Eastwood High School

File photo. Eastwood High School.

PEMBERVILLE – Eastwood Elementary students will return to school for a full week starting March 1.

Superintendent Brent Welker made the announcement in a community email he sent out Monday.

Grades K-5 students have been in class four days a week since the start of school in August.

Bringing them back for a fifth day will not be that different, Welker said.

Also starting March 1,, students in grades 6-12 will return to school four days per week with Monday remaining an online day.

Welker said in his email the intention was to bring the upper grades back to five days a week after spring break on April 5.

Upper grades have been on a hybrid model this school year.

Welker said the decision was made due to the steady decline in coronavirus rates and the vaccinations staff will be getting on Friday.

“We feel very strongly that we can bring students back,” he said.

The biggest worry, he said, is about the reduced social distancing in the classrooms, buses and cafeterias.

“This is a risk, no doubt,” Welker said. “However, even at the worst part of the year, we still had 80% to 90% of our kids still being educated.”

The school board at its meeting Monday is expected to approve a resolution recalling Ohio Association of Public School Employees March 1.

Welker said that there was a partial reduction in force for 46 employees at the start of the school day. Many had hours cut by one day. About 40 will be coming back.

The return to school presents a hopeful note for the Class of 2021, he said.

Graduation may be in person, either inside or outside, Welker said.

“We want to have something in person for our kids,” he said. “Our kids deserve a graduation ceremony and we’re going to do everything we can to give it to them.”