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Update on potential teacher walkout
As Spring Break approaches and parent/teacher conferences begin, we understand there are many questions surrounding the possibility of a statewide teacher walkout.
It is important to note that we continue to advocate for our teachers and students regarding adequate funding for employee pay and public education. While this is a year-round goal, in recent days we have been particularly focused on discussions with local legislators, teacher leaders and community stakeholders to encourage legislators to take action and avoid a statewide walkout.
In addition to individual meetings with our local legislators, we have invited all Norman legislators to our offices this week to share critical information about our district and again encourage collaborative legislative efforts that will result in investments in our teachers, staff and students. We have also called upon our parents, patrons and community leaders to request they contact legislators and share their opinions on the topic. Please do not wait until April 2 to engage with legislators. They need to hear from you now. We remain hopeful that state leaders will come together and that we could soon see legislative measures gain traction.
Regardless of the outcome, we are steadfast in our support for our teachers and students. And, while there are many questions we still cannot answer, below is the information we can provide:
- We do not yet know if school will be canceled. That will depend on what happens at the State Capitol. School closures could become a reality if the legislature does not act and a majority of our teachers walk out, as we would not be able to provide a safe environment with meaningful educational experiences for our students. It is our intention to notify families as soon as possible if school cancellations become necessary.
- Students will be fed. We are developing plans with our Child Nutrition department to provide breakfast and lunch at several locations for students across the district. We are also working with the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma to provide additional opportunities for students and families to receive food during a potential walkout. More information will be shared when it becomes available.
- Our community cares. Countless individuals and organizations from across the community have offered to help provide resources for students and families. The United Way of Norman is working with their partner nonprofit agencies, as well as the faith-based community, to coordinate safe locations for students to go in the event of a walkout. We will share those opportunities when we learn more.
- The first four days of a walkout would be covered with our remaining inclement weather days. A walkout lasting more than four days could result in extended school hours each day and/or additional instructional days at the end of the year. More information about how a walkout lasting more than four days would impact the academic calendar will be provided at a later date.
- Discussions continue on student assessments. We continue working with the Oklahoma State Department of Education and other entities regarding state testing and will provide additional information when it becomes available.
- Discussions are ongoing. We are currently working with the educational institutions through which we provide concurrent enrollment. More information will be provided when it becomes available.
Commencement Ceremonies and Graduation
- Commencement ceremonies will proceed. Seniors work hard to accomplish this major educational milestone and the ceremonies will continue as scheduled. However, we continue to gather information and evaluate options regarding grades, credits and transcripts. More information will be provided when it becomes available.
High School Prom
- Prom will continue. Prom will continue as scheduled and we are currently working on a plan to ensure we have appropriate supervision at the events.
Celebration of Excellence
- We will celebrate our educators. We will honor our teachers and staff as planned during the Celebration of Excellence, which is scheduled for April 19.
- These discussions are ongoing. We are currently working with our teachers/sponsors, coaches and peer districts to determine a plan for extra-curricular activities. More information will be provided when it becomes available.
We will continue to keep you updated as information becomes available. Again, our work to educate legislators and influence swift action at the State Capitol continues. We stand with our students and teachers and appreciate the many community members who have expressed their support of public education and the students we serve.