Groveport Madison Schools to resume blended learning model Jan. 25

Jack McLaughlin
ThisWeek
Garilee Ogden

Groveport Madison Schools will return to in-person learning Jan. 25, using a blended model that was in place earlier in the school year.  

Students who opted for the blended schedule will be split into two groups. The first will be in school Mondays and Tuesdays and will do remote learning on the following three days. The second group will do remote learning Monday through Wednesday with in-person classes on Thursdays and Fridays.  

District officials said this will allow buildings to be thoroughly cleaned on Wednesdays when no students are present. 

Students who chose to enroll in the Cruiser Digital Academy - the district’s full-time remote-learning option - will continue this throughout the remainder of the school year unless a return to fulltime in-person learning occurs.  

Superintendent Garilee Ogden said the decision for students to return to school buildings was made after discussions with local health officials and close monitoring of COVID-19 coronavirus trends in the district. 

“All superintendents in Franklin County meet with the (Franklin County) health department every Tuesday morning,” she said. “Also, we analyze data with Ohio State University and when we made the decision, there had been a four-week decrease in cases in the county.” 

Ogden said she met with health department representatives Jan. 19 “and there hasn’t been any increase in recent cases, either. This week has been stable.”  

Another reason for the return, she said, was Gov. Mike DeWine’s announcement that school staff members can begin receiving COVID-19 vaccinations Feb. 1.  

While these vaccinations will begin the week after students return, Ogden and district officials feel comfortable moving forward because of the decreased caseloads. “We’ve spent a lot of time with the data, and a lot of time talking to the [Franklin County] Health Department, so we feel comfortable having students back in the building.” 

Ogden has stressed the importance of in-school learning for students' academic and social development.  

“The risk of having children at home without the school connection is more than the risk of bringing them back,” she said. 

District officials believe a return to full-time in-person learning isn’t likely this school year; however, if it does happen, Cruiser Academy students will be given a choice to stay in that model or return to the classroom, Ogden said.  

“While we have pressure to get children back in school, we have to be really mindful of the families that want their children to stay home,” she said. “We want to accommodate both sorts. We understand there are parents who are still considering what’s best for their children and we want to give them a choice.”

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