Painesville City Schools superintendent explains why he let students return to in-person learning

Painesville City Schools superintendent explains why he let students return to in-person learning

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Close schools or keep them open?

That’s the question school superintendents all over Northeast Ohio are wrestling with as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state.

“We are in difficult territory here… there’s not a playbook for this," said Josh Englehart, Painesville City Schools superintendent.

Englehart made the tough decision to have students switch to remote learning once Lake County reached the red level in the state’s warning system last week.

Red Level means exposure to the virus is very high.

“We were under the assumption that if the county went red, that would essentially mean a lockdown situation, and that we would be compromising the safety of our students and staff if we were to open,” Englelhart added.

Fast forward to Monday and students were told they could come back to their classrooms.

Englehart says after speaking with Lake County Health officials, it was determined under the red alert, students would still be safe.

“There’s no easy call, we’re going to have to look at the conditions week by week and make that call," said Englehart. "But what we don’t want to be doing is being in a position where we are jumping back and forth, back and forth because that doesn’t work for anybody.”

Englehart says whether or not kids remain in the classrooms, it will be hard to please everyone.

“If you stay open, there are plenty of people who think you are stupid and crazy, and if you close, there are plenty of people who think you are stupid and crazy. We don’t take our eye off the ball, our responsibly is the well-being of our kids.”

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