Gov. DeWine Unveils New Guidelines for Schools Reopening in the Fall

 

Gov. Mike DeWine announced Thursday new guidelines schools will follow when they open up again in the fall.

According to the guidelines, schools will have to 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.

“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,” DeWine said. “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.”

DeWine said school staff members must wear face coverings to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. The only time staff members don’t have to wear face coverings is if it impacts the learning process. Also, DeWine recommends students in 3rd grade and up wear face coverings.

The governor also said he is going to work with the Ohio General Assembly to make sure that CARES Act money can help school districts that experience unanticipated costs with these new policies.

To help schools implement these changes, the Ohio Department of Education has created a document designed to help “teachers, principals, and administrators with solutions to safety challenges,” according to DeWine’s press release. This document specifies specific resources and information for “community decision-makers as they contemplate how to reopen safely.”

These guidelines were made with the input of 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.

Ohio’s return to school plan comes on the heels of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which is an organization that represents 67,000 pediatricians, recommending last week that children return to school this fall.

“Schools are fundamental to child and adolescent development and well-being and provide our children and adolescents with academic instruction, social and emotional skills, safety, reliable nutrition, physical/speech and mental health therapy, and opportunities for physical activity, among other benefits,” the AAP recommendations say.

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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Star News Digital Media. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected] Follow Zachery on Twitter @zacheryschmidt2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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