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Columbus City Schools Delay Return To In-Person Classes

Columbus City Schools have pushed back students return to the classrooms by at least two weeks, according to a communique released this morning.

The district initally announced that all learning would be virtual until the end of the first quarter, October 27. That was later changed to bring back those pre-K-8th grade students who opted for a blended learning model on Monday, October 19th.  High school classes will remain all-virtual until further notice.

Parents, teachers and other staff have been increasingly frustated, saying the district was not  adequately explaining how schools and transportation would operate safely.  A parent online engagement session was abruptly cancelled Thursday evening, and this morning parents delivered a petition with over 12-hundred signatures to the district, asking that in-person classes be delayed until there was more information about student safety.

The Columbus Education Association has also been dissatified with the progress of district talks with the union about staff safety.  The union had not formally agreed to plans developed during this summer's collective bargaining.

Monday's memo says families will be able to take part in a grade-by-grade orientation session with teachers and staff to explain safety issues.  Parents will also have a chance to schedule one-on-one in-person sessions for further clarification.

Under the new plan, Career Tech students at Fort Hayes and the Downtown High School will return the week of October 26-30, following orientation sessions the week of October 19th-26.

Grades Pre-K thru 3, including those with complex needs, will return the week of November 2-6, following orientation sessions the weeks of October 19-23 and Ocotber 26-30.

Students in grades 4-5 will return the week of November 2-6, following orientation the week of October 26-30.

Students in grades 6-8 will return to classes the week of November 9-13, following orientation the week of November 2-6.
Principals will contact families about their orientation and return schedules, and safety and sanitation plans for individual buildings.

A native of Chicago, naturalized citizen of Cincinnati and resident of Columbus, Alison attended Earlham College and the Ohio State University. She has equal passion for Midwest history, hockey and Slavic poetry.
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