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Shaker Heights Teachers' Association recommends all classes be conducted remotely through at least January

The district currently plans to begin the school year this fall with at least some in-person classes.
Credit: Shaker Heights City Schools

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — Several politicians (including President Donald Trump) have pushed for getting kids back in classrooms as soon as possible this fall even with the coronavirus pandemic still raging. However, not everyone is convinced the environment will be safe.

The Shaker Heights Teachers' Association made their thoughts on the matter plainly clear Tuesday, announcing they will recommend all classes at the district be conducted remotely through at least the end of January 2021. The union cited several reasons for its position, notably the rise in COVID-19 cases both statewide and nationally as well as a seemingly large amount of "unknowns" still lingering.

"Should we start in January, we will have [also] missed the worst onset of flu and will have established online learning as the norm, making hybridized classes and a virtual academy manageable and of high quality," the SHTA executive board wrote.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended schools return to at least some form of in-person classes this fall, although it recognizes the situation is fluid. Gov. Mike DeWine has given similar guidelines for Ohio schools, but stresses each district must do what is best for them within reason.

The final decision regarding Shaker Heights will be left to the district and the board of education. So far, the plan is for an in-person and remote "hybrid" system, but it is unknown of the SHTA's latest announcement will change that.

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