COLUMBUS, Ohio — State officials are working with school districts all over Ohio to prepare for the return of students in the classrooms this coming fall.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine made the announcement during his weekly coronavirus news conference alongside Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.
“We fully intend to have school in the fall. We have goals to have kids back in the classroom,” DeWine said.
According to DeWine, the actual date that school will resume in the fall rests solely on the shoulders of each one of Ohio’s more than 600 school districts.
“That is not something that we have any intention of impacting barring something that we don’t know is coming,” DeWine said.
Right now, DeWine said that his office is working with the districts to provide “broad guidelines in regard to health.”
DeWine noted that the needs of Ohio districts vary community to community and state officials aren’t sure yet where Ohio will be in a few months with the pandemic.
“We don’t know where this virus is going. And so, anything I say could be washed away by new facts, but the goal is to have kids back in the classroom.”
The governor said districts will have a great deal of flexibility and a lot of discretion will be left to individual communities.
“We will outline for the schools the broad parameters as far as health and what schools need to do to keep their kids as healthy as possible,” DeWine said.
DeWine said that the schools he has talked to so far are working on backup plans in case there is a second wave later this year or early next year.
“They have a fallback plan—what do they do if they no longer can be physically be in school,” DeWine said.