State Releases Pandemic Guidelines For K-12 Schools

Jul 2, 2020

The Ohio Department of Education is unveiling statewide guidelines for how schools can reopen in the fall during the coronavirus pandemic with Gov. Mike DeWine saying the plan has the goal of bringing kids back to the classroom.

DeWine says the guidelines are made up of certain principles all with the purpose of keeping students and staff healthy while trying to bring kids back to in-person instruction.

Those principles are:

  • Assess student symptoms
  • Implement hand washing and sanitizing protocols
  • Thoroughly clean surfaces
  • Practice social distance
  • Develop face covering policies.

There are also more detailed requirements within those principles such as requiring hand sanitizer in areas that see a lot of foot traffic.

They do not give districts guidelines on how to balance digital and in-person learning.

DeWine says it's up to the schools to create the policies that fit these principles.

"So balancing local control, state interest in protecting our kids and making sure our kids get educated," says DeWine.

DeWine noted a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics that advocated for kids to return to schools because of the mental health impact of staying at home and being socially isolated.