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Amid the fallout of an investigative audit and the arrests of its co-founders and former chief financial officer, Epic Charter Schools has undergone changes.

In 2021, the state moved to close the school but stopped short when school leaders agreed to reforms. They cut ties with the co-founders and stopped using their for-profit management company. They consolidated the two separate school models: a fully online school sponsored by the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board and a blended model sponsored by Rose State College.

Epic is now one school serving nearly 28,500 students this year. Most learn at home, but Epic maintains several buildings were students can attend in-person to receive instruction from teachers and staff.

I recently visited one of these sites, called Virtual Learning Resource Centers, along with Epic Text Books journalist Whitney Bryen. Each classroom is staffed by a teacher and an aide, to work with students in small groups. Most of the work done on a laptop with digital curriculum, but students take breaks to read a book, or dance and get their wiggles out. They get recess and lunch, too.

Teacher Susan Mackey works with first graders at Epic Charter Schools' Stonegate Virtual Learning Center in Oklahoma City on Feb. 28, 2023. (Whitney Bryen/Epic Text Books)
Kindergartener Elijah Morrison plays a game with his classmates during a “brain break” at Epic Charter Schools' Stonegate Virtual Learning Center in Oklahoma City on Feb. 28, 2023. (Whitney Bryen/Epic Text Books)

As journalists we learn so much by visiting schools. Where should we visit next? I'd love to hear from you via email or direct message. — Jennifer Palmer

Recommended Reading

  • A measure to prohibit schools from using corporal punishment on students with disabilities failed in the state legislature. [Washington Post]
  • House Speaker Charles McCall said if the senate tries to amend his chamber's education plan, he won't hear a single Senate education bill this session. [Tulsa World]

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