Yukon Schools to return to at-home learning

Spike in COVID-19 cases cited

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YPS Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth

Due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, Yukon Public Schools will go back to all virtual learning with students at home starting Monday, according to a news release from the district Friday morning.

The transition to the district’s “continuous learning plan” begins Wednesday, Nov. 18, and Monday and Tuesday will be virtual learning days only.

A statement from Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth reads:

“Thank you for your trust as we continue to navigate how to safely provide education and support for our students. Today, Friday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health released their COVID-19 alert map with Canadian County showing over 50 new cases per 100,000 people. Pursuant to OK State Department of Education guidelines this places us in the red category, therefore students in the traditional learning pathway will transition to the Continuous Learning Plan (at-home learning) beginning Wednesday, November 18, 2020. “

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“Monday, November 16 and Tuesday, November 17 will be virtual learning days and there will be no live instruction. Teachers have posted lessons and assignments for students in Schoology or Seesaw depending on their grade level. On Wednesday, students will begin receiving live instruction from their teachers through the Continuous Learning Plan. Your child’s school will be sending more detailed information by noon on Monday on what the updated Continuous Learning Plan schedule will look like for your child(ren).”

Simeroth said a decision on whether to return to in-person learning will be made after Thanksgiving. But the color category of red issued by the state health department is concerning.

“When we reach the Friday following Thanksgiving we will see what the color is at that time, and if we are still red we will continue with our continuous-learning plan and that will be at home learning with live instruction. The red category has more consequences than just that. When we are red we shut down all inside activities, that means in addition to classes that means no practices, no rehearsals, no wrestling indoors, no basketball indoors. None of those things will take place as long as we are continuing in the red category,” Simeroth reports in a video message on the district’s social media website.

 

At a school board meeting on Monday, Nov. 9, Simeroth reported there were concerns with students being behind academically, and the semester had been extended two weeks into January.

Concerns had already been voiced from teachers who said that students in Yukon Public Schools were behind academically this year, and the fall semester has been extended two weeks.

The calendar will not need to be changed to make the adjustment, Simeroth said. Christmas break, Dec. 21 to Dec. 31 will not change. The spring semester will begin Tuesday, Jan. 19. The fall semester will end Jan. 15.

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Yukon Schools in-person learning was delayed this year due to COVID-19. Students started the school year in virtual, distance learning from home. The pandemic challenges have had an effect on their school work.

“We’re not changing the calendar date, but with the start of school and all the chaos, there are concerns they are not on pace where they should be,” Simeroth said at the board meeting this week.

The district has reported .26% of students positive and .35% quarantined, less than 1%, Simeroth said.

The district released information to parents about options for enrolling in the spring semester on Thursday, Nov. 12, Simeroth said.

As of Friday, Yukon has had 2,564 cases of COVID-19 and nine deaths. There have been 2,080 people recover.

The district reports that Monday, Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 will be virtual learning days with no live instructions.

On Wednesday, Nov. 18, the continuous learning plan will start with online learning and live instruction.

Thanksgiving break is Nov. 23 to Nov. 27.

The deadline for changing learning pathways for the spring semester is Dec. 4.

Read The Yukon Progress and yukonprogress.com for updates to local news.