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Akron Public Schools pledge return to classroom in March, paving way for staff to get vaccine

Updated: Jan. 12, 2021 at 10:05 AM EST
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AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - Akron Public Schools are planning a return to in-person learning sometime in March, paving the way for adult staff in the district to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

All school staff in Ohio are eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine starting Feb. 1 as long as the district commits to holding in-person or hybrid classes in March.

Monday night, the Akron school board voted 7-0 to allow Superintendent David James to submit a letter to the state Tuesday confirming the district’s commitment to getting students back in the classroom.

“My recommendation is we go to 100 percent [of students in-person], if we get a large number of our staff vaccinated,” James said.

James said his goal is to get students in the classroom sometimes between March 1 and 22

That range allows allows for flexibility in the plan because, James admitted, “there are a lot of things that are outside our control.”

School staff would have the option to receive a vaccine but it does not appear the state will require it.

School board member Lisa Mansfield said getting students back in school is the most important thing.

“There are so many of our students that need to be back in school, and so many parents that are very desperate,” Mansfield said.

The school board hopes to finalize vaccine distribution plans with Summit County Public Health next week.

The district also plans to have families complete a survey by the end of January indicating whether their student(s) will be attending school in-person.

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