January 29, 2021 -- Columbus City Schools prepares to welcome more than 26,000 students back into the classroom in a blended learning model on February 1.
The staff and principal at Stewart Alternative Elementary School are putting the final touches together to create a safe learning environment for students.
“I am extremely excited,” said principal Dewayne Davis. “My staff has been waiting for students to come in since the fall. We know we can make a bigger impact on our students when we have them in person in front of us.”
The new principal of Stewart Elementary, Dewayne Davis, will be meeting his students for the first time in person.
“So I am like a kid in a candy store anxious for the chance to meet my students in person,” said Davis.
In preparation for the first day of blended learning, Columbus Board of Education member Carol Beckerle toured the 147-year-old building, seeing the new guidelines and protocols put in place.
“To make the building successful and to meet all of the COVID and social distancing protocols and being a legacy building, my building team worked hand in hand with me all school year so we can make it work successfully. That is how we came up with eating in the gymnasium and moving out of the cafeteria to allow for social distancing spacing of six feet between every student.”
“This pandemic has thrown us all on our heels, and not surprisingly, our school communities have risen to the occasion,” said Columbus Board of Education member, Carol Beckerle. “I think rise up was entirely an appropriate theme for this year. I understand how different this is going to be from the normal mode of teaching. Seeing this in person has been incredibly reassuring.”
Individual desk dividers are placed in every classroom spaced 6-feet apart, and there is special messaging on the floors and walls, encouraging students to stay safe and keep six feet apart, as well as hand sanitizer placed in every classroom.
“I want to thank Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Columbus Public Health because they have provided us with the expertise and the assurance that it is safe, safe as it could possibly be to bring the children back in this hybrid form,” Davis.