Anticipated update of COVID-19 advisory pauses return to in-person learning for some local school districts

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CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio (WJW) — An anticipated update this week to the Ohio Public Health Advisory System is delaying the start of in-person classes for some students in Cuyahoga County but for others there is no anticipation to pivot from hybrid to remote learning.

“If it were to happen, if we were to go to purple this week I think we continue to remain in a hybrid model,” said Robert Hunt the superintendent at Chagrin Falls Exempted Village Schools.

An elevation to Level 4 or purple on the state’s health advisory system signals severe exposure and spread. Under that public emergency level it’s encouraged to only leave home for supplies and services. 

In nearby Orange Schools the superintendent announced a change of plans for the week. Although teachers will report to classroom to conduct remote instruction students remained home. Originally students were expected to begin in-person hybrid learning.

In a letter to parents, the superintendent explained the change and stated a transition to hybrid classes would mean a change in teachers for many elementary students. The letter stated “it would be a disservice to kids to make this change just to revert back to full remote instruction if we are at Level 4, purple.”

If there is no change to the state’s public health advisory system this week hybrid classes in Orange would begin next Monday.

Some parents say they do not regret choosing to home school this year after watching many districts switch plans for instruction.

“Yeah, it was a big decision, but he really enjoys it and we like doing it,” said Shaker Heights parent Bill Buehl-Reichard. “It’s become kind of a special time for us. So we’re really happy about it.”

Hunt said virus cases within the Chagrin Falls school district have remained low. Some students report to school buildings in the morning and others in the afternoon to limit the number of students inside at one time. When students are not present in the school building, he said they are learning remotely.

“We’ve had very few cases,” he said. “We got three student cases and one teacher that was positive. In terms of quarantine we’ve had approximately 30 kids along the way, but by and large our students and our community are doing a great job.”

The Orange superintendent did not respond to additional requests for comment.

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