COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Columbus City Schools Superintendent and CEO Dr. Talisa Dixon announced Wednesday that all in-person athletics and extracurricular activities can resume Saturday, August 29.
Dixon says the District is restarting in-person activities due to the decreasing trend in positive COVID-19 cases in the city of Columbus, according to data from Columbus Public Health officials.
CCS originally suspended all in-person interscholastic athletics and extracurricular activities on Friday, August 14, in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. Dixon’s announcement comes on the same day Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Franklin County has moved down from Level 3 to Level 2 in the state’s Public Health Advisory System.
When we made the decision to suspend in-person athletics and activities to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community, we were intentional about not postponing our fall seasons completely. We knew that if the data improved in our district boundaries — and we are pleased to see that it has — we could consider a return to play.
We know how important athletics and extracurricular activities are to our schools and our community. But, most importantly, we know how much these opportunities mean to our students. As a District, we are excited to be able to provide these opportunities this fall while following health and safety guidelines.Dr. Talisa Dixon, CCS Superintendent and CEO
This announcement from CCS also comes just one day after Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts recommenced a return to in-person learning.
Dr. Roberts says the city has seen five consecutive weeks of a downward trend in case numbers.
But despite athletics being allowed to resume, CCS will not go back to in-person learning. The school district will stay all virtual through at least the first quarter of the school year, according to CCS Director of Communications Jacqueline Bryant.
“Columbus City Schools will begin the 2020-2021 school year completely virtual, for all Pre-K – 12th-grade students on September 8th, 2020,” Bryant said. “Depending on the recommendations from our local and state health departments, the move to a Blended Learning Model – in-person instruction (two days a week) and remote at-home learning (three days a week) could come at the beginning of the second quarter.”
The beginning of the second quarter is October 29.
Additional details about schedules and return-to-play timelines will be discussed with school principals, athletic directors, and coaches.