Owasso Public School Mothers Want Parents To Choose How Children Learn, Cites District’s Limited Options

Sunday, October 11th 2020, 10:42 pm

OWASSO, Okla. -

Some Owasso mothers are starting a movement to give the choice to parents when it comes to their kids' education.

Owasso Public Schools has implemented a "Pivot to Home" program where students can be quarantined and learn at any time if they are exposed to someone with COVID-19. 

In a message to parents and the community, OPS Superintendent Amy Fichtner offered the district's plan for “Pivot to Home,” saying that safety is the most important aspect of this decision.

"We have said in the past, and we continue to believe, that the best learning experience for a child occurs in a physical classroom,” Fichtner wrote. “Pivot to Home is something that we are able to utilize on short notice, if needed, to continue to educate our students while also keeping students and staff as safe as possible during this season of COVID-19.”

However, parents Jennifer Johnson and Autumn Gunter said they want to be the ones with the choice in their children's education.

"Right now, I feel like our choices within the school district are looked really limited as far as when our kids can or cannot go to school," Johnson said. “And the problem with them not being able to go to school in person is the quality of education that isn't there."

Johnson said she's been fighting the Owasso school district over its "Pivot to Home" plan in August, a plan allowing the district to livestream classes to students at home.

The plan also says any students, staff or classroom exposed to COVID-19 is forced to quarantine for 14 days. Gunter says her freshmen daughter is struggling.

"I'm not about kids having a quarantine all the time because it disrupts our education," Gunter explained. 

Owasso Public Schools provided a list of numbers, showing out of the 9,000 students and staff participating with in-person learning. There are currently 16 positive cases in isolation and 226 people were in close contact with those cases and in quarantine.

Johnson said she will be at Monday’s school board meeting and has invited two doctors to speak to the board on COVID-19. 

"There's doctors out there that are continuing to deal with this on a day-to-day basis and I think that's something that to consider and decision making," Johnson said. 

The Owasso School District did not comment, but they did pass along Monday's meeting agenda.

There is nothing on the agenda to discuss changing the Pivot to Home plan.