Message from CEO Eric S. Gordon
March 30, 2020
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
Today, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio’s schools will remain closed through May 1st. My team and I have been anticipating the possibility of a longer-term closure and have been working on plans for how to best serve our students and their families during this difficult time.
In recently passed legislation, the Ohio General Assembly called upon all Ohio schools to “continue to provide ways to keep students actively engaged in learning opportunities” during this closure period. CMSD is prepared to continue to provide hardcopy packages of grade-appropriate materials in reading, math, science and social studies throughout the duration of this closure. For now, we will continue to distribute these at our 22 meal sites and on our website.
However, at the point that social distancing measures become more relaxed, as they ultimately will, we will also look to expand pickup points for these materials. And we are currently exploring the potential of mailing these materials to our students’ homes as well.
Each of our schools will supplement these core instructional materials with many other enrichment opportunities and engagements as well. We recognize that each home and family has a different level of digital and remote connectivity, and we’re sensitive to the unique needs of our students with disabilities, our English language learners, and our foster and homeless youth. Together with the Cleveland Teachers Union, we plan to ensure that each of our scholars stays in touch with their school’s educators through the means that best work for each scholar.
Examples of these contacts might include telephone calls, FaceTime or Skype calls, Webex or Zoom class meeting opportunities, Classroom Dojo connections, shared digital learning spaces like Slack or Google Hangout or Microsoft Teams, and more formal online class opportunities like those offered to our Advanced Placement students through the College Board.
Again, what will be important during this time is to identify the level of remote connectivity each student and family has so that our schools can provide the best supports possible through that connectivity, all focused on providing multiple ways for CMSD students to remain actively engaged in learning opportunities during this closure period.
I know that our students and families also have many questions about what this longer-term closure of schools means for things like grade advancement, high school credit accumulation, grade-point averages and much more. I am working closely with officials from the Ohio Department of Education to advocate for the best interests of Cleveland’s kids and families and to ensure that I have full information about state guidance on these critical issues. I remain committed to providing regular updates as I receive answers to these questions.
For now, every CMSD student and family can help by ensuring that our students are staying home and safe, continuing to remain academically engaged in the content and resources available to them and remaining in contact with their teachers and schools so that when we are able to resume more typical school functions, we will all be ready to thrive!
Please visit the CMSD website often to keep up to date with all of the information and resources available to Cleveland’s kids and families.
Eric S. Gordon
Chief Executive Officer