One parent is raising concerns about what this will mean for students with disabilities.
Megan Wright said she chose to enroll her son in Columbus City Schools because of Colerain Elementary School and the experience of its staff.
The idea of going back to remote learning is not acceptable, she said, especially for her child, Nico, 7, who lives with disabilities and thrives inside the classroom.
Nico, who loves board games and Sonic the Hedgehog, is going into the first grade at Colerain.
“He gets physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy and his instruction includes a lot of accommodations,” Wright said.
She said Nico has an individualized education plan (IEP) because he is on the autism spectrum. He also has spina bifida.
Wright said their previous experience with remote learning was not a good one — academically or physically.
“His anxiety got so bad that he fell behind and completely stopped walking, stopped pushing himself in his own wheelchair,” she said.
Columbus City School’s alternative opening plan said students with special needs will also attend class online and specially designed instructions will be made up.
A district spokesperson added, “Intervention Specialists and Related Service Providers (SLP, OT, PT, APE) who opt to work through the strike will provide synchronous specially designed instruction for students, as outlined in Section 7 of their IEP. Services will be provided virtually.”
Wright said she reached out to the district to see if it can provide an alternative for in-person work.
“Or I’ve requested that they provide us with in-home services at this time and if the district is non-compliant with that, I will then pursue further litigation,” she said.
No word on how long this strike will last — which is impacting in-person learning.
“I am absolutely in support of the Columbus Education Association and the teachers,” Wright said. “Not only did I discover through my son’s experience in kindergarten in Colerain just how much the teachers actually go through to get through a day and get these kids everything they need.”
The first day of digital instruction is set to be carried out over Zoom with district administrators and substitute teachers holding classes.