Some Cuyahoga County schools proceed with in-person instruction plan

Coronavirus

BRECKSVILLE, Ohio (WJW) – In opposition to a Cuyahoga County Board of Health recommendation for schools to begin the year with remote learning, several school districts are announcing plans for in-person classroom instruction.

“I think our board was choosing to listen to our community,” said Brecksville-Broadview Heights City School District Superintendent Joelle Magyar. “Our community had some feelings about wanting to get kids back in school.”

Magyar say she was “a little surprised” by the school board’s decision; however, she stated a recent parent survey revealed about 80 percent want their children back in school. She said if Cuyahoga County remained red on the state’s coronavirus map, students would return to classes in a hybrid model.

“According to our current plan students last name A-L will come on Monday and Tuesday. There will be a cleaning day on Wednesday and kids whose last name starts with M-Z will come full days on Thursday and Friday,” she explained.

The district’s nearly 3,700 students would learn remotely on the other days of the week.  

At Independence Local Schools, the district is planning for its more than 1,000 students to return to in-person classes five days a week. 

“We’re blessed that we’re small. We have adequate facility space and a healthy staff student ratio,” said Superintendent Ben Hegedish.

The estimated ratio is 15 students per one teacher but Hegedish says those numbers could change. He says parents will decide between all remote or in-person classes for their children by this Friday.

“There’s risk no matter what. I opened our board meeting last night saying there are consequences to kids not coming to school. There are consequences of coming to school and potential virus exposure,” said Hegedish.

According to Magyar, the district received federal funding to help with reopening schools; however, she says more money is needed.

“So far for the CARES Act we’ve received $224,000. We’ve used much of that money to support the technology needs to support a hybrid and or remote learning situation,” said Magyar.

Both superintendents stated if the county was elevated to the color purple –the highest level– on the state’s coronavirus map, instruction would pivot to online learning. 

“We’ve also currently built into our calendar a mandatory remote learning period between Thanksgiving and the holiday break and we did this as a proactive measure,” she said.

Hegedish said the district received around $75,000 of CARES Act funding; they also allocated that to technology needs.

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