Superintendents on how the year went, future plans

Superintendents on how the year went, future plans

ELGIN, Okla. (TNN) - The first full school year during the pandemic is almost over in southwest Oklahoma.

Elgin Public Schools Superintendent Nate Meraz said he’s proud of how his district handled themselves through the pandemic.

“As of today, we have had 117 student cases of COVID-19. If you divide that out by our population, that’s five percent,” Meraz said.

Heading into the 21-22 school year, Meraz said he’s ready to get back to normal.

“There’s no plans to have a virtual academy, and offer that. We want kids here at school and we know that there’s some options out there and parents may choose to go that route. We don’t have grief on that, there’s no hard feelings on that,” Meraz said.

Meraz said they’re evaluating other things they’ve done during the pandemic to see if any of it will carry over.

Over at Lawton Public Schools Superintendent, Kevin Hime said 453 student cases have been reported since the beginning of the school year, but that didn’t slow anything down.

“We’ve offered in-person learning every day that we planned on except for ice storms. We got a great ice storm to throw in on top of the pandemic but right now our COVID rates are zero,” Hime said.

The district is focused on getting back to normal for the upcoming school year, but they will continue to offer most of the things they have during the pandemic.

“We’re going to continue our flexibility for our parents. We would rather our students be face to face. We feel like that’s a better learning environment for most students but again that’s a parent decision. We’ll also continue with a blended option where students can do some virtual and some in person,” Meraz said.

Hime said this year taught them how flexible the district can be in meeting students’ needs.

Elgin Public Schools lifted their mask mandate, so masks are voluntary and will be that way this upcoming year.

LPS is keeping their mask mandate in place until the end of the school year, but masks will be voluntary this upcoming year as well.

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