Several Central Ohio school districts have announced students will have an all-virtual start to the 2020-21 school year.
Some districts still require approval from their boards of education for the learning format, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The districts’ announcements for an entirely online curriculum to begin the year follow Franklin County Public Health and Columbus Public Health authorities’ recently updated guidance and recommendations advising against a hybrid model, where students would engage in virtual and in-person learning.
Bexley City Schools
Bexley City Schools still requires approval from its board of education, according to its website. Superintendent Kimberly Pietsch Miller is presenting the final back to school plan to the board, and the plan includes completely in-person, online and hybrid in-person/online options.
Miller’s recommendation to the board is that Bexley starts 100% virtual for the first quarter, and offers distance learning from teachers for all students. For more information, visit the district’s website at bexleyschools.org.
Columbus City Schools
All students at Columbus City Schools will begin the school year learning remotely, the district announced July 28.
Superintendent/CEO Talisa Dixon announced students in all grades at least through the first quarter, or Oct. 27, will learn in a virtual format, according to the district’s website. CCS will continue to monitor public health conditions within its boundaries before determining when it is safe and practical to begin in-person learning experiences.
The first day of school is Sept. 8. More information is available at ccsoh.us/reopening.
Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools
Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools will officially start the 2020-21 school year with completely virtual learning, according to its website. The first day of school for students has also been moved to Aug. 24.
For more information, visit the district’s website at gahannaschools.org.
New Albany-Plain Local Schools
New Albany-Plain Local Schools requires approval from its board of education, according to its website. The district, led by Superintendent Michael L. Sawyers, will present updates to its responsible restart plan at an Aug. 3 meeting.
The plan recommends remote learning and a discontinuation of extracurricular activities. For more info, visit the district’s website at napls.us.
Upper Arlington Schools
Upper Arlington Schools requires approval on any plan from its board of education, according to its website. Its board will take action on an updated version of its responsible restart plan in a July 31 meeting. The plan consists of both in-person, virtual and hybrid options.
The school recommends enhanced distance learning until at least Sept. 18. For more info, visit the district’s website at uaschools.org.
Westerville City School District
Westerville City School District will officially start the 2020-21 school year with completely virtual learning, according to its website. In a letter sent to the district’s families, Superintendent John R. Kellogg explained all students will receive an online education for at least a semester.
Depending on conditions during the year, students not enrolled in Westerville Virtual Academy could have the ability to start a blended mix of in-person and online learning. Students enrolled in Westerville Virtual Academy must continue distance learning for the semester.
The district is also reverting back to Phase 1 restart standards for high school and middle school activities and sports, meaning students must work in groups of less than 10. For more info, visit the district’s website at westerville.k12.oh.us.
Whitehall City Schools
Whitehall City Schools will officially start the 2020-21 school year with completely virtual learning, according to its website. The district will keep providing distanced education through the first quarter until Oct. 23, and will then reassess how to move on at that point.
In a letter to Whitehall City Schools’ families, Superintendent Brian Hamler said he hopes the pandemic will be at a place where the district can introduce a hybrid model sometime during the year. For more info, visit the district’s website at whitehallcityschools.org.
This story will be updated.