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Akron Public Schools green lights students' return to the classroom ahead of schedule

Posted at 7:05 AM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 14:26:15-05

AKRON, Ohio — Students in Akron will be back in their classrooms a bit sooner than they thought. The school board voted unanimously Monday night to move up its reopening plan by one week.

Students in kindergarten through second grade and those with significant disabilities will return March 8 ahead of the original March 15 start date. However, students in grades third through 12th grade will go back on March 15. Any teachers returning to the buildings for those grade levels will have a chance to get their second vaccine doses before their return.

The school district sent out a parent survey, which found 69% of parents are ready to return to in-person learning. Though, 31% of parents wanted to keep their kids home for more remote learning.

The early return comes one week after the governor's March 1 deadline.

Akron was one of the districts Governor Mike DeWine shared his disappointment with after calling on them to return by his deadline as part of an agreement to get teachers vaccinated. While the district is still coming up short, its school board president says he's satisfied with the way things have gone.

“At the end of the day, I am proud of what the board has done and everything that we've stood for because safety has been first,” said school board president, Dr. N.J. Akabr.

School board members also discussed how major events like graduation and prom may play out this year. Right now, they're waiting on guidance from DeWine, the state board of health, and the Ohio board of education.