AKRON, Ohio — On Monday, students in Kindergarten through second grade in the Akron Public School district were welcomed back to the classroom after the district implemented their phased reopening plan.
Other than a small group of students who started a remote plus option last month, the APS district has been completely remote for the last year.
"It's been a year, so there's a lot of anticipation, I think there's some anxiety, some hesitancy, some folks are probably still concerned about the virus," said APS Director of Communications and Marketing Mark Williamson.
APS has roughly 21,000 students and 50 buildings within the district. Williamson said it was a lot of work to prepare each and every building for safe return. The district needed to take one additional week beyond the governor's March 1 deadline of having all schools in Ohio offer an in-person option.
"It's a great goal to shoot for and we did our very best and I think we're doing, we're doing a remarkable amount of work, pretty much seven days a week nonstop to get ready for this," Williamson said. "One size doesn't fit all. The districts that have the biggest challenges are the larger districts with more buildings, more kids."
Williamson said district leaders made sure all teachers had time to get both doses of the vaccine before returning to their classrooms. And as they get in-person learning up and running again, they have one request for students, teachers and parents.
"We just ask everyone to be flexible and patient, assume that there will be some glitches, assume that some things will go wrong, and that we'll take care of them as quickly as we can."
On Monday, March 15 students in grades 3-12 will head back to the classroom as part of the phased reopening plan.
To read the full phased reopening plan for APS, click here.