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It's Worth It: School year ends with Worthington district looking to future

TRENT BOWERS
Trent Bowers

It's time to celebrate the end of another school year – one that we never could have imagined would end this way.

It all started back on March 24, when Worthington Schools transitioned from a brick-and-mortar school district to emergency remote learning nearly overnight.

It was not easy, but our community stepped up to the challenge. I am extremely proud of the work our students, families, community and staff did to make this school year a success. Thank you.

Although we would have preferred to gather together, Thomas Worthington and Worthington Kilbourne high schools celebrated the class of 2020 with virtual ceremonies May 24.

Congratulations to our graduates as they embark on their next stage in life. I continue to be impressed and amazed about how they handled a very difficult time. Their experience offers a unique perspective as they enter the adult world. I am confident they will be prepared.

Now we must turn to planning the next school year, and as of now, we have no real idea of what next year will hold.

We're planning to be prepared with three scenarios for learning by using Green, Yellow and Red models:

* Green: All students in school following strict hygiene protocols.

* Yellow: A 50% model, following state-mandated social-distancing guidelines.

* Red: Remote learning.

We are building these models so we are able to shift seamlessly from one to another, if needed. For instance, we could open the year on Yellow in August but be told we could go to Green in early October. Also, should we have an outbreak at one school building, it could move to Red while everyone else stays at Green or Yellow.

We have teams working on all three scenarios, and we will be ready to discuss them publicly with the school board and then the community this month.

We will continue to communicate our plans as we have more information.

We thank community members for working together to support our students and our schools.

Have a safe and enjoyable summer.

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