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Coronavirus – Update 3.20.20

Good afternoon, John Rex parents and families,

We want to keep you in the loop as developments progress. Here are some updates as of March 20 at 3:00 p.m. As of right now, state mandated closure is still from March 23-April 5 with classes set to resume April 6. The next state board of education meeting will take place on March 25. If there will be an extension for school closures beyond April 5, I will communicate the update as soon as possible. For now, please read the following information below.

Meal Support: Beginning Monday, March 23, OKCPS will provide free meals to students at 42 sites around the district, including elementary school campuses and several city parks. Grab-and-Go breakfast and lunch will be available to any child 0-18 years of age Monday-Friday. There will be no proof of income, applications, or ID required, however children must be present at the time of pick up. All locations will have drive-thru access. Click here for a list of locations and times. You can also access information about meal support on our website page.

Additionally, Grab-and-Go breakfast and lunch will be available at Santa Fe South Elementary ( 5325 S. Penn, OKC, OK 73119 ) and Santa Fe South High School at Plaza Mayor ( 6921 Plaza Mayor Blvd. OKC, OK 73149 ) from 9-11 am Monday-Friday beginning March 23.

On-Campus Student Medications: If your students have any medication at school that you would like to pick up, the front office will allow parents to retrieve student medication on Monday, March 23 from 9am-Noon. ONLY parents/guardians of students who need to pick up medications will be allowed to enter the front office vestibule one at a time. It is expected to practice social distancing protocols while in line to retrieve medications. Please bring an ID card to retrieve medications. It is NOT required to pick up student medication. We are offering this service if families are in need of their student’s medication. Otherwise, we will safely store and secure all medications until we return to school. As per state mandates, no other visitors or staff members other than essential administrative staff, custodial and food service may enter the building for any reason.

Distance Learning Survey: To better assess online capabilities of our John Rex families, please take a few minutes to answer these questions about student access to devices and the internet. It will take less than 5 minutes to complete.Thank you!

State Testing and School Report Card: As of today, Joy Hofmiester, Oklahoma State Superintendent, announced there will be NO state testing for school year 19-20 nor will any public school receive a School Report Card for school year 19-20.

Special Education I.E.P’s/504s: During the state mandated school closure, John Rex is not required to provide special education services. If your student is on an IEP or 504 and their annual review is due over the school closure dates, a meeting will be scheduled after school is back in session, or a phone conference may be requested. Students who have begun initial testing for special education will be delayed until school is back in session. For more information for families of students on an IEP or 504, please click here. If you have specific questions regarding your child’s IEP or 504 services during this time, please email Mrs. Ingram at

McAlpine Middle School Expansion: Plans are still underway for the middle school expansion construction project. I have virtual meetings scheduled next week with our construction management company and planning committee. Currently, we are still on track for the building to be completed for next school year. Please watch for additional updates.

Board Meetings: Future school board meetings may take on a new look as we comply with current guidance on COVID-19. We are exploring ways to comply with Open Meeting laws, and yet utilize new guidance and leniency on how this may occur. We will explore ways to use technology to video-conference or live stream our meetings.

Educational Activities: During a mandated school closure by our state department of education, no school can require students to participate in online or offline instruction. It is mandated by our state department of education to cease all operations with the exception of essential operations such as custodial, food service, administration and clerical. NO instruction is to be expected, required or suggested by any school during a statewide closure of March 23-April 5.

John Rex will provide a list of both offline and online resources as support to families but WILL NOT require any of those resources to be accessed or used. The list of resources will be provided as a means of helping families who want to provide teacher suggested educational activities at home. We hope these resources help and provide comfort – and FUN! – for our Rockets and their families. This list of both online and offline resources will become available March 25. The administrative team and teachers are working hard to compile and create resources. You’ll have access to resources on our website page.

Every student at John Rex Charter School has a Gmail account. Most students in grades 2nd-7th grade have already accessed and used their Gmail account to participate in online educational activities at John Rex. You will receive instructions on how to continue this access at home or set it up for the first time in the coming weeks. Once set up, a student using an online resource provided by John Rex would need to log on to their Google account, then access the online resource. We believe this is the safest way to monitor online usage for students who are accessing online materials at
home. In addition, we encourage parents and guardians to monitor their children’s use.

Family Support: Teachers will create videos from their homes to send to their students as a way to provide social emotional support. Teachers will provide their email addresses and available office hours for you to contact them. They will also use Class Tag to send and receive messages from families during the school closure. Although I cannot require our teachers to provide these services during administrative leave due to a mandated school closure, we are fortunate to have an extraordinary staff who wants to stay connected, provide support as best they can and ensure a smooth transition back to school when allowed.

I understand there are still so many unanswered questions. Our State Board of Education will be meeting again in an executive session on March 25. After that meeting, we will know more about the possibility of extended closure beyond April 5th. We all have a lot of work ahead of us in this unpredictable situation. It is my top priority to stay in contact with our state and local health officials and our state board of education. I’ll collect the information and communicate what I learn as quickly as possible. I expect to have more information to share next week, after March 25.

Many families have asked how they can help. My suggestion is to connect through the Rocket Forum Facebook Page, post positive and encouraging messages as well as offer to help and support each other. If you’re feeling super creative – we encourage you to create videos to show how your Rockets are spending their time learning outside the classroom. Send your FUN 30 second home videos to: We can then share on our website page. You can also contact Alicia Currin-Moore, our PTA president at Our PTA is a very active, engaged and helpful group of parents and families who can help us pull together resources and support. Thank you, John Rex Rockets! Our school community is strong and we will get through this together! Stay healthy and safe.

Heather Zacarias
Interim Superintendent
John Rex Charter School

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