CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Metropolitan School District announced Friday that all of its more than 37,000 students will begin the school year completely online.
“Two-thirds of my community, both my parents and my educators, said that they were not comfortable coming back to school,” said CMSD CEO Eric Gordon. “We’re not going to put our kids and community at risk when they’re telling us they’re not comfortable, they don’t feel safe, and the evidence tells us they’re right.”
The district’s plan is tied to Ohio’s color-coded The Public Health Advisory Alert System.
Here’s how the color-coded levels would affect CMSD’s school year
- Level 4 - Purple - All remote learning
- Level 3 - Red - Either all remote learning or hybrid remote/in-person learning
- Level 2 - Orange - Hybrid remote/in-person learning
- Level 1 - Yellow - In-person learning with masks and face shields required
The discretion in the Level 3 - Red classification allows for the district to made changes based on changing trends within Cuyahoga County.
“So if the county is red but things are improving, then we think we can get to a hybrid experience and get back to school,” said Gordon. “But if the county’s red and things are getting worse, as they are right now, that’s why we announced that we’re going to start in remote learning.”
If students return to school for hybrid, in-person attendance, Gordon said students from grades 3-12 and all adults would be required to wear masks at all times while maintaining six feet for social distancing. Students from Pre-K through 2nd grade will be required to wear face shields.
Most students will attend school two days a week with Wednesdays reserved for deep cleaning. Students with special needs or in special circumstances could end up going to school four days a week.
The school day will also be shorted by 50 minutes to allow staggered arrival and departures.
Nurses will be trained in contact tracing for when someone tests positive for coronavirus with extra levels of PPE so staff can safely care for a student until they can leave the building. Special teams of teachers will help keep students up to speed while the student quarantines for at least two weeks.
“We’re going to have to be all in together to make sure transportation works,” said Gordon.
CMSD will encourage students to find other ways to get to school besides district school buses because capacity on the district vehicles will be drastically cut down with social distancing measures in place.
“We can only get about 14-18 kids on a bus for a socially-distanced bus and that’s compared to buses that are built for 44-55 kids,” said Gordon.
Any questions for the district can be directed to the district hotline: 838-WELL.
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