Remote learning extended into second quarter
CMSD NEWS BUREAU
With the threat of COVID-19 spiking in the area, CEO Eric Gordon has recommended that all District students remain in remote learning for the beginning of the second quarter.
The plan will stay in effect until at least winter break, which begins Dec. 21.
On Thursday, Cuyahoga County jumped to red, the second highest level of risk on the state advisory system. The CEO, working with the school board, also considered feedback from parents and caregivers and experts’ warnings of a possible surge in cases as cold weather sets in and people move indoors.
Gordon had been set to recommend that the District, during the quarter, phase in the voluntary return of students needing extra support, including students with disabilities and English learners who are struggling, seniors who are off track for graduation and career-tech students who need on-site training for certification. He also was going to allow the start of most winter sports, with competition restricted to teams within the District and no spectators admitted.
All of that could still happen but has been placed on hold while the District monitors public health trends. The CEO said health and safety remain the top priorities.
"I know our decision to operate in a fully remote learning environment in the first quarter was a dramatic shift for all of us, and I know it has not been easy for our students and families," Gordon said in video and email messages to families. "Still, I have witnessed every day the remarkable resilience of our school community, as CMSD has balanced its commitment to public safety with our commitment to deliver the best education possible for every child."
CMSD and other districts abruptly switched to remote learning in the spring when Gov. Michael DeWine ordered the closing of Ohio schools to help contain the coronavirus.
For CMSD, remote learning then stretched into the fall. The District has distributed thousands and devices of hotspots to ensure all students have devices and internet access in a city that was recently ranked as the worst connected in the nation.
Gordon said the District is working to eventually offer a hybrid of online and in-person instruction.
"Staying entirely remote was probably the single-most difficult decision I have made in my time as CEO," said Gordon, who was appointed to the position in 2011. "We need kids back in school. Families want them back in school."
For more information, go to ClevelandMetroSchools.org/ReopeningCMSD.