COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Families across the city of Columbus are dealing with uncertainty as the start of the school year gets closer.
With contract negotiations between the Columbus Board of Education and Columbus Education Association (CEA) stalled, it’s unclear what exactly classes will look like to begin the year.
“It’s nerve wracking right now because we don’t have the final answer and school is near, two weeks away,” said Cortney Jackon. “It’s concerning just because we don’t know which way we need to go.”
Jackson has two sons who are in high school. On Thursday afternoon Columbus City Schools released its Alternative Opening Plans which would be used if the union decides to go on strike. According to the plans, students would learn remotely with substitutes, administrators or teachers who choose not to strike.
“It did demystify a lot of the energy that was being thrown around in barber shops or cookouts or family dinners or Sunday worship services, it was a lot of questions, it answered a lot of questions but there was no clarity,” said Londale Towns, a father of three kids in the district.
Jackson hopes the plans never have to be used because she says her kids learn much better in person.
“That is one of the big concerns of mine, because I do want them to get that interaction,” she said. “I don’t want my kids grades to fall behind either and I know that was a big downfall of them being in remote.”
Under the plans, school would still start on Aug. 24. They say kids would be required to attend the remote classes. They also say extracurricular activities, including sports, would be canceled or rescheduled. Meals would be available with “grab and go” meal service, according to the district.
“I hope they do come to a conclusion and get this straightened out before school starts and so we don’t have to worry about what our kids are going to be doing,” said Jackson.