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Tulsa Public Schools announces tiered plan for in person learning in Jan 2021

Posted at 5:19 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-14 18:21:07-05

TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa Public School Board approved a plan for tiered shift back to in person learning during the 2nd semester.

In a message to parents Superintendent Deborah Gist wrote:

“I know that distance learning has been a challenge for our students and families and that we all want our students back in school in-person as soon as possible. We are continuing to work closely with the Tulsa Health Department and other health professionals to stay on top of the most current data and research on COVID-19.”

The approved return to in person plan is dependent on current COVID-19 health data, including data about COVID in schools as well as levels of community spread in mid- to late-January.

Gist also shared school officials have three categories of information they monitor on a weekly basis: early warning indicators, foundational school system metrics, and foundational health care metrics.

“The first two are specific to Tulsa Public Schools:

  • Our early warning indicators help us understand health within our school system and include case rates in our schools and results from our own district-administered rapid testing system; and
  • Our foundational school system metrics help us understand our readiness to manage health and safety and include the availability or personal protective equipment for our team, our rates of student and staff quarantine, and our capacity to staff and operate the district.

We know that the safety practices we have in place in our schools can help to prevent community spread of COVID-19, so these district-specific measures are integral to informing our decisions about distance or in-person learning.”

Dec. 14 Approved Recommendation for Tiered Return to In-Person Learning:

  • Students in all grades will continue with distance learning through the end of the first semester on Friday, Jan 15.
  • Students in grades pre-kindergarten - third grade will return to in-person classes on Monday, Jan. 25.
  • Students with special needs who are receiving tier three or tier four level services will return to in-person classes on Monday, Jan. 25.
  • Across the month of January, school teams will be working to provide orientations for students in grades 4-12 to help them prepare for in-person learning.
  • Students in grades 4-12 will return to in-person classes on Monday, Feb. 1.

Students will have in-person classes on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. All students will engage in distance learning on Wednesdays.Parents will continue to have opportunities to choose whether their child will return to in-person classes or stay in distance learning.

  • The deadline for making a change to your child’s learning mode in the second semester is Tuesday, Jan. 12.
  • You can choose to keep your child in distance learning by logging into SmartChoice at and updating your child’s commitment form.
    • If you have already updated your child’s commitment form to choose distance learning in the first semester, you do not need to update it again unless you want to move your child to in-person learning.
  • If you have not made any changes to your child’s commitment form, your child’s school is expecting them to return in person.

Students who are registered for Tulsa Virtual Academy will not return to in-person classes; Tulsa Virtual Academy students will continue in the distance learning mode through the end of the school year.

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School officials also urge people to stay consistent with safety protocols: wearing masks, washing hands often, and watching distance.

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