It's Worth It: March heralds return to 'all-in' instruction, State of the Schools highlights

Trent Bowers
Guest columnist

It’s hard to believe, but the month of March marks one year since our world changed due to the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

My sincerest hope is that you and your family have remained safe during these times. I want to thank you for your patience and support as we all navigated the uncertainty of the past year together.

Trent Bowers is superintendent of Worthington Schools.

March is turning out to be a big month for local schools and our community.

On March 22, Worthington Schools will transition to the "all-in" instruction mode. We made the decision to move from hybrid learning to "all in" based on several factors, including the timing of teachers receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and the data that shows we are seeing a significant decline in infection numbers week after week.

Schools have proven to be safe places with low infection rates. This finding supports the benefits of using multiple mitigation strategies, including masks, social distancing, enhanced cleaning and sanitation practices and hand washing as a means of preventing spread in schools.

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We are thrilled to welcome students back to a more normal schedule, but we must remain vigilant in making sure all safety protocols remain in place. Students still will be required to wear masks, will be encouraged to double-mask and will maintain a minimum of 3 feet of social distance in classroom settings and 6 feet during lunch times.

Following these guidelines will help to make sure our students remain "all in."

By March 22, it will have been more than a year since all students were in our school buildings. It’s simply time for that to change, as we know our students and families need the routine of school and the academic and social benefits that daily school attendance provides.

This will be another large transition for our schools, students and families in a year in which each transition has been difficult. Hopefully, this is the last transition we make and we will continue in this learning mode for the remainder of the school year and beyond.

Finally, despite all the challenges of the school year, quality learning and meaningful experiences still are happening.

I invite you to learn more by watching our virtual State of the Schools on March 15 on the Worthington Schools’ Facebook page and YouTube channel.

I am confident that you will be as impressed as I am by the amazing stories of our students and staff. Together, we are truly empowering a community of learners who will change the world.

Trent Bowers is superintendent of Worthington Schools. Write to him at tbowers@wscloud.org.