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Cleveland schools finishing up final week of phased-in return to buildings, as learning plans continue to shift

Emily Bamforth, Cleveland.com |

Cleveland schools began their final phase into hybrid instruction on Monday and the district is past its deadline for opting out of in-person learning. But the situation remains flexible.

Though the phases are nearly complete, the district is still adjusting plans, including assigning teachers, to respond to families’ needs. And it’s early for the district to tell how phasing in has affected attendance, as the first week under the full plan isn’t complete yet.

Of 34,300 students enrolled in buildings and the district’s Virtual Academy, 9,437 students chose to remain in remote learning or are attending the Virtual Academy, so about 27%. 

“Our families are still changing or shifting their decisions in the moment,” CEO Eric Gordon said. “We have committed to ourselves we’re not successful if 37,000 students have a generally positive response. We will be successful when 37,000 individual students each have a successful response. We’ve called our reopening a transition, and we’ve brought students back in phases … so that we can work these things through with our community.”

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