Feb 15, 2021

Important Message Regarding the Transition to In-Person Learning 5 Days/Week

Important announcement image

Dear Pickerington family,

As you are aware, it has always been the plan of PLSD’s leadership team to return to the traditional 5-day per week, in-person learning model as soon as it was deemed safe for students and staff. We are happy to report that day is finally near and we have some important information to share with you!

The first round of COVID-19 vaccinations are scheduled for PLSD staff on February 26th, so this day will change to a virtual learning day for all students. The final shot of the staff vaccination cycle will be administered at the end of March. After staff vaccinations are completed, 5-day per week in-person learning will begin on April 5, upon return from Spring Break. Virtual Learning Academy students will remain in the VLA. We realize that an April 5 return date is later than some of our neighboring school districts, however, our safe return date has been directly dictated by the order with which vaccinations were made available to staff.

Additionally, we have been listening to your concerns regarding the imbalance between Cohort A versus Cohort B in-person learning days, which has occurred due to holidays and inclement weather. As a result, any Monday or Tuesday missed by Cohort A (from February 15th on) will be made up by requiring students to attend in-person classes on Wednesdays, beginning on March 3, and then on any subsequent Wednesday after that date, if applicable. This will occur up to a maximum of four days (if it happens before the full-time return of in-person learning 5 days per week for all students). Below is an example timeline to help clarify this rule:

  • If in-person classes were cancelled on Tuesday, February 16, Cohort A (Monday and Tuesday Cohort) would make up this in-person learning day on March 3.
  • If in-person classes were cancelled for a second time on the following Monday, February 22, Cohort A would be required to make up this in-person learning day on March 10.
  • If in-person classes were cancelled for a third time on Tuesday, February 23, Cohort A would be required to make up this in-person learning day on March 17.
  • If in-person classes were cancelled for a fourth time on Monday, March 1, Cohort A would be required to make up this in-person learning day on March 24.
  • If in-person classes were cancelled a fifth time on a Cohort A day, that day would not need to be made up.

The implementation of this new rule will begin on March 3 because we have ACT testing already scheduled for Wednesday, February 24. 

We are also very concerned about the number of failing students, especially in our high schools. To work to alleviate this problem, we have identified and will require these students to begin attending in-person classes on Wednesdays, in addition to their regular Cohort days, starting on Wednesday, February 24. Virtual Learning Academy students will remain in VLA.

Our administrative team has been working on the full 5-day per week learning transition plan, which will be presented to the community and the Board of Education at their February 22 meeting. At that meeting, we will also provide details on transportation, staffing and a robust summer school plan.

It is an exciting time as we remain #InThisTogether and work to safely transition back to our traditional school setting. While the “new normal” school environment will look different than it did before the COVID-19 pandemic, we are confident that when all students are back in their classrooms, the highest level of learning can and will be achieved. We ask for your continued support and patience as we work through the specifics involved with implementing this new phase.

With sincere thanks,

Dr. Chris Briggs
Superintendent