The largest school district in the state of Ohio is preparing to welcome students back into the classroom after almost a year of virtual learning. CCS is ready to roll out their Blended Learning plan.
Not all students are coming back in this beginning phase of opening school doors. Columbus City School students in grades K-5 will enter school buildings first, along with K-12 students with special needs and those attending technical schools.
Schools have buckled down to prepare for students to return. Administrators across the city have made sure to take necessary steps to stay safe
“We’ve been preparing for this opportunity, next Monday, since last year, since we left pretty much,” said Principal Cheryl Jones talking about moving into blended learning.
Monday February 1st is the official start date for blended learning in the CCS district. There has been social distance stickers placed all throughout buildings, as well as dividers for each desk. There will also be special ways to keep students safe during lunch time.
“..it will give them hope besides just sitting there and, you know, at home, staring at a screen,” said Deborah Staples, a 20-year veteran kindergarten teacher who is ready to be back inside the classroom.
This blended learning style will be a hybrid approach with two days in person and three days at home. Students in grades K-3 will start in-person classes on the 1st, while 4th and 5th grade classes beginning the following week.
According to Columbus City Schools Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon, one reason why this wasn’t a district-wide return to the classroom was transportation.“We were able to get one student per seat on our buses,” Dixon explained. “As we work through it, we will hopefully be able to provide some additional spaces for additional students.”
Mayor Andrew Ginther is looking forward to getting students back in schools, “We know that kids learn better, have better experiences if they have options to do some in-person learning and so getting back to a blended learning environment is absolutely critical,” he said.
He’s supporting the district, saying it worked with all safety and health departments in planning its return.
Superintendent Dixon says, “We are ready to bring our kids back next week.”