CLEVELAND — Many teachers across Cuyahoga County are getting their first COVID vaccines Wednesday as one of the first steps towards Gov. Mike DeWine’s plan to have schools reopened for in-person instruction by March 1.
Many districts have told News 5 that despite DeWine's goal, they plan to reopen only when they feel it is safe.
Akron Public Schools has already announced their plan to bring students back to the building.
Starting March 15, kindergarten through second grade students and those with disabilities will return to school five days a week. Older students opting for in-person learning will start March 22.
Constellation Schools announced that all kindergarten through eighth grade students have the option to do hybrid instruction on March 22.
“Families will still have the option to be educated virtually if they choose,” said Constellation Schools Education Program Coordinator Brian Knight in an email.
Despite that, Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) CEO Eric Gordon still isn’t committing to a date to reopen.
“We will continue to look at the public health data, which is improving in Cuyahoga County, that’s exciting news,” said Gordon. “I also want to see how this process works this week to see that we’re on track for vaccines.”
Gordon says Governor DeWine’s March 1 goal would be tight because his staff’s second vaccine doses will only be given in March. The District tells News 5 they expect to fill parents in on the plans for some kind of in-person instruction or hybrid option in the next few days or weeks.
“I do plan after seeing how this process works this week, hopefully it will work as well as we expect it to,” said Gordon. “That will give me enough information to provide a community update.”
Gordon told the Cleveland City Council Monday that family survey data says about half the CMSD family population wants to remain in remote learning. The other half is like Natasha Lovelace and her high school-aged daughter.
“I’m rooting for the kids to go back to school,” said Lovelace, who adds that the feeling is mutual between her and her daughter. “With my 7 and 6-year-olds, I can help with addition and subtraction,” said Lovelace. “With my teenager, I cannot help with trigonometry.”
Her daughter misses running track, seeing friends, and school work is just a little harder even with the best remote learning plan. For now, all Lovelace and her daughter can go is wait.
“Let me tell you, if they told me she could go back to school next Monday, she’d be dropped off early and ready,” said Lovelace.
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