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Columbus City Schools to Transition Students in Grades 6-12 to Blended Learning in March

Blended Learning Update

Visit our Blended Learning Hub for All Information


Dear CCS Community, 

I am pleased to inform you that we are ready to transition the remainder of our students back into their classrooms for blended learning beginning on March 15. Students in grades 6-12 will return to in-person learning with a phased-in plan:

  • March 15 - These grade levels will transition to a blended learning model, which means they will attend classes at school two days per week and at home three days per week. They will begin blended learning on March 15 and continue in this model in the weeks thereafter.
    • All students in grades 6, 11, and 12.
      • Cohort A will start on Monday, March 15, and Cohort B will start on Thursday, March 18.
  • March 22 - These grade levels will transition to a blended learning model, which means they will attend classes at school two days per week and at home three days per week. They will begin blended learning on March 22 and continue in this model in the weeks thereafter.
    • All students in grades 7, 8, 9, and 10.
      • Cohort A will start on Monday, March 22, and Cohort B will start on Thursday, March 25.

As we near the one-year anniversary of the onset of the COVID pandemic and the statewide closure of schools, we also find ourselves at a critical point in the year. Every day counts for our students, and getting them back in our classrooms is important for their academic and social-emotional development -- this is especially important for our seniors who are working towards graduation in the coming months.

These middle and high school students have been learning remotely since the fall, and I am glad we will be able to bring them back just as we were able to successfully transition student groups to blended learning earlier this month. 

We know that our transportation capacity has been a barrier up to this point. But through evaluation, planning, and partnerships we are able to address these challenges so that our students can return to their classrooms:

We conducted another needs assessment survey for families to “opt out” of yellow-bus transportation, freeing up more seats on more buses.

We are continually evaluating our ridership numbers and know that not all students who are routed for bus transportation are utilizing it. 

We are engaging partners to increase our capacity, efficiency, and options for students. One of the most important partnerships of late has been with our local non-public schools who rely on CCS for student transportation. We truly value and appreciate the collaboration from these school leaders as we have collectively determined ways in which we can get the greatest number of students in our city safely to and from school.

We have also recently partnered with COTA to use CARES Act funding to provide our high school students with passes to access transit services. At no cost to the students, these passes are supplemental and do not replace the yellow-bus transportation services that we offer. Students can use these transit passes for extracurricular activities, internships, other enrichment experiences, or to get to and from school if they prefer.

In short, we have been preparing for this transition for months to ensure that we are ready for ALL students to return on-site. Our school buildings are ready, meeting all of the health and safety protocols that are necessary for holding in-person classes during the pandemic. For more information on the indicators we are using to ensure school building readiness, please click here

As I have been doing for the past several weeks, I will be participating in our Virtual Family Engagement Super Sessions tonight (Thursday, Feb. 25) at 6:00 p.m. to talk directly with our families and answer questions or concerns. Please click here for more information.

In the meantime, please visit the Blended Learning Hub on our website for informational videos and FAQs. 

I cannot thank our teachers, principals, and staff enough for their ongoing efforts and support of our students. Their level of care and compassion has allowed us to successfully bring students back to their classrooms and start to reestablish our in-person school experience.

Thank you once again to our district community for your continued partnership, as we determine how best and most safely to educate our students.

Sincerely,

Talisa Dixon
Superintendent/CEO, Columbus City Schools

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Transition to Blended Learning Details

  • March 15 - These grade levels will transition to a blended learning model, which means they will attend classes at school two days per week and at home three days per week. They will begin blended learning on March 15 and continue in this model in the weeks thereafter.
    • All students in grades 6, 11, and 12.
      • Cohort A will start on Monday, March 15, and Cohort B will start on Thursday, March 18.
  • March 22 - These grade levels will transition to a blended learning model, which means they will attend classes at school two days per week and at home three days per week. They will begin blended learning on March 22 and continue in this model in the weeks thereafter.
    • All students in grades 7, 8, 9, and 10.
      • Cohort A will start on Monday, March 22, and Cohort B will start on Thursday, March 25.

CCS Digital Academy Registration

Registration has reopened for families who want to enroll their students in grades 6-12 in the CCS Digital Academy, a completely remote and self-paced learning option for students. As the District transitions to a blended learning model, all CCS Digital Academy students will remain in a completely remote learning environment.

For those families who are interested in the Digital Academy, we strongly encourage them to work with their building administrator and/or school counselor to review their student’s individual graduation plan to ensure credit alignment and a seamless curricular transition. There are limited course offerings at the middle and high school levels of the Digital Academy. A move to the Digital Academy, with approximately nine weeks remaining in the school year, may result in student scheduling, curriculum alignment, or graduation credit issues.

Students in grades 6-12 currently in the Digital Academy can withdraw and return to their home school for blended learning. Enrollment or withdrawal is open until March 11, 2021.

Visit your Parent Portal for information on how to register or withdraw. Click here for more information about the CCS Digital Academy.

Health and Safety Guidelines

Visit our Blended Learning Hub to learn more about the health and safety guidelines we have in place for blended learning, including brief videos about mask-wearing, hand washing, COVID-19 symptoms, social distancing, classroom set-up, and more. 

Face coverings are required of all students, employees, and visitors in our classrooms and school buildings. This follows the public health order from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) and The American Academy of Pediatrics guidance, recommending that all school-aged children wear face coverings in hospitals, schools, and across the community.

The order from ODH provides for exemptions for very specific reasons. For those families who believe that these exemptions are applicable to their children, the Mask Exemption Form can be accessed here. All mask exemption requests require a doctor’s recommendation/order.

Chromebooks and Technology

Students who are attending in a blended learning model are expected to bring their devices on the days they attend school in the building if the teacher requires it. Students are also expected to have their Chromebook fully charged before attending school each day.

Transportation

Individual bus stops, pick-up times, and drop-off times will be communicated to families prior to the start of blended learning. Families should expect to receive a postcard in the mail. Families will also be able to login to their Parent Portal to view their student’s pick-up and drop-off times.

Columbus City Schools is also partnering with COTA to use CARES Act funding to provide students in grades 9-12 with passes to access transit services. At no cost to the students, these passes are supplemental and do not replace the yellow-bus transportation services that we offer. Students can use these transit passes for extracurricular activities, internships, other enrichment experiences, or to get to and from school if they prefer. More details will be coming on this new resource for our high school students.

The Board of Education will consider legislation to approve the COTA partnership at its business meeting on Tuesday, March 2.

Learn More at Weekly Virtual Family Engagement Sessions

Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon participates in weekly Virtual Family Engagement "Super Sessions" each Thursday evening to hear questions and concerns directly from our families.

At these sessions, which begin at 6:00 p.m., she addresses specific topics related to how we are ready to safely open our school buildings to staff and students and show what blended learning looks like in Columbus City Schools. Click here for more information.

Learning Extension Centers (LECs)

Learning Extension Centers are still available throughout the city. Through partnerships with many of our city’s non-profit and faith-based organizations, LECs offer internet access for students to complete virtual assignments while also providing safe, educationally-conducive environments for students whose families may not have the resources at home. 

To make it easy for families to find the LEC closest to their home, we have created an interactive map at www.ccsoh.us/Page/8685.