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Cleveland schools CEO: 'We won't be able to resume schools as normal this fall'

Eric Gordon says CMSD is developing scenarios including a hybrid model of both online and in-person learning.

CLEVELAND — Gov. Mike DeWine released the state's much-anticipated guidelines for K-12 schools to reopen this fall amid concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The guidelines range from vigilantly assessing symptoms, to social distancing, to implementing a facial coverings policy. 

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Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) CEO Eric Gordon recorded a video response to DeWine's guidelines on Thursday afternoon and made it clear that things will not be back to the way they were before the start of the coronavirus right away. 

"As we anticipated, the requirements all schools must follow include strict social distancing and health safeguards that will make it extremely difficult to operate schools as we did in the past," Gordon stated. "While we won't be able to resume schools as normal this fall, we do have an opportunity to intentionally design a school plan that protects health and safety and that is also more fair, just, and equitable to Cleveland's kids."

Gordon said CMSD is developing several scenarios that can serve the varying needs of the students. 

  • An online learning environment for all
  • A hybrid model that would include virtual and in-person learning, with students alternating between the two options.
  • A largely in-person, in-school operation for most students.

Because health conditions could change by the fall, Gordon believes CMSD will need to be prepared to shift between the scenarios throughout the school year. 

"While it is clear that this fall won't look like last fall, this moment does give us an opportunity to provide students more personalized, project-based experiences that promote mastery of concepts as the focus," Gordon added. 

You can see Gordon's entire statement below. 

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