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Cleveland schools CEO recommends remote learning should continue through February

'It is important to keep in mind that when we are finally able to return to in-person learning, school will not be the same as it was before the pandemic.'

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: Video at the top of this story was originally published on Jan. 14, 2021.

Students in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District remain in a remote learning plan amid ongoing COVID-19 concerns.

Hope of the vaccine's distribution, however, could mean the district begins hybrid learning in the weeks ahead – but that decision is still pending the current status of the pandemic.

Eric Gordon, the district’s CEO, announced details of the school’s updated plan in a video message on Friday. His recommendation is to continue a remote learning environment through -- at least -- the end of February.

“While Gov. DeWine had originally hoped that vaccines would begin to be available for school district employees today, it appears more likely that these vaccines will not be widely available until mid to late February,” Eric Gordon, the district’s CEO. “The delay in vaccine availability, combined with the three-to-four-week period between the two required vaccine doses, means it is unlikely our CMSD employees will have received the full dose of vaccines until some time in March.”

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He also noted that Cuyahoga County remains at “red” level 3 risk in the state’s COVID-19 alert system.

“For now, however, the risk of infection remains very high,” he continued. “I am therefore recommending that CMSD continue in a remote learning environment for most students for the first half of the third quarter from Monday, Jan. 25 through Friday, Feb. 26. While we must all take precautions to keep our students, their parents, caregivers and our educators safe at this time, the prospects of vaccines becoming available during the month of February gives me hope that we will soon begin the move to hybrid learning for our students and families who choose to return to in-person instruction.”

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Gordon said the district will soon begin notifying families of the hybrid learning options that will be available.

“It is important to keep in mind that when we are finally able to return to in-person learning, school will not be the same as it was before the pandemic,” he said. “For the safety of all, each of us will be required to wear a mask at all times and adhere to strict social distancing standards.”

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