Initiative will provide statewide access to digital content and advanced coursework
OKLAHOMA CITY (Aug. 4, 2020)—Gov. Kevin Stitt announced more details today regarding “Learn Anywhere Oklahoma,” a new initiative that will use the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund to provide statewide access to digital content for both core classes and advanced coursework to students in kindergarten through grade 12.
The governor has designated $12 million for the online content with oversight from virtual teachers of record. The Oklahoma Supplemental Online Course Program (OSOCP) will purchase the content from education publisher Edmentum and ensure it is both rigorous and aligns with state standards.
“This initiative will help address academic needs during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Stitt. “While we must take the necessary precautions to slow the spread of the virus and keep our vulnerable populations safe, we must also prioritize our students’ learning. Learn Anywhere OK accomplishes both goals. It will allow schools to safely serve families with at-risk members, and should an outbreak occur, it can be used to continue remote learning.”
Additionally, Oklahoma continues to combat the issue of rural students often lacking access to advanced coursework, including Advanced Placement, foreign language and STEM courses. Learn Anywhere OK will help address this inequity by ensuring students, no matter their location, are given equal access to content that enriches and expands their learning experience.
“While there are many districts across the state that already offer quality virtual school options, some struggle with the costs of providing varied course offerings for multiple grade levels,” said Shawnee Public Schools Superintendent April Grace. “The State providing this virtual opportunity may be helpful to those districts that may not otherwise have the financial resources necessary to expand their online learning options especially during this challenging time.”
OSOCP will contract with the Oklahoma Public School Resource Center (OPSRC) to provide technical and curriculum support to schools. Additionally, OPSRC will provide professional development to educators using the site, focusing on best practices in distance learning instruction.
“There are many pressing needs, including internet connectivity and PPE for teachers, staff and students, but without question the Learn Anywhere initiative will help students all across Oklahoma continue learning during a school year filled with challenges and uncertainties,” said State Superintendent of Instruction Joy Hofmeister. “In the midst of the pandemic and its huge impact on education, it is critical that students have greater opportunities for virtual instruction. Many schools are certain to have building closures, both short-term and long-term, over the course of the upcoming school year.”