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Empty classrooms to start the school year for Columbus City Schools

Empty classrooms to start the school year for Columbus City Schools

Lori Schmidt

The Columbus City School District will start the school year with all-virtual learning and no in-person instruction, superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon announced Tuesday. 

“I know families will have lots of questions about what this means for their children. I know all employees will have questions, too,” conceded Dr. Dixon. “We are working around the clock to finalize details and logistics and to call upon our community partners to assist. As the largest public school district in Ohio, we have a lot of work to do and details to complete.” 

The first quarter of the school year, which is Sept. 8 through Oct. 27, will be fully remote, and CCS will work with public health officials before determining when it is appropriate to return to in-school learning models.

A letter to families went out shortly before a Tuesday afternoon press conference. Dr. Dixon said more information will follow from each student’s principal next month.

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“I know it will be difficult for students and families,” said Mayor Andrew Ginther, suggesting that they will ease that strain, pointing to a program the city recently unveiled that will provide a Chromebook for all CCS students through CARES Act funding. 

Dr. Dixon also said the school district will provide grab-and-go breakfast and lunch sites, new ways for students to reach out to teachers, counseling services, and additional training for teachers navigating the new environment. 

A decision on what this means for fall sports should be announced later this week, Dr. Dixon added. 

Today’s announcement was not without warning. Earlier this month, Dr. Dixon sent a notice to Columbus City School District staff saying health experts recommended the area see four straight weeks of decreasing COVID-19 cases before reopening, and for that reason, they were considering starting the school year Sept. 8 with a fully remote learning model. 

Visit the CCS website for more information.

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