Columbus students thankful for chance to go back to school

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Columbus City School’s middle and high school students will soon be back in the classroom. This after many have been in remote learning for much of this school year.

It’s the moment CCS school district Junior Daizhon Cox has been waiting for.

“I started jumping up and down I was so excited. I’ll get to see my friends, finally get back inside the classroom, and you know just the feeling of you know things getting back to normal,” he explained.

He saw the district’s email Thursday afternoon saying 6th through 12th grade students will be moving into a blended model.

The week of March 15th, cohorts in 6th, 11th, and 12th grades will return. 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th grades classes will follow the week of March 22nd.

“Our students need to be in class as much as possible in a safe environment,” said Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon. “We know it’s not 5 days a week, but I am excited that we are able to put a schedule together that we believe is viable for our students and our families,”

Some questions were answered in Thursday’s virtual family engagement session, many were addressed via Zoom chat.

It will be blended learning. Two days in class, three days remote and there’s another option for parents.

“To our families that still do not feel that this is the best option for your child, we’re giving allowing two weeks for you to enroll in the digital academy so please reach out to your child’s principal and school counselor and they will help you through that process,” said Dr. Dizon.

Cox says his spirits are lifted he hopes it helps him and his fellow students academically as well.

“My biggest message is that just because I’m getting good grades, it doesn’t mean it’s not hard for me. You know I still have those days where I want to give up and I’m depressed and things like that.”

The district is also working on an agreement with COTA to alleviate bussing issues. High school students will be given a COTA pass at no cost through the district. It can also be used for extracurriculars.

“I think that’ll also be good, because I know a lot of people that use the COTA for work and things like that,” said Cox. “So, giving us that free pass, we’ll have a ride to school, we no longer have excuses, now saying ‘I can’t go to school because I don’t have a ride.'”

Dixon says she feels that a phased approach is the right one and it’s important to get the kids back, even if it’s 2 days a week.

“We did not do this fast you probably heard in the news there were other timelines they wanted us to start but I wanted to make sure we phased in our bringing outside students back, so we were doing it safely and I believe in the plans that we have.”

Cox says it means the world to him.

“Thank you not only for me, but also the younger kids the older kids,” he said. “Just getting us back inside the classroom, making us feel normal, letting us play sports, letting those drama kids come in and do their thing. I just want so say thank you.”

CCS says more information will be coming out through each school building and parents are encouraged to reach out to principals.

Families who don’t to come back to school in blended learning can register for the digital academy starting Monday.

More information on blended learning can be found here.

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