Columbus City Schools to begin blended learning model Feb. 1; union calls for access to COVID-19 vaccine

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus City Schools District said Wednesday that beginning Feb. 1, some students will be moved back into the classroom as part of a blended learning model.

In a letter sent to parents and staff, Superintendent and CEO Dr. Talisa Dixon laid out the details of the transition.

Beginning Feb. 1, the following students will attend classes inside a school building two days a week and online classes the other three days:

  • All students in grades pre-K through third grade.
  • Students with identified complex needs in grades pre-K through 12th.
  • Students in Career and Technical Education Programs at Columbus Downtown High School and the Fort Hayes Career Center.

Starting Feb. 8, the following student will transition to the same blended learning model:

  • All students in fourth and fifth grades.

The remaining students will stay in remote learning until transportation can be worked out, the letter states.

“I am excited that we are able to bring many of our students back into their classrooms for the first time since last March,” Dixon stated in a press release. “Our youngest learners need that in-person, face-to-face connection with their teachers, which allows them to build meaningful relationships that may not be possible in a remote learning environment.”

Dixon goes on to say that the school buildings meet all of the health and safety protocols necessary to hold in-person classes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parents who do not feel comfortable sending their children into the school buildings can register for the CCS Digital Academy.

Dixon also said the COVID-19 vaccine will be made available to all district staff members but will be prioritized for teachers and school-based staff. When and how that will happen will be communicated to those staff members when it becomes available.

A virtual family engagement session is scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. to discuss the return. Click here for information.

Later Wednesday, the Columbus Education Association, the union representing district staff, called upon Dixon to ensure the COVID-19 vaccine is available to staff before in-person education begins.

CEA President John Coneglio issued the following statement:

“Our members want nothing more than to return to in-person instruction as soon as safely possible. This means that the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations must be available to each returning Columbus City Schools employee prior to our students returning to blended learning. The news of the discovery of a more infectious variant of COVID-19 here in Ohio on the very same day that a return to blended learning was announced only underscores the need to vaccinate first. Lives are at stake.”

Columbus Education Association President John Coneglio

Coronavirus in Ohio resources:

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