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Cleveland Metropolitan School District delays return to in-person learning

Updated: Feb. 25, 2021 at 3:30 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland students will not re-enter the classroom until the week of March 8, Eric Gordon, CEO of Cleveland Metropolitan School District, announced in a Thursday message to parents and families.

CMSD will delay the phased-in return of students by one week, with Phase 1 students returning to school the week of March 8, Phase 2 students returning to school the week of March 15, and Phase 3 students returning to school the week of March 22.

Gordon said the return is delayed to ensure an effective transition. A later start date gives CMSD families time to receive their back-to-school mailer and opt their child out of hybrid learning, he said.

“We know we can bring back kids safely but we also have to do it effectively and we are a very large complicated organization and we believe this will allow us to have a much better start,” Gordon said.

The district, Gordon believes, needs more time to plan for adjustments to classroom and staff assignments, transportation schedules, in-school meal planning and classroom readiness.

And Gordon said his office reached out to Governor Mike DeWine who at one point had harsh words for the district regarding the timing of their planned return to in school learning.

DeWine tied the availability of the COVID vaccine to a March 1st start to some type of in school learning.

“I didn’t get to speak with him directly but I did speak with his policy advisers directly and I had my team reach out to the his Chief of Staff,” Gordon said, “We wanted to make sure he understood exactly why were making this decision.”

The Governor in his Thursday news conference said he was disappointed in the district’s decision.

CMSD will offer a full hybrid learning model for in-person and remote learners after spring break, according to the message.

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