Enid Public Schools Administrative Services Center (EPS)

ENID, Okla. — Enid Public Schools is making classes available online at the start of the fall semester, EPS spokeswoman Amber Fitzgerald said.

With the planned "ePREP" program, students can choose to take online classes, receiving as much or as little of their workload off campus as they want, with some exceptions, according to EPS. This will allow the district to provide blended learning schedules suited to each student, with some instruction received in a classroom and some at home.

"The program is designed for students who are already participating in an online program or who would thrive in an online learning environment," according to an EPS news release.

“We believe in the power of learning in a classroom with a teacher and peers; however, we also believe in choices for families," assistant superintendent of secondary education Doug Stafford said.

A unique aspect of ePREP is that extracurriculars like music, clubs and sports, which can't be participated in digitally, still will be available to all students, even if most of their days are spent at home. As long as kids attend physical school sitea at least one hour per day, they will be eligible for extracurricular activities, per Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association rules.

“This is a game-changer for online students,” Stafford said. “You don’t have to choose anymore between taking classes at home and being part of school programs. As long as all OSSAA rules are followed, we can provide students with the robust school experience they deserve, while still meeting their individualized learning needs.”

“This new program will meet their needs in a better, more comprehensive way. With ePREP, they can have it all," Stafford said.

All work and assignments performed online will be monitored by EPS-employed teachers, and if students need assistance, help is right where it's always been, at school.

“They will have access to all of our services, including counseling and guidance assistance. We want to build strong, positive relationships with our students who learn online, just like we do in our brick-and-mortar schools," Stafford said.

Higher level classes, even those worth college credit, will be offered by ePREP, the release said.

Any students interested in taking online classes are encouraged to speak with a school counselor or principal.

All ePREP applications will be reviewed to ensure, "all placements in online learning are educationally appropriate" for each student and "will promote academic success," the release states.

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Willetts is education reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. He can be reached at mwilletts@enidnews.com.

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