With Franklin County still red, Hilliard City Schools will open with remote learning Aug. 24

Neil Thompson
ThisWeek group
ThisWeek group

Hilliard City Schools students will start classes Monday, Aug. 24, in a remote-learning format, according to a plan announced by district leaders earlier this week.

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the Hilliard school board on Aug. 10 had approved a resolution to start the new academic year in a partially in-person hybrid mode if Franklin County improved to the orange Level 2 on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System on Thursday, Aug. 13, according to district spokeswoman Stacie Raterman.

However, if the county remained at Level 3 or dropped to Level 4 on Aug. 13, the district planned to start with its eLearning remote mode, she said.

As announced during Gov. Mike DeWine's Aug. 13 press conference, Franklin County remained at the red Level 3 on the scale, which rates the risk level of the coronavirus in every county.

“The Hilliard City School District Board of Education recognizes the need for parents, teachers and students to plan for the first week of school," said Superintendent John Marschhausen. "While the district’s leadership is eager to get students safely back in our classrooms, the prevalence of COVID-19 in Franklin County remains a concern.

"By opening in eLearning the first week of school, we provide certainty for planning purposes. We continue to analyze data and work with health partners to determine when we can safely shift to hybrid learning."

Ratherman said no further action by district leaders would be needed for classes to begin, but later this month, they will start determining the next learning mode based on the county’s weekly coronavirus rating.

“Starting on (Aug. 27), we will make a determination for the following week based on the Franklin County level each Thursday,” Raterman said Aug. 11. “So we would let parents know (on) the 27th what mode we will operate under on (Aug. 31).”

The school board's Aug. 10 resolution reflected the district’s revised Responsible Restart plan presented July 27 by Marschhausen in which the “all-in” in-person mode would occur only if Franklin County is at Level 1. The hybrid mode would be used in Level 2, and eLearning 2.0, the remote mode that previously had been proposed only for Level 4, applies to levels 3 and 4, based on the revised plan.

Also on Aug. 10, the school board also approved a resolution to allow sports to continue while following the Ohio High School Athletic Association and Ohio Department of Health’s recommendations, regardless of the district’s instructional mode.

Check ThisWeekNEWS.com/Hilliard for updates to this story.

nthompson@thisweeknews.com

@TWNeilThompson