
On Monday, we met with our Education Coalition partners and Supt. Joy Hofmeister. The State Department of Education is making plans to help our schools in a variety of ways – from helping our students with food insecurities in the event that schools are shut down to the department’s use of Chronic Absenteeism as an indicator on the A to F report card, and how schools will be affected in the event of a breakout. The State Department of Education is working with appropriate state and federal departments to address these issues and more.
The reality is, information changes rapidly with more positive cases and the 14-day self-quarantine policy. Here are some things educators can do to prepare (or prevent) for the spread of the virus.
Stay home if you feel sick!
The best way to take care of your students and colleagues is to stay home if you have been exposed and/or aren’t feeling well.
Be ready for “distance learning.”
Have learning packets ready in case school is closed and “distance learning” is implemented. Not all our kids have technology for electronic learning, so equity is key. Your districts will give guidance if the time comes for this.
Know your policies.
Talk to your administration about policies like the “Comprehensive Disease Response Plan” which gives guidance as to when the district would close based on illness-related absences. Also, revisit policies that incentivize teachers and students to come to school sick – for instance, semester test exemptions based on attendance or stipends for staff for not taking sick days.
The most important thing to remember is that we need to keep ourselves, our students, and our colleagues healthy. Take care, let us know if you have questions, and thanks for all you do for kids.