By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Madison Schools students will return to in-person classes the week of Jan. 25.
District officials said the decision to return to in-person classroom instruction is based on available information and ongoing communications with Franklin County Public Health.
The district had been in a 100 percent remote online learning model since Nov. 18 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
When in-person classroom instruction begins the week of Jan. 25, the district will implement its blended learning model. This model consists of students being split into two separate groups attending school two days per week and receiving online instruction three days per week. Under this model, half the students would be in the buildings simultaneously (approximately 15 students per classroom), which enables six foot social distancing to be in place.
According to district officials, in-person classes for students on the Group A (green) schedule will begin the blended learning model on Jan. 25. In-person classes for students on the Group B (blue) schedule will begin the blended learning model on Jan. 28.
Masks are required for all K-12 students and staff. Safe health practices and continual cleaning and disinfecting will be in place and group activities will be limited. District officials said an important reminder is that, unless your child has a written medical exemption on file, face masks are required to be worn at all times by all students and staff, and everyone must follow posted social distancing guidelines.
According to a press release from the district, “Our students’ and staff’s safety is our greatest concern, never more so than when we’re all dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.”
District officials will continue to work with Franklin County Public Health officials. Numerous health and safety protocols are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while students are in schools or participating in activities.
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Bond issue plans put on hold
The Groveport Madison Board of Education and district administration officials decided as of now not to pursue placing a bond issue on the ballot this year to fund new schools.
The Ohio Facilities Construction Commission recently notified district officials that Groveport Madison has moved high on the list for eligibility for state matching funds to build new schools.
However, Groveport Madison Communications Director Jeff Warner said the board and administration officials feel that – because of the current state of the economy, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the fact the district’s master building plan would have to be updated and community forums held for public input – that now is not the right time to pursue a bond issue.
“It’s too important of an issue to rush it,” said Warner.
New Chromebooks for students
The board approved the purchase of 1,000 Dell Chromebook computers at a cost of $326,000. The computers will replace outdated models and be distributed in the 2021-22 school year to grades 6-9. The board also approved the purchase of 500 Dell Chromebook computers for students in first grade for $140,500.