Governor DeWine on Thursday announced new guidance for resuming school in the fall.
“We know that each school system, and perhaps each school building, will likely look different in the fall. We also know that Ohio has a long history of local control and that school administrators and teachers know their schools best,” said Governor DeWine. “Working together and consulting with educators and other health officials, we have developed a set of guidelines, backed by science, that each school should follow when developing their reopening plans.”
The newly issued guidance report advises schools to vigilantly assess symptoms, wash and sanitize hands to prevent spread, thoroughly clean and sanitize the school environment to limit spread on shared surfaces, practice social distancing, and implement a face coverings policy.
“Just as we have done in the business sector with employees, we are requiring school staff to wear face coverings to reduce the spread of the virus, unless it is unsafe or when doing so could significantly interfere with the learning process. When face coverings aren’t practical, face shields may be considered,” said Governor DeWine. “We strongly recommend that students in 3rd grade and up wear face coverings as well.”
More details on the new school guidance will soon be available on coronavirus.ohio.gov.
To assist schools in their efforts to implement the guidance, the Ohio Department of Education has created a document titled, “The Reset and Restart Education Planning Guide for Ohio Schools and Districts,” which is designed to help teachers, principals, and administrators with solutions to safety challenges. The document provides resources and information for community decision-makers as they contemplate how to reopen safely.
The guidance announced today was developed in consultation with school superintendents, teachers, parents, the Ohio Federation of Teachers, Ohio Education Association, Ohio Association of Public School Employees, Buckeye Association of School Administrators, Ohio School Boards Association, Ohio Association of School Business Officials, Alliance for High Quality Education, and Ohio Association of Career Tech Education.
Governor DeWine today also committed to working with the Ohio General Assembly on a plan to ensure that federal CARES Act dollars are made available to Ohio’s school districts for unforeseen expenses associated with creating a safe environment.