New COVID-19 cases in Ohio remain high, weeks before many schools are set to reopen. The state department of health reported an increase of more than 1200 infections yesterday and an 11% increase in hospitalizations compared with last Monday. Yesterday, we asked four different local school leaders about their plans for reopening in the fall, and how they intended to keep students and staff safe. Those plans ranged from all-online learning to hybrid, to all in-person classes.
This hour, we've invited teachers to weigh in on those plans. We'll hear from teachers who are ready to go back and teach their students, they worry did not fare well with online learning. And we'll also hear from teachers who are scared for their own health, despite the safety measures districts have laid out to protect them.
To get a sense of how truly frightened some educators are, here's what one teacher wrote to us via email:
"I am a teacher in a local large urban district and I am terrified to do in-person teaching. Myself, along with other local educators I know have either created or updated our wills and other end of life paperwork. If our schools can't control bed bugs or lice how will they protect us AND our students against COVID? Social distancing doesn't exist in schools. Any in-person teaching while local cases are rising is irresponsible and deadly."
Some teachers we're going to include in today's show requested that we not use their full name or name their school because they fear losing their job. We've honored those requests.
Later in the hour, we'll also hear from parents on school reopening plans.
Linda, Educator in the area
Tamar Gray, Elementary Music Teacher, Cleveland Heights-University Heights School District
Sean Belveal, High School History Teacher at a charter school in Cleveland
Jameson Lowery, Kindergarten - 2nd Grade Teacher, Near West Intergenerational School
Patty Owens, Parent, Aurora City School District & University School
Jackie Bebenroth, Parent, Brecksville-Broadview Hts. School District