Barely a week after Columbus City Schools began to welcome some students back to the classrooms, three elementary schools returned to online instruction.
The word went out over the weekend to parents and students of Innis, Easthaven, and Ohio Avenue Elementary schools that instruction would be online this week, because of staff shortages. In a video posted on the Ohio Avenue Facebook page, family ambassador Lavinia Meeks urged parents to be patient:
"Please be advised that our teachers are working extremely hard with making these adjustments. they are also advised by the pandemic. I know it's tough for our parents, but our teachers are also having to adjust to a lot of the unexpected changes. They also have families and kids of their own."
Kindergarten through third graders returned to blended learning classrooms last week, as well as career technical high schoolers and some students with "complex needs" in all graders. Fourth and fifth graders began to return Monday. Under the hybrid format, classes are divided into two cohorts who attend classes either Monday and Tuesday, or Thursday and Friday, working the remainder of the week online on their own.
Classroom space is limited in capacity to maintain social distance for each student, which makes it difficult for classes to double up if teachers are out sick and substitutes are unavailable - a perennial problem in Columbus City Schools.
10 days ago the district agreed to allow over 200 teachers who had applied for paid leave under the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act to remain home while their applications are under review.