- Associated Press - Sunday, January 31, 2021

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Amid the pandemic, students in fifth through 12th grades in Oklahoma City Public Schools are set to return to the classroom for in-person learning starting on Tuesday.

Students in the school district began the spring semester with remote learning because of rising coronavirus cases. But earlier this month, students in pre-K through fourth grade returned to the classroom, KFOR-TV reported.

School Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel said while some anxiety remains, officials “feel very confident that we have taken care of the safety steps we need to take care of.”

“We’ve addressed a lot of different layers of safety so we can present a safe environment for all of our kids, and all of our teachers and staff in the schools,” McDaniel said in a video released Friday.

The return of Oklahoma City students to the classroom leaves Tulsa Public Schools as the state’s only independent brick and mortar school district still in distance learning, the Tulsa World reported.

Gov. Kevin Stitt has criticized Tulsa schools for not returning to the classroom. But Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Deborah Gist along with teachers unions have called on Stitt to move up school employees on the state’s vaccine priority list.

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