Gahanna-Jefferson opts for remote learning to start school year

MARLA K. KUHLMAN
mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com
ThisWeek group

All Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools students will begin school remotely this fall.

Steve Barrett, district superintendent, notified families and staff in a letter sent Tuesday, July 28, that new information from Franklin County Public Health led to today’s decision to move to an all distance learning model for fall.

“The current time in education is challenging and ever changing,” Barrett wrote. “We continue to work closely with Franklin County Public Health officials to monitor our Return to Learn plans and our work to ensure all staff and students are safe.”

After receiving updated information Tuesday from Joe Mazzola, director of the health organization, Barrett said a decision was made to change from hybrid learning – a rotation of in-person and at-home learning – to all distance learning.

Families previously had options of hybrid learning and only remote learning.

Barrett said Franklin County Public Health officials are concerned about the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the community, high positivity rates in testing and the overall number of new cases.

“To return to school safely, even with social distancing and other health and safety measures, FCPH said it was important to see a significant decline in new cases over a four-week period,” Barrett said. “FCPH will update its guidance and recommendations when numbers decrease accordingly, and we will then determine if we are able to implement our hybrid model.”

Barrett said the district remains committed to developing and implementing a plan that focuses on health, safety and high-quality teaching and learning.

“We are unsure how athletics and extracurricular activities will be affected by this change, and when we know more we will share it with you,” he said.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla