Columbus City Schools, like every Ohio school system, has moved into an extended period of remote learning after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine extended statewide school closures though May 1.
A new distance-learning program for all grades and all students was scheduled to begin April 6 and be in use through at least May 1, Superintendent Talisa Dixon said in a districtwide letter sent to parents March 30.
The district recently began distributing information in several key areas, such as learning platforms, which will vary by grade level and subject, Dixon said. The district uses programs by Clever for students, teachers and staff to get personalized portals with a single sign-on to all of the district's digital resources.
Students were instructed about ways to connect with their teachers, principals and school support staff members via email, phone and video-conferencing chats, she wrote.
The district also instructed students on how to access their new intradistrict messaging system that may be used only for communication within the district's system.
The district will honor the scheduled spring break of April 10-17, with no required school activities during that time, Dixon wrote.
Officials also addressed internet access throughout the city for those who don't have reliable access at home, the letter said.
"Many of our school buildings have signal strengths that reach into the parking lot, while a number of community partners have stepped up to offer Wi-Fi services or access," Dixon wrote.
"To date we distributed 10,148 Chromebook computers for students who do not have access to a computer at home to complete assignments and interact with teachers," said Scott Wortman, a spokesman for CCS. "Each household is limited to one device, which must be returned when school reopens."
The district will continue to distribute breakfast and lunch from 15 meal sites, said Jacqueline Bryant, also a spokeswoman for the district.
"This will continue through the governor's extended order of May 1. It has yet to be determined if meal distributions will take place during the district's scheduled spring break."
"We understand there will be many questions, growing pains and unforeseen hiccups as our school district transitions into providing remote education," Dixon wrote. "I ask for families to be patient in this process and to partner with us in educating our community's students."