Flexibility key in CMSD’s reopening plan to be released on July 24

CMSD CEO Eric Gordon will factor changing coronavirus risks and concerns into evolving plan

CMSD CEO Eric Gordon's Update - Tuesday, July 14, 2020

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - CMSD is less than two weeks away from releasing its full reopening plan for the 2020-21 school year.

On July 24, CEO Eric Gordon discuss learning options based on the city and county COVID-19 risk level according to Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System.

“Our team has been working diligently to ensure our students, staff, families and facilities are fully prepared for what we expect to be a very different school year due to the health and safety guidelines required for Ohio’s schools,” the CEO said in a message sent Tuesday to families, staff and stakeholders.

The Cleveland Teachers Union President has realistic expectations for the reception to the plan, knowing nothing’s perfect.

“Everyone is likely to be unhappy with some aspect of it,” said Shari Obrenski, President of Local 279. “I think we’re all doing the best that we can and the more that we can work together and keep each other safe and try to understand one another and be kind, the better off this school year will go.”

The district has already scheduled the first day of school for students in year-round schools for Monday, Aug. 24, while the first day for all other students will be Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Teachers will report the first two weeks of August to prepare.

Some of the anticipated changes CMSD already released include:

  • Schools will not be able to transport 40-50 students on a bus
  • Schools will not be able to hold class with 25 students in a classroom.
  • Schools will not be able to hold breakfast or lunch with large numbers of students in cafeterias at a single time
  • Educators and school staff will need extra time to clean and sanitize work areas.
  • Schools will be required to adopt strict health department instructions when contamination by or contact with a known case is reported.
  • Some students and staff, for varying reasons, will not be able return to school or to the workplace

Eric Gordon also expects a mix of online and in-class learning with more remote learning if risk of coronavirus worsens, to keep students and staff safe.

“Whether it is related to diabetes, age, obesity, all of those factors that have lent themselves to being more vulnerable to COVID, we do have classroom educators who fall into that circumstance,” said Obresnski.

“Our educators will do what they can to do what they can to make sure our children are learning,” said Obrenski.

Gordon said the CMSD’s Family and Community Engagement Office is working with Mayor Frank Jackson’s office on the annual Back to School Fair so school supplies and uniforms can be safely distributed.

Principals will reach out to families with information once it becomes available, but families can register now online at choosecmsd.org or by calling 216-838-3675.

“CMSD remains committed to not only ensuring students, families and staff have the materials and supports needed for a safe reopening, but we are equally committed to ensuring you have the information needed to have confidence in our reopening plans,” the CEO said.

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