MPS to Implement Distance Learning Plan

by Elizabeth Pitts-Hibbard

After the State Board of Education’s announcement that public school facilities would be closed for the remainder of the academic year, Marlow Public Schools administrators and staff began navigating the relatively uncharted territory of implementing “distance learning” beginning April 6 and continuing until May 15.

According to the plan released this week, the focus of Marlow schools’ instruction will be Character, Leadership, Concern for Others, and The Marlow Outlaw Way. “The goal of the lessons are to be enrichment and engagement – not rigor,” the plan states.

Faculty and administrators will use virtual platforms for meetings and instruction, including email, Remind, Zoom, Periscope, and Google Hangouts in order to avoid large groups of people, and teachers will contact each of their students to explain how learning will be conducted as well as how the students can best receive instruction. Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) will be adjusted to include distance learning.

The plan provides guidelines for the maximum amount of daily learning time recommended for varying grade levels:

Pre-K: 30 minutes

Kindergarten – 1st grade: 45 minutes

2nd – 3rd grade: 60 minutes

4th – 5th grade: 90 minutes

6th – 8th grade: 3 hours

9th – 12th grade: 3 hours

Although State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister announced earlier in March that no state-mandated assessments would be given this school year, some students were concerned about Advanced Placement (AP) exams and college entrance exams such as the ACT. AP tests will be taken by students testing at home and the next ACT test will be administered on June 13.

Also of concern to many students and families is the issue of graduation for the Class of 2020. The plan issued by Marlow Public Schools makes clear: “We will make every attempt to hold a graduation ceremony. Graduation will be postponed to a later date, possibly July. Depending on conditions and recommendations from the state and CDC, it may be necessary to take alternative measures to ensure that we recognize students. We are currently working on these measures to recognize students in the event that we remain restricted.”

Looking toward the 2020-2021 school year, the school administration is developing a program to deliver curriculum to students, as well as examining the possibility of athletic summer camps to prepare for upcoming sports.

Questions may be directed to the high school office at 580-658-2718; the middle school office at 580-58-2619; or the elementary school office at 580-658-3216. Office hours are Monday – Thursday from 9am – 12 noon.

Principals are also available via email as listed on the Marlow Public Schools website: marlow.k12.ok.us.