SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — The Shaker Heights City School District is phasing students back to in-person learning Thursday.
The return will begin with kindergarten students returning to in-person instruction on Nov. 5.
First-grade students will return on Nov. 9, second grade on Nov. 10, third grade on Nov. 6, and fourth grade on Nov. 10.
Shaker Heights Schools listed the following returns for the remainder of students:
Woodbury & Middle School (Grades 5-8):
A Week Students: Thursday, November 5
B Week Students: Friday, November 6
A Week Students: Week of November 9
B Week Students: Week of November 16
High School (Grades 9-12):
Students will start onsite the week of November 30 in an A/B hybrid model with students reporting onsite two full days every week.
Ramona Lowery has two children in the school district. She said her daughter, a senior, will most likely choose to not go back to the classroom.
“She’s a little bit more social and settled,” she said.
But she said her son, a 7th grader, will be returning.
“He needs to be out interacting, engaging so I would prefer it was in a controlled environment,” she said. “For the children, in addition to the academic side, I just think that they need that interaction, that social piece.”
The Lowery family is a prime example of the options the district gave its students.
“We knew going into this that it would be important that our families had the option to come on-site if they wanted to or need to, or to stay online, if that’s their preference,” said superintendent David Glasner.
Glasner said about 25% of the student body decided to continue online learning. The other 75% will be divided into 2 groups, A or B, and will alternate the days that they come into the building.
But the teachers will be there every weekday, and that is something that John Morris, the president of the Shaker Heights Teachers’ Association said is worrisome to some teachers.
“The unknown factor is when the kids are in the classroom, how difficult will it be to maintain mask-wearing, how difficult will it be to stay 6 feet apart,” he said. “Those are all of the factors outside of actually teaching the class that make this a particularly worrisome time.”
Glasner said after speaking with other district leaders and health experts, they believe they can offer a safe learning experience for their students inside the classroom.
“This has been an emotional and challenging 7 months and we are really put into a position where it is difficult, if not impossible to meet everyone’s needs,” he said.
Lowery said she feels secure sending her son back to school.
“I’m confident if they were not ready, if plans weren’t in place, they would’ve deferred it,” she said.