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'I'm disappointed': Gov. Mike DeWine reacts to Cleveland schools delaying return of in-person learning

All CMSD students will remain in a remote learning environment for the week of March 1. The first phase of return will begin March 8.

CEDARVILLE, Ohio — On Thursday morning, Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) CEO Eric Gordon announced that students will have to wait an extra week before shifting to the recently released hybrid in-person learning schedule.  

All CMSD students will remain in a remote learning environment for the week of March 1 with Phase 1 students returning to the school the week of March 8, Phase 2 students returning to the school the week of March 15 and Phase 3 students returning to school the week of March 22.

Gordon's process for bringing CMSD back to some form of in-person learning has been under close watch by Gov. Mike DeWine, who criticized Cleveland and several other districts for not returning by his goal of March 1, despite staff members receiving first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as part of a signed agreement.

During his Thursday afternoon coronavirus briefing, DeWine responded to Gordon's decision to delay returning to in-person learning.

"We're not going to take the vaccine away. We made a commitment to teachers and other school personnel that we would give a second shot, so we're going to give a second shot. We're not going to go back on our commitment. But I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed by that," the governor stated.

Earlier this month, Gordon told 3News that the governor’s March 1 deadline simply wouldn’t work in Cleveland.

“What the governor wants is everyone back on day one. That would not work in a complicated system like ours,” said Gordon. “That’s why I’m using a phased-in approach that is meeting my commitment to get students back, but doing so in a way that makes sure students, families and educators have the support and transition that they need to be successful.”

Despite CMSD's decision to pull back one week, DeWine did say Thursday that he's looking at things at from a 'glass half-full' perspective as 95% of the state's students are expected to be back in the classrooms next week. 

"95% full is pretty good," he said.

You can watch Gov. Mike DeWine's Thursday briefing in the player below:

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