Posted Date: 03/25/2020
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Today, the Oklahoma State Department of Education made the decision that Oklahoma students will not return to the classroom for the remainder of the current school year, as our state continues to fight the spread of COVID-19. While all Union school buildings will remain closed for the rest of the school year, the state has recommended that learning continue for our students.
As a result, Union is developing a plan to ensure your student will continue to have opportunities to learn and grow academically. We want to keep your student engaged as much as possible so they do not experience learning loss during this period. These lessons and activities will look different by grade level, as students and families have varying levels of access to technology and other resources. We will be working with teachers next week to ensure they are ready to transition into remote learning beginning April 6. Next week we will also be sharing with parents the format - by grade spans - what our continuous learning plans will look like. Just know that while it will not be a perfect solution, we are going to fully utilize all available resources to do the best that we can.
While many questions remain, we will share what we know today so that you can begin to prepare accordingly for your family. We fully understand the strain this places on working parents; however, we also understand this recommendation is in the best interest of everyone’s health, which is our greatest priority as a district.
Today’s decision also means that all extracurricular activities and special events will be canceled. We have already made the difficult decision to cancel prom at Union High School. This will be disappointing for many, but given the CDC’s recommendation on keeping crowd sizes down, we do not have a choice at this time. High School graduation remains an open question for now, as we wait to see what things look like in the next 30 days. We are looking at various scenarios in the event we need to make adjustments, but our desire is to hold commencement exercises in some format.
Other key things to know:
We will continue to provide updates about our district’s response to COVID-19 on our district website at https://www.unionps.org/Coronavirus. In addition to the website, we will continue to provide updates via phone, email, Facebook and Twitter.
If you have any questions, please email [email protected]. We will respond just as quickly as possible.
I know it will be sad and disappointing for students to learn that school as they know it will not resume this year. Please give them a safe place to express their feelings. For our seniors and their parents, we know it is an especially difficult time. This is an unfair situation, but it in no way diminishes their achievement. We will do our best to celebrate and congratulate them in special and unique ways.
Making these decisions has been extremely difficult, but it is simply the right thing to do for our students, staff and community, given these extraordinary circumstances. More information will be forthcoming next week regarding remote learning.
Kirt Hartzler, Ed.D.