Omicron Variant Forces Several Oklahoma Schools Into Distance Learning

Friday, January 7th 2022, 5:00 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

A new surge in COVID cases is causing several districts in our area to partially switch to distance learning.

At Union Public Schools, the whole district had to go to distance learning because so many workers are out sick. This is what it looked like for many kids today: headphones on, laptops open, ready to learn virtually yet again.

"We have a system in place," said Sara Covey.

Abigail is a 3rd grader at Union Public Schools. Her mom Sara said having to switch to distance learning is always stressful, but she understands how bad COVID is. She and her husband even have the virus right now.

"Having COVID now, it's rough," she said. "They need that time off."

62 people at Union were out sick yesterday and 168 students out of 15,000, tested positive for COVID that forcing Union and many other schools to go virtual today.

"We know it's not ideal, it's not the best learning situation," said Chris Payne with Union Public Schools, "but we find ourselves with a shortage of enough adults that can be physically in buildings because they are positive for COVID."

Seven schools in the Tulsa public school district were also virtual today along with Broken Arrow's freshman Academy and Claremore's Will Rogers Junior High.

Other districts like Jenks and Bixby are still in school but are ready to change if they need to.

"It is totally based on having enough adults to run the school, and if not, we have to make a change," said Payne.

"It's heartbreaking for everyone," said Covey. "I know the teachers don't want to be in this situation either, and we can't ask them to run a school without the people there."

Most of those districts are set to be back in person on Monday.

Tulsa public schools said the decision will be made on Sunday.