Cleveland schools’ administration says school will be held in-person Monday; Teachers Union balks

The Cleveland Teachers Union said they will not be in the classrooms on Monday morning for the start of in-person learning, but the Cleveland School District believes the union’s safety concerns are unfounded.
Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 8:00 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Cleveland Metropolitan School District remains committed to starting phase 1 of their in-person hybrid learning program on Monday morning the 8th.

The district plans to move forward even after the Cleveland Teachers Union announced Thursday that they were not satisfied with the safety protocols planned for district buildings and classrooms.

The district responded in a statement released Friday, “The District is confident our buildings are safe and ready for learning next week, as planned. The District will continue to work with CTU today and through the weekend to identify any specifically identified concerns in our buildings and classrooms.”

The district listed these improvements:

  • Ample Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for each school and classroom, additional cleaning and sanitation supplies for each school and classroom, hand sanitizer gel, and disinfectant spray for every single classroom
  • Enhanced sanitizing and cleaning procedures for every building
  • COVID-19-related signage
  • Installation of Quarantine Centers for students and adults displaying COVID-like symptoms while at school
  • Reconfigured classrooms, offices, cafeterias, restrooms, and other school facilities to meet social distancing requirements
  • Updating of technology available to classroom teachers, including additional laptops, cameras, microphones, and earbuds.
  • The enhancing of ventilation systems with higher-grade filters, the installation of portable air purifier units in older school buildings, and more.

And while the district clearly believes that they can work with the union to come to an agreement in the next few days they added some pressure points.

“The District believes teachers and other professionals have an ethical responsibility to return to their classrooms on Monday; however, we will not lock teachers out of their digital classrooms. While doing so may be an effective negotiating tactic to place pressure on teachers and the Cleveland Teachers Union, it would also be done at the expense of our students, and that is something the District will not do.”

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