COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Children attending Columbus city schools, Ohio’s largest district, will take classes virtually at least through October, city officials announced Tuesday.
The district had considered a blended approach involving online and in-person learning for students through middle school, but worsening public health conditions led to the decision to go completely virtual, said Superintendent Talisa Dixon.
Franklin County, home to Columbus, has some of the highest numbers of positive COVID-19 tests in Ohio. Even before Gov. Mike DeWine issued his statewide mask order, the county was under its own mandate for mask-wearing in public.
Under the plan, school will begin Sept. 8 — at least two weeks later than normal — and students will learn virtually at least through the first quarter, ending Oct. 27. Students can take online classes through their school or enroll in a Columbus-run digital academy.
The city would have to see at least four weeks of declining coronavirus cases before a return to school could be recommended, said Dr. Mysheika Roberts, the city’s public health commissioner.
Cases in Ohio remain high, with 1,104 reported Monday, marking a seven-day daily case average of 1,287.