COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus City Schools says it will begin the 2020-2021 school year completely virtual.
Columbus City Schools Superintendent/CEO Dr. Talisa Dixon announced the virtual beginning in a press conference Tuesday afternoon. District leaders were joined by Mayor Andrew Ginther, City Council President Shannon Hardin and Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts.
CCS will remain all virtual through at least the first quarter of the traditional school year and through at least the first intersession of the year-round school calendar.
For schools on the traditional calendar, the first day of virtual classes is Tuesday, Sept. 8, and the first quarter ends on Tuesday, Oct. 27. For the District’s only year-round school, Woodcrest Elementary, virtual classes begin on Wednesday, July 29. Students return from the first intersession on Monday, Oct. 26.
Students will receive virtual instruction to start the year. When the district transitions to in-person learning environments, a blended model will be used.
A full-year digital academy is also available to students.
Monday, Dr. Roberts said her guidance to schools is that they wait to send children back to classrooms until there is a 4-week downward trend in cases.
“I want to make sure the kids go back, but I want them to be healthy and safe, as well as the teachers and staff,” said Dr. Roberts.
Originally, the district was planning a blended option for pre-K through 8th grade, sending students to class part of the week and learning remotely the other part. High school students would attend remote classes for at least the first two quarters. A digital academy was going to be available for any families not comfortable returning to school.
“Even with implementing social distancing on school buses and in the classroom, it is still a challenge to bring students and employees back safely if the rate of infection does not begin to trend and sustain downward,” Dixon wrote in a letter to staff members.