Oklahoma Schools Reopening Plan Recommends Wearing Masks

Jun 4, 2020

The Oklahoma State Department of Education's "Return to Learn" plan recommends students and teachers wear face coverings in the fall.
Credit Roland Leach / U.S. Air Force

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma State Department of Education released guidance Wednesday for how public schools could reopen in the fall that includes recommending the use of masks for staff and students to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The department’s Return to Learn Oklahoma framework for reopening schools lists several factors for individual districts to consider as they reopen.

The State Board of Education moved to shut down schools on March 16 amid the coronavirus outbreak, and schools then began implementing distance-learning plans to finish the school year.

“Educators know students will experience greater learning losses this year, given that the ‘summer slide’ has been compounded by the unconventional ending of the spring term,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said in a statement. “As they plan for the new school year, our districts are now focused on how to recapture learning and ensure the safety and health of students, staff and families.”

Among the state’s recommendations are screening protocols for staff, students and visitors prior to entering school sites, social distancing, minimizing gatherings, plans for handling positive cases and the wearing of masks or face coverings by students and staff.