• 1. It was decided that the school district's going to be going into hybrid. Why did you make that decision?

    Well you know I've continued through this entire process to look at all of the data available and that includes the Ohio Public Health Advisory System data. We have seen that the county has now had only two or three indicators over several weeks, down from six of the seven indicators back in December. The number of cases per 100,000 has decreased from over 900 per week several weeks ago to only about 230 now and we're about to hit that 100 mark where we'll turn orange. And from the beginning, the district has said when we're red moving toward orange that would be an indicator city, county, and the city data is also improving. We're seeing fewer and fewer cases in the city. Our data from families says that a little more than half of families are ready to be back that means the numbers still want to stay in remote we'll serve them but more than half want to be back and almost two-thirds of students want to be back. And then also vaccinations are going now going well a large number of staff vaccinated and we have the Moderna vaccine which fortunately provides high immunity already in the first dose after just 14 days and so having all of our staff vaccinated gives us extra confidence. Finally, conversations with the board and public and the board has said to me from the beginning we don't want to hop in and out and in and out so be steady and cautious but when we can move and have a high likelihood of staying in hybrid that's when we should make that move all of that together is telling us it's time to begin the move.

     

    2. What does hybrid mean to the students? Will they be going back 5 days a week or just part of the time? Will all the students be going back? What is the District's plan?  

    So what we're going to do is to start phasing this in. We're going to start actually on February 22nd with spring athletics. Athletics are back. We're really excited about it. We have all of the safety requirements in place and you know students will wear masks when they're appropriate. They will the social distance. There are hygiene and sanitation protocols. So that’ll actually kick off our return. We’ll begin to bring some of our highest needs students back and this will be a smaller number, but those students that really need us most to be back in person. We're going to phase in then a larger number of groups. We’re going to have our preschool through second grade students, more students with disabilities, English Language Learners, High School seniors and freshman who are struggling a little bit, Career Tech students. That phase in will be a couple of weeks where we do some orientation and you know some getting used to this new strategy. Over the month of March, you'll see gradual building of getting all of our kids back into school who choose to come. When will they come? Most students will be here two days a week and still have remote the other three days. So you may be in the a group on Monday and Tuesday then have the asynchronous Wednesday. Thursday, Friday remote. Or, if you're in the B group, it's the opposite. You’re home for Monday, Tuesday. You still have asynchronous Wednesday. You're in school for Thursday, Friday. That allows us to do all of the spacing and social distancing and things that are required to maintain a safe environment.  

    Now is that through the entire District? I know studies say that younger students should be in 5 days a week or are you just going to do that for the younger students as well with hybrid?  

    Right now two days a week is our guarantee for all students at all grade levels. We do hope to be able to bring some of our students back for four days a week. That might be a preschool students. That might also be students with learning disabilities that could use more time, maybe even some seniors that are off track that really need that time, but we're going to start by getting everybody acclimated to a two day cycle. This is not only a safety issue but it's also a issue of of the logistics, you know what can buildings hold safely? How do you space people out? How do you transport people? How do you schedule when half of our students are actually likely to stay in remote and the others want to be in school? So two days a week to begin and then we'll expand where we can under the health and safety conditions. 

     

    3. The district has prepared for this day for many months so what will students see once they enter their school buildings?

    Well it starts even before you get to the school building. So when you get on your bus you will need to be wearing your mask a bus driver will be offering you hand sanitizer just as a reminder keep those hands clean. You'll be seated one student per seat in a staggered seating. The seats actually have tape to show where you can't sit. Siblings can sit with you but others cannot. Once you get to school there will be entry protocols so you'll have to go through a touchless thermometer screen either your forehead or your wrist against an electronic machine to check your temperature. Once you're in your classroom, spaced out six feet apart no sharing of supplies. Most of your things will be done in the same classroom you won't teachers will do a lot more changing. Students will do a lot less changing. Dining will likely be in classrooms for the most part, not always. Some of our spaces are big enough to distance. Very careful bathroom breaks so that we can move kids in and out with plenty of social distancing and spacing floors that are marked to tell you how to move so that you don't interact with people you know when you shouldn't be. Sanitizer stations throughout the building so it is going to be a little bit different. There's a great video actually of you walking us through it on the CMSD web page that will help people actually see what to experience before they arrive back. There's also a day in the life document where you can actually kind of take the journey of the day to understand what's going to happen when you're in our schools.

     

    4. What if someone doesn't want to return to the school buildings? They don't feel comfortable. Is that an option?

    Certainly. So it's really important that while we're making the shift to hybrid to accommodate students and families that have been urgently waiting, we also know there are some students and families that are not ready. So we will be asking every family to make an option to opt out of hybrid. Let us know so that we don't schedule that bus, we don't schedule that classroom and those families can remain in remote learning just as they have been or they can choose our virtual option which is an even more flexible dynamic option, but with a little more parent engagement, a little less direct teacher contact time. The lessons are recorded you can watch them at your own pace, that sort of thing. It is important to know though if we're going to reschedule literally half the district to be in school and half the district to be out, that may require some changes of schedules and we're going to minimize that, but I want everyone to be prepared that whether you come back or not, to make this happen for all of our kids, may impact some of our schedules we're going to coordinate that with quarter four.

     

    5. Will they also have different teachers possibly?

    It's possible and that's why I want us to be cognizant of that is that we're going to do our best to keep as much teacher continuity as possible. We're going to be using teacher teams particularly for hybrid, so you know you may have Mrs. Snipes for class right now you may end up having Mrs. Snipes and Mr. Gordon being your team. You'll see less of Mrs. Snipes. She's still there but you you've got a team of teachers supporting you. It is even possible that because of the way staffing falls, who can come who can't,with students and adults, that you may actually get a brand new teacher for fourth quarter. But again, we're going to really work to minimize that and then work smoothly on those transitions.

     

    6. What if a family decides that they are want to do hybrid, they start hybrid, but then they decided that they want to go back remote or vice versa? Is that an option can families change their decision?

    Well, certainly it's an option. We're going to accommodate any family's needs, but that's part of the reason we have kind of an orientation and introduction phase in is so that we can invite families to actually come see what to expect and then phase in during the last few weeks of this quarter and test it and see how did it go. How was school today? And if a student really comes home and says this is not for me, by the time that fourth quarter starts we want to have all of that sorted out so that we have a continuity of service whether it's hybrid or remote for the final quarter. So that's why when we begin this work, you're going to see a phase-in period for most students of practically two weeks of reorienting, getting used to this this new way of learning.

     

    7. Can a family switch the days, like if they're in the A group or the B group, but one schedule works better for them, can they choose which days they go in?  

    Again, we’re going to do everything we can to accommodate families. So if a day switch is important, we'll do everything we can to make that happen. There are some limits. So if we don't have a seat in a classroom because the classrooms are holding so many fewer students, we would have to work with that family to say “is it more important to switch the day, do you want to look at a different school?” So we have to work through that. Likewise, transportation. If there's a seat on the bus it's yours. If there is not a seat on the bus, that's a calculation you would have to make as a parent. But you know we're working really hard not to have rigid, hard, fast rules of who can go in at what time. We’re still in a pandemic and so we still have to try to have a little bit of grace, a little bit of flexibility to find a way to make this work for every family the best of the can. 

     

    8. How can a family opt out?

    So families can opt out by calling our enrollment office. That information is available on our website. They can also notify their school directly. I would really urge families though, we don't want to just surge the entire line, so be a little patient just like when we rolled out those computers. We have you know 30,000 plus families that are going to be making options here. And you can even do that again at those open houses where you check things out. Decide if this is for you and then right on site let us know, “yeah, I don't think this is for me. I'm going to stay home,” so we'll be working through all of that. That information is coming on a mailer to every home that has your days are you an A group or B group. It has your start and end times for your school it has your transportation if you're eligible and the information for opt in or opt out.

     

    9. A lot of families are concerned about uniforms because they haven't purchased them this year. Will uniforms be required as well will masks be required?

    Well I was about to say yay because uniforms will not be required, so I know students will like that. We still need our students to dress for school. So use the characteristics of the uniform, you know a school appropriate shirt and pants, but we're not going to say to families go spend money out there right now for uniforms for the few final weeks of school. Where it's maybe not a yay, it’s a yes, you will be wearing a mask. All of us will be wearing a mask. That is critically important still. You know we hope students will be bringing their own clean cloth masks, but we'll have them available if students need them.

     

    10. The district has done a great job with one to one when it comes to devices and computers. What's going to happen to those devices now that we're moving into hybrid?

    So moving to hybrid doesn't mean you don't need your device so they're going to stay in our homes. They're going to stay in our students hands. If you are in pre-k through 8 you're still going to have remote days and an asynchronous day two to three days a week and that's where you're going to still be interacting with teachers on your device, that150 minutes of contact time that kids are having right now. If you're in high school you're more likely to get all of your content in on the devices, even when you're at school and then you're going to have support personnel – English, math, science, social studies, other areas. And that's because high school students take such specialized courses that there's just not a great way to have you know an in-person experience for part of a class on a specific subject with your teacher. So keeping kids connected through the remote platform and then supporting them at school is going to be a much better strategy for us to help our high school students.

     

    11. Our graduating seniors are wondering what's going to happen with graduations this year. Will there be drive-throughs again or will they be in person?

    So graduation is dependent on health conditions, but health conditions are improving. So I've already directed our high schools to start preparing their in-person, socially distanced graduation ceremonies. They have to manage all the health rules but they can do them. I've also asked all of our high schools to create a remote option if there's a student or family that's just not going to come to in-person. That might be embedded in the ceremony on a screen that we can all watch or it might be a separate ceremony for those students, but we are hopeful that the health conditions remain positive and that we'll be having in-person socially distanced graduations.

     

    12. What will happen if a child or an administrator or educator gets sick at school?


    So we have all of the same safety protocols that we've actually been practicing from the very beginning. We have a COVID-19 hotline. It's our school nurses who are responding. Every school has a care room so if a student or adult starts to show any kind of symptoms that could be COVID related, we have a place to take them. If somebody is identified as sick, we have our own contract tracing protocols. We don't have to rely on the health department, we can we've been taught to do it ourselves so that we can find out quickly who should quarantine - you know is that a classroom, is that a whole school? I think it's unlikely based on what we've seen in other schools across the state, but we're prepared if it were to happen.

     

    13. This day has finally come. I know that a lot of people have been waiting. I mean it's been almost a year that we've been in remote learning, so what do you have to say to the staff and the students as we approach a new phase of this pandemic and this hybrid?

    You know a couple of things. One is, you know, we've in some ways settled into new routines and we forget how anxious we were when we had to start this in remote and so we're all anxious again we will get through this. We have been resilient this entire way. We will be graceful and flexible. We will move through this and we will, you know, get into a good rhythm with hybrid. As we go through this there's a bit of a pulling the band-aid off, right? And this is the same thing when we were starting remote and I remember teachers and students and parents saying “I can't do this. This won't work,” and it's working. So that's one. The other is you know, we're at the darkest before the dawn. So you know there's so much hope. The vaccines are here, they're working, they're effective. Ohio privileged them for educators and so you know, our educators are getting them and that gives us the hope that this may finally be over. And yet, it's not over and so we have to go through another one of these transitions and so there's a darkness before the dawn that I think we just have to all remind ourselves that we got this far together we will finish this together and it's going to be fine.

     

    14. The District has been vaccinating teachers and staff who will have be in contact with students when they come back into hybrid learning. So where does the District stand on the second dose of the vaccination?

    In the first dose round, we vaccinated over 5,700 people who are educators across Cleveland. Seventy-five-percent of our teachers and 77-percent of our principals got the vaccine. So we're really excited about that. The next round begins on March 10th. We have three weeks. March 10th, 11th, and 12th and then the 17th and 18th of the following week and then two days the week after. That's because we had a snow delay. Remember, we had that big snow and so vaccines didn't get here in time and they must be done four weeks apart but we're really excited by the high uptake particularly with teachers and principals and looking forward to getting the second dose behind us.

     

    15. Some students will be in hybrid and some students will stay in remote. For the students that stay in the remote, will they still have the same opportunities as those students who are in hybrid when it comes to special classes like art?

    So during this last quarter as we have kids in both hybrid and remote, every student should expect to get the same core instruction. They should still have four days of instruction per week with a certified teacher in their core contents. We will have to make some adjustments for art, music, physical education, and electives. We may have fewer of those opportunities in remote for this last quarter just as we rearrange staff, but we're also going to make up for those opportunities as we look toward the summer.

     

    16. A lot of parents are asking about will their child stay with the same teacher that they've had all school year. Is that still a possibility?

    This is an area of really high anxiety. I have to be honest there may be teacher changes when you're scheduling nearly half of your students to stay home and the other have to come to school. But our goal is to keep teachers and students connected and so first, stay with your teacher if that's possible. That's the goal. Second, if it's not, then we'll use some team teaching. So your class and my class become two classes together and I'll see my students part of the week and yours part of the week and vice versa so that there's still that contact. Third, if that doesn't work then we'll ask another teacher from our same school to join our team so that my students actually stay connected with my school. And fourth, and only finally would be to assign a new teacher from another school if necessary.

     

    17. Some children will not receive transportation services from the District because the district changed the requirements for students getting that service. why did the District do that?

    So COVID disrupted everything including school buses. School buses are designed for fifty kids. We can put fourteen kids on a bus. And those buses have to be cleaned and sanitized using a fogging sanitizer between every run. And so in order to accommodate the number of students that we can put on a bus, we did have to widen our walk zone to two miles. It is a temporary solution. The board was very clear when they made the decision that as soon as we can operate the buses at full capacity, we'll return to the one-mile walk zone. But, to accommodate that, we're also planning extra support for pick-up and drop-off for families who drop their children or walk their kids to school as well.

     

    18. We know that high schools are developing plans for in-person graduations and with some accommodations for remote if people are uncomfortable coming to that in-person, but what is going to happen with proms? I know students really want to attend their proms.

    Yeah, so proms are still really tricky because we're allowed to have people in a building at 25-percent capacity now, but they still have to practice masking and social distancing and there's no use of having a problem if we're dancing six feet apart, right? So, I think we've asked our schools to really think about what they might do like a senior celebration or some other equivalent event to really celebrate this milestone for our students. We're really trying to allow our schools to work with their students to figure out what works best too. Graduation though, we are really excited that they will be in person again 25-percent capacity indoors, but we have auditoriums across the school district, we have partnerships with churches and other faith communities where we can do these things we did ensure that every school will have a remote option either as part of the in-person program, maybe on a screen that we can Zoom people in or in a separate setting for those families who just can't attend in-person.

     

    19. Masks continue to be strongly encouraged while indoors and in buildings. So how is the District going to manage that when it comes to staff and students who may be exempt from wearing masks?

    Well, masks aren't encouraged, they're required. So anybody attending a CMSD facility will be required to wear a mask. Every student will be given three cloth masks to cycle throughout the week. When you arrive at a school, if you don't have a mask, we'll have paper masks for you. Those with a medical exemption and that could be because of a physical, mental issue or because of a cognitive issue like sensory around having something around your face, we do also have face shields that cover the nose and mouth. But that is a secondary support only after masking. So masking remains the primary safety tool.

     

    20. You've said that students have lost time in the classroom and that they may need some help to catch up. So how is the District going to handle promotions this year?

    So promotions are going to be something we're going to have to be really careful about because different kids are at different places. I think we're going to have to think very differently about the notion of you're in third grade or you're in fourth. we don't want to mass move kids forward when they're not ready, but we also know that there's a lot of research that's saying retention has really negative consequences. So I think we're going to have to think more about you know multi-age classrooms. Grouping kids more where they are moving them at their own pace, mid-year promotions and content things of that nature. All of those things are doable and we'll work through those in this last quarter of the year. I also think it's going to matter what kids and families interact with in the summer. And on April 1st, we plan to reveal a large array of programming options that will kick-off this summer to help recover that lost time. You said it really perfectly though, kids did not lose the ability to learn, they lost time for that learning. And so our goal is to provide extra ways for students to have that time both in the summer and as we move into fall.

     

    21. What about the third-grade reading guarantee, is that an exception for promotions when it comes to third grade?

    So the third-grade reading guarantee, the state of Ohio passed a law exempting it this year. So again, like last year, teachers with their principals will determine whether a student's reading proficiently to promote in reading. We already did that last year and actually that's what most of us as adults experienced where our teacher of record actually determined were we ready to move to fourth grade. So we're confident we can do that well.

     

    22. As for the graduation requirements, what will students face when it comes to that?

    Again, Ohio has exempted some of the graduation tests and other criteria that have been put in place over the last several years. So much like many of us as adults had, it'll be based on passing our courses and achieving our credits. And we know that some seniors may not be on track for their courses by the end of May, but graduation in Ohio is on time all the way through August 31st. And so we can encourage students who maybe didn't complete everything on time in May to keep working all the way through August 31st and still graduate as part of the class of 2021.

     

    23. Learning pods have been extremely helpful for those families that needed them during the remote learning and so now that we're moving to hybrid, will they still be open for families?

    The learning pods will continue. They will adjust obviously, but kids are still going to need a place to go on those hybrid days where they're in remote learning and if they were in a pod they'll still have that support in the pod. We're going to run them obviously through the month of March and then make adjustments over spring break based on how that needs shifts, but we do intend to continue the pods for the balance of the year.

     

    24. Some families are very happy that the children don't have to wear uniforms to school this year and you said that they have to wear school appropriate attire. So what exactly is school appropriate attire?

    So our uniform is essentially a pair of slacks and a polo shirt. We just need students to wear things that are appropriate for school. We don't want things that you wouldn't wear out in other public, professional kinds of spaces. Things you wouldn't wear to work for example, you know, we want students to wear clothing that appropriately covers all the right parts for school. Our dress code has really clear guidelines at high school about what high school students can wear. I would look to that for our younger kids as well. What we don't want is family spending money on a formal uniform when they could wear a pair of slacks, a polo shirt or even a t-shirt that doesn't have anything offensive printed on it and anything inflammatory. And we really rely on our parent and caregiver good judgment here great.

     

    25. For parents who are opting out of the hybrid learning model, can you explain the difference between remote learning and the virtual academy.

    Sure, so the remote learning is what we're experiencing now. It's a live teacher four days a week – Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, plus some asynchronous content all of those days, independent work. And then that Wednesday that's truly independent work. Just exactly what our students and families are experiencing now. The newer option, virtual academy, is an option where a student and parent can work truly at their own pace, at their own time, overnight, on the weekends. The classes are recorded. I can watch that recording over and over. I can interact with the teacher, but that teacher is not live in the space and so it is a much more self-directed for a student who you know, not ready to come back to school but really struggled in the structure of remote learning. This is an even less structured, more independent option. Virtual option - once you choose it, you need to finish the year in it. Remote and hybrid families we will continue to work with to find exactly the right fit for the remainder of the quarter.

     

    26. And to clear it up, if a parent chooses to opt out of hybrid but continue remote learning, but then they decide that they want to go to hybrid, they have that option and vice versa? A parent who starts out with hybrid can then go to back to remote if they need to?

    That's right. Hybrid and remote are not irrevocable. What I would hope is that families will start in hybrid, give it a shot, see how it goes. We want our kids back in school, but if they say “wow, this is really not working for me,” it's easier to pull the student back into remote learning than it is to push the student into hybrid. But if a family says “I'm not ready to come back” and then says “oh, that my son's peers are having a great time, maybe I should try it.” To a point we’re able, based on class sizes and availability based on transportation needs. We'll obviously accommodate that as well. This has been too stressful for all of us to put hard lines in the sand. So what we need is to know who to expect so that we can serve everyone well, but we also understand families are figuring this out just like we are.

     

    27. And if a student and a parent got in their mail or their class assignment and they were on an A schedule but they need to be on a B schedule, what can they do to switch that if possible?

    Yeah, so the A and B schedule will really depend on trying to get whole families on the same day, but again sometimes families have different last names, different guardians, and they want to make some changes for any number of reasons. Call the enrollment and choice hotline or go on our website and complete the online form and it will let you say I’m writing today because I’m requesting a change from A to B or vice versa. Again, we'll accommodate all of those to the extent practical. It is driven by the number of seats available in that child's class or in that child's school, remembering that you can't physically add more desks and keep them six feet apart. So we can't oversize classes like we might do in a typical world. So as long as we all approach this flexibly we will make every accommodation possible.

     

    28. Some children are eligible to ride the yellow bus maybe because of an IEP. Are their siblings able to ride that bus with them?

    So in general because of COVID, we can only put one child per seat every other seat. 14 children on a bus. The one exception is for siblings. So if your sibling can sit in the same seat with you, even if they would not ordinarily be eligible for transportation, then we will provide that transportation on yellow bus as well.

     

    29. Speaking of transportation, will families be able to track the school buses?

    Yep. We still have bus tracker this is for all of the district's yellow buses and it is a mobile app where people can see exactly where their bus is so that they can be out at that stop just in time. You can find that app at on our website at ClevelandMetroSchools.org/BusTracker

     

    30. When it comes to the older students who ride RTA, will they be able to get bus passes like they once did before COVID?

    We did not do bus passes this year because we didn't know when and how students would be transported. But what students will get is two day tickets or two ride tickets so they'll get a ticket home and a ticket to come back the next day. So it's a little bit old school like we did several years ago but it was an economic way to make sure kids have the transportation but that we're not spending money for passes that weren't going to be used.

     

    31. Some students as we know will be going to the hybrid model and some will be staying in remote by choice. A lot of families are wondering will the families that are remote receive the same curriculum that the students will be getting in hybrid?

    Yes. Our number one commitment is that our kids no matter whether they're hybrid learning or remote learning have four days of direct instruction from a classroom teacher with the same curriculum that they have been receiving. Wednesdays will stay asynchronous. Now, I do want to caution families though that the transition week when students are making this change, we will for everyone have additional asynchronous days because we have to adjust those student schedules, those staff schedules based on who shows up for hybrid who chooses to remain home.

     

    32. When it comes to specials like art, will both groups of students receive the same curriculum for that?

    So we will have to provide limited access to electives, art, music, physical education, things of that nature because we have to deploy those staff members to make sure everybody's having a core curriculum, but we will extend those opportunities both in school and out in remote learning to the extent we're able to do so keeping in mind that our core curriculum has to take priority.

     

    33. Now when it comes to meal distribution, Now that we're moving into hybrid, will families still be able to pick up lunches and breakfasts even though  they might be remote?

    Yeah, we're going to watch meal distribution carefully. The short answer is yes. We're going to keep providing meals for our kids and families even if they're remote. The bigger question is, is it still practical to do it at every single school site or is it practical for a smaller number of kids and families to do the weekly boxes that we're doing from our high schools? And we're going to monitor that in the first few days to see how many students we’re already feeding and sending food home for compared to how many are actually picking up a daily or weekly meal.

     

    34. So I keep saying this every time, you've always said that students haven't lost the ability to learn, they've just lost time because of COVID in the pandemic and some students may need a little bit of time to catch up because they just weren't able to grasp some of the material in remote learning. So what is the District's plan to help students catch up?

    Well we're working on a really robust plan that is age-appropriate across grade levels that has a wide array of opportunities for kids and families to select from. I would argue that everybody can benefit some additional time even if you're academically doing fine, the social emotional experience of being together so you will see weekend camps an evening programs and intercession courses compacted for you know, maybe one, two, three weeks where you get a course, maybe an extended opportunity for senior year if you didn't finish on time regular summer school, out of school time program providers, faith programs for people to go to after school tutoring at their church for example. You'll see a menu of options coming soon. Likely before April 1st that lets people know what those opportunities are for the summer. Then we also have to be focused on next year. The pandemic recovery is not a summer issue. It's how do we really redesign and provide a much more robust program as we move into fall as well.

     

    35. How will promotions be handled this year especially for students that might have fallen slightly behind?

    Promotions is another area where we really have to be much more aware of the individual child's current progress and needs. And so it may be that we have, you know, mixed aged classrooms where students are catching up on content so that they get to their grade level. It may be that we have quarterly or mid-year promotions, when students are able to move to the next grade. But we just have to avoid the kind of rigid “you passed” or “you failed” in a context where it just doesn't make sense anymore and that it's really more responsive to our kids needs and their current progress so that we can close these gaps caused by the lack of access to in-school learning.

     

    36. When it comes to the District's hybrid learning plan, safety obviously is top priority, but some people are concerned about the older buildings and the ventilation that it may have. What has the District done to make sure that the ventilation is up to code especially, during this pandemic.

    Yeah, we have 20 buildings that do not have modern HVAC systems in them. Those modern buildings, we put new filters in that meet the CDC standards. we are doing monitoring with handheld monitor scans where we can walk through and test classrooms at random to make sure that they're safe, but those older buildings we needed to do a little bit more. And so we purchased units called EnviroKlenz units. They are top-of-the-line. They're made here in Ohio actually and there's one in every classroom. And so you will see it visibly in the classroom. It's a white box it's about two by two, sits on the floor has kind of a little hum to it and that's the air purifier. We also have that company, the EnviroKlenz company actually doing a routine service monitoring to check the air quality in those rooms and we have a whole bunch of them in the warehouse. So if somebody says “boy, I think we should have two in this room,” we can drop ship it to the school and have it there the next day. We need people to not only be safe but also to feel safe and so the visibility you know unit there can let you know “yep this room is being treated specifically for its air quality because I'm in an older building.”

    And so those are just specifically in the older buildings and not the new ones?

    They're in our older buildings but if we have a problem in a newer building with a ventilation system we can certainly deploy them there as well.

     

    37. With the District's vaccination plan, a lot of the teachers already received their first dose and it's about time for the second dose. Where does it stand with that plan?

    Yep, 75-percent of our teachers got their first dose. Seventy-seven-percent of our principals. So really good turnout. We have begun round two. I've had mine and so we will through the next two, three weeks here in March get everybody their second dose and for people who didn't get that first dose and said “hey, maybe I want it after all,” we are working with the city to direct people to other centers to get their first dose of those vaccines as well so we are well on our way to being hashtag CMSD safe.

     

    38. Now that 75-percent of the faculty have received the vaccination, will this change the hybrid learning in any way?

    It really doesn't because hybrid learning is about putting all the safety protocols in, not just for staff but for students and for their families and caregivers. So our rooms are outfitted with six-feet apart desks can't be moved. You can't share supplies. You know corridors are marked directionally. There's hand sanitizer everywhere. Bathrooms, the stalls and sinks and stuff are separated so that they're six-feet apart. No air dryers. We don't want to blow air around, paper towels instead. Thermal checks when you come in the building either on your wrist or in your forehead, touchless but still, and I do it every time I go into. All of those safety precautions matter because while the adults the educators are vaccinated, for the most part the students and their families are not and we don't want our schools to become a spreading event that takes something home to a loved one.

     

    39. How long do you think that we'll have to do these safety precautions?

    Well you know that's really probably not for me to say, but you know certainly the rest of this year. The fourth quarter is going to be in hybrid learning. I would expect that much of our summer work is going to have to be some kind of socially distant smaller groups, more outdoor activities - which frankly is great, but hopefully by fall we're starting to see a return to some more normalcy as more and more adults in Ohio - is doing a great job, we're now at the 50 and above category - as more and more adults become immunized and safe. While children are not immunized, we limit the spread capacity and fortunately for most children, COVID has not had the same significant impact. So I think at that point you'll see a return to more normalcy, but I would also say, you know, our staff are back in schools now. I've been back in my office and visiting schools now. You quickly get a sense of normalcy by just seeing your friends, seeing your classmates, seeing your teachers and you quickly get accustomed to the structural changes. We're sitting six feet apart - we wouldn't have done that prior to COVID. So I would really urge people who are comfortable to give it a shot and see if you can find comfort there, you know because, you know we the urge to be with our friends is so important and we can do it now and we can do it safely.