epic charter

Driven by coronavirus concerns, a virtual charter school in Oklahoma has become the state's largest public school system

July 30, 2020
Epic Charter Schools says its enrollment for 2020-21 has exceeded 40,000 and includes students from all of the state's 77 counties

A surge in enrollment in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic has made an online charter school in Oklahoma the state's largest public school system.

KOKH-TV reports that Epic Charter Schools has more than 40,000 students enrolled for the 2020-21 school year and has students in all of the state's 77 counties.

"The shift to distance learning happened slowly and then all at once," says EPIC Assistant Superintendent Shelly Hickman. "EPIC has had 10 years to sharpen best practices for virtual learning, which include giving our parents a lot of choices and supporting our faculty through competitive compensation and low class sizes. We're ready to meet the challenges of the upcoming school year and do our part to help our state."

Hickman says the school's internal data shows about 60% of new enrollments are because of the pandemic, and 40% of new enrollees have indicated their enrollment is unrelated to COVID-19.

"Whatever their reasons for coming to us are, we're ready," Hickman says. "We serve kids and families in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, but we also serve kids from places like Guymon and Atoka. We understand the uncertainty of the times, and we hope to be a bridge for the families who have chosen to start the school year with us."

EPIC begins its school year the day after Labor Day, September 8.

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