Superintendent Bret Towne sent the following letter to parents on Thursday, April 12, 2018.
The words, “Thank You,” hardly seem adequate when I reflect upon the countless ways you have uplifted and supported Edmond educators during the nine-day teacher walkout. You have played a part in changing the state of education and government in Oklahoma. Change that will affect future generations of students in our state for a long time to come.
Earlier today, prior to the Oklahoma Education Association (OEA) calling for an immediate end to the walkout, Edmond administrators, representatives from Edmond Association of Classroom Teachers (EACT) and Support Employees of Edmond (SEE) met to develop a mutually beneficial solution to the walkout. The consensus was that students need to be back in classrooms. It is with that — our students’ best interests — in mind, that Edmond Public Schools’ leadership has made the decision to resume school beginning Friday, April 13th.
In making this quick turnaround, our students will be able to complete the school year prior to Memorial Day (the last day of school will now be May 25) and our support employees will not lose an additional day’s pay in this earning period. The plan means that we will have to remove the “April Day” (April 27th) from the calendar and have school that day. We are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause some families.
There has been much going on behind the scenes today that forced us to delay the announcement about having school tomorrow. We appreciate your patience as we worked through these difficult and time-consuming issues. There is certainly more to be addressed as the days of summer approach. If you are one of the many families who are holding nonrefundable travel tickets or have students already registered for camps or activities that are to begin as early as our original first day out of school, May 24, please contact your school site principal’s secretary to begin to make arrangements for an early, consequence-free departure. We will address such issues on an individual basis with an eye toward leniency.
Another challenge we face deals with the required state testing. Edmond Schools is in need of extra test monitors in order to get all of our students tested within the allotted time. In order to serve as a test monitor, a 30-minute training is required. There are two training sessions at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday, April 13 at the administrative center, 1001 W. Danforth. If you can attend either of these trainings, you can be a test monitor for any EPS school. There will also be other trainings scheduled at each school site. For more information, please call 340-2268 or the school site where you would like to monitor.
I cannot thank you enough for your support and service to our educators over the past nine days. Sustaining that support will be key to continued progress. We are working on a plan to get teachers and students back in class teaching and learning and send interested teachers and community supporters to the Capitol to guarantee that education is a true and lasting priority.