As Solon City School District contemplates an earlier in-person start for students, Beachwood City Schools will delay its in-person start of classes for students from Sept. 14 until Sept. 21.

Robert Hardis, Beachwood superintendent, said in his Sept. 6 weekly video update that all staff will return to buildings Sept. 14. During the week of Sept. 14, online learning will continue for students, he said.

“We are bringing all staff back to work physically, in our buildings, beginning Sept. 14,” Hardis said. “During the week of Sept. 14, online learning will continue for all students. We will use the next two weeks to continue collaborating with staff across all classifications, around our procedures and we’ll address any equipment, technology or supply issues raised by staff working now within the buildings.”

On Sept. 14, Beachwood schools opened a child care program for children of staff who live in districts that remain closed for online learning only. On Sept. 16, small groups of students and parents were invited to visit schools in timed intervals to learn about safety precautions and to see classrooms and meet staff. Beachwood schools began virtually Aug. 24.

Solon Superintendent Fred Bolden opened the Sept. 14 Solon schools board meeting with a discussion of the in-person back-to-school plan, referring to the Cuyahoga County Board of Health’s updated guidance to schools that was released that day.

He said the district would notify parents by Sept. 18 of in-person start dates. Solon schools began Aug. 26 for most students with virtual learning, and an initial plan to remain virtual for nine weeks, or until mid-October.

“This week I am meeting with my team, meeting with building leaders, I’m meeting with our teachers, our educational association, to compare this updated guidance to our original reopening plan to see if there’s any adjustments that need to be made, any tweaks that need to be made, so that we can execute on the plans that we made this summer to give parents a choice to return to in-person or to continue to opt out,” Bolden said. “It is our goal to have that return happen sooner than the end of the nine weeks.

“We can’t move on a dime,” Bolden said. “There’s a lot of things that have to happen from getting this document today to us having in-person learning.”

He said parents need to make decisions. Additionally, adjustments are needed to food service and transportation. And, about 30% of families have opted for virtual learning for their children through January, Bolden said, and he expects more may opt for that choice.

He said younger students will return sooner than older ones.

“Overall, our return to school plan remains unchanged,” Bolden said. “We’re going to let our families make the choice as to whether they can be in-person or not be in-person.”

One Solon school district office team member has tested positive for COVID-19, the district announced on its website Aug. 29.

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