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Idabel Superintendent's Comments on Mandated School Building Closures
Idabel Superintendent's Comments on Mandated School Building Closures
Doug Brown
Thursday, March 26, 2020

Hello, Warrior Nation, this is Superintendent Doug Brown. I need to officially announce the Oklahoma State School Board on the recommendation of State Superintendent Joy Hoffmeister decided to close all school buildings in the State of Oklahoma and finish the school year through continuous or distance learning. State education and health officials believe this move will help our state fight the spread of the novel Covid-19 virus. 

We are sharing this information with you now so you can prepare accordingly for your family. We understand this decision presents an enormous challenge for you and your families. Please understand this change is in the best interest of everyone’s health, which is our greatest priority. 

Idabel Public Schools has a plan to help every student stay on track academically by focusing on learning online. Every school district is different in local capacity and home capabilities, but Idabel Public Schools is prepared. We previously completed a practice run with our district-wide “virtual day” with great success. I want to commend the Warrior Nation teachers and support staff in the hard work to make it a success. Their planning prior to this emergency shutdown of our buildings to prepare lessons, meals and continue communicating with our students has made this unprecedented shift in education as smooth as it could be. The Warrior Nation staff is the best! 

Currently there is NO required school work to be completed. School assignments will begin on April 6th. However, your students’ teachers have been posting and suggesting voluntary academic work to encourage continued academic engagement. Please impress on your children the importance to keep their minds focused during this strange time. Remind your students to check their school-issued emails or designated communication methods given by their teachers every day. Virtual School work will begin on April 6th until the end of the school year. Grades will be taken beginning on April 6th.

Idabel Schools staff is working diligently to feed as many students as possible through our Grab & Go at Central Elementary and with specific drop off locations in the community. You can check the Idabel Public Schools social media pages and our website for meal delivery locations at www.idabelps.org.

The state board’s decision also means that all extracurricular activities and special events will be canceled or postponed as well.  We are all saddened and disappointed this school year is not winding up in the manner we all expected. For our seniors and their parents, we know it is an especially difficult time. We will do everything possible to ensure their efforts are recognized and celebrated in special and unique ways. We ask all parents and businesses to please fly your Warrior Flags to honor our seniors in the culmination of all they have achieved. This is an unfair situation, but I want to reassure them that it does not diminish their achievements. In fact, it will become one more example of how they have demonstrated their strength as a Warrior.

This is an unprecedented situation and it has required an unprecedented response. We can and will take care of Idabel’s students. We have posted numerous resources and updates on our website, including information about free breakfasts and lunches for students under the age of 18 as well as other updates and answers to frequently asked questions. You can find them on our website at www.idabelps.org.

Idabel is a community that sticks together in challenging times and we know this experience will be no different. As soon as we identify our next steps we will share them with you. Please stay safe. As always we appreciate your support of Idabel Public Schools as we prepare champions for life!.

GO WARRIORS!