Superintendent Bret Towne sent the following letter to all EPS parents Friday morning March 30.
Yesterday, Governor Mary Fallin signed legislation that provides pay increases for teachers, ranging from $5,000 for entry-level teachers to approximately $9,000 for the most experienced teachers. The legislation adds money to the funding formula (approximately $1,800,000 for Edmond), provides funds for textbooks ($1,000,000 for Edmond), and establishes support employee raises.
While some teachers are pleased with the legislation, others believe that lawmakers need to invest more in classrooms and, therefore, plan to walk out on Monday, April 2. The results of an Edmond Schools teacher poll that concluded this morning show that 66% of Edmond teachers plan to walkout Monday, April 2 and beyond. Therefore, Edmond Schools will be closed Monday and possibly beyond. In addition, the district will not be able to offer before and after care at elementary schools.
We understand this walkout may present a hardship for some parents. Several groups have stepped up to fill the gap with camps and child care. We have listed some of these resources on our website, www.edmondschools.net. Local media outlets and area nonprofits also have resources on their websites.
Because we believe that no child should go hungry during a teacher walkout, we will be feeding students. Our high schools will offer meals to students who currently receive food through Edmond’s Child Nutrition program as well as their siblings ages 1-18.
District child nutrition staff will prepare and serve the food, and supervision will be provided.
Breakfast: Served from 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at all high schools except Boulevard Academy. Patrons must provide transportation for their students to the high schools.
Lunch: Served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Buses will provide transportation from elementary schools ONLY and will pick up students of all ages at 11:00 a.m. Once lunch is complete, students will be returned to the elementary schools where they were picked up.
Athletics and extra-curricular activities will go on as planned, providing the coach or sponsor of the sport or activity is available. Unlike an academic class which would be made up if the school calendar has to be extended due to the walkout, the majority of academic and athletic competitions, as well as student organization events (FFA, DECA etc.), cannot be rescheduled due to conflicts and rental agreements.
The ACT is required for all eleventh-grade students. It is scheduled for April 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12, with a make-up date on April 24. If the walkout extends through these dates, ACT testing will continue as scheduled. In this case, all juniors will need to be at their high schools by 7:40 a.m. on the morning they were previously assigned to test. Buses will run for students who need transportation.
What Does a Walkout Mean for the School Calendar?
Currently EPS has six “banked” days of instructional time over the state minimum
requirement. Edmond teachers can miss six days before additional instruction must be made up. If a walkout lasts longer than six days, missed instruction will be made up by adding additional days at the end of the current instructional calendar.
I know this letter touches on just a few of the questions you may have. For additional details, I encourage you to access the “frequently asked questions” document on the district website. We will continue to communicate teacher walkout information with you just as we would during inclement weather, utilizing district and school websites, social media platforms, the SchoolWay mobile app, emails to your Infinite Campus parent portal account and local media outlets.
Edmond is blessed to have teachers who have been enduring and patient in their efforts for increased school funding. Thank you for your support of our educators and your flexibility and patience as we navigate these uncertain times.