March 18, 2020

Dear POE Members,

In an emergency meeting on Monday, March 16, the State Department of Education authorized the  closure of all public schools in Oklahoma until April 6 amid concerns of the coronavirus. State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said we are looking at an extended break without instruction, including instructional activity and services, extra-curricular activities, staff development, training and conferences. Essential clerical and administration activities as business management, nutritional services and maintenance may continue.

Several questions regarding the unprecedented school closure have been asked on POE’s Facebook page. We will continue to monitor information from the Department of Education and post information as it becomes available. In the meantime, you can find answers to several  frequently asked questions from the Department of Education. Keep in mind these FAQs will be evolving as more is learned about the coronavirus.

We have also received questions about the availability of meals and the testing window during this time of uncertainty.

According to news statements, officials with the education department announced earlier on Monday that they have received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on two requested waivers allowing meal service to continue during possible school closures. These waivers will help with delivery of meals via bus routes or however districts deem necessary. Meals will be available at no cost to low-income children and are not required to be served in a group setting to avoid possible exposure to COVID-19.
According to State Superintendent Hofmiester, the state testing window is still in place. However, Hofmiester went on to say the state has flexibility with the testing vendors and she will seek a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education, if needed. She said we are not going to insist on testing, if it is not appropriate.

POE will keep you up to date as state officials continue to reevaluate the coronavirus crisis daily. Please stay safe, and continue to pray for our students, school systems, state and nation. May God be with us.

Ginger Tinney,
POE Executive Director

Other News
  • Oklahoma State Department of Education receives approval for meal service to continue during possible school closures; KFOR News Channel 4
  • Stitt issues executive order to encourage Oklahomans to follow COVID-19 precautions; KFOR
  • OKCPS declares emergency trying to determine how to feed students; FOX 25
  • OK State Senate on lockdown after someone tests positive for COVID-19; KFOR
  • Teacher feels like she’s running from the coronavirus following quarantines in China, Tulsa; KTUL