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COVID-19 safety plans vary between Northeast Ohio school districts

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Posted at 10:43 PM, Jan 10, 2022

AKRON, Ohio — It’s pretty difficult to find a school board that isn’t talking about coronavirus right now.

During Akron Public School's board of education meeting on Monday, safety measures like masking were a big topic.

“We see the positive results because of it,” said Akron Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Ellen McWilliams-Woods. “We’ve been able to stay open, we’ve seen our absence rates in a realm that is manageable for us to keep schools open, and ultimately we want to keep our students and staff safe.”

During Monday’s meeting, district leaders talked about their current COVID-19 mitigation plans and explain they send potentially sick students home with at-home testing kits.

The district also said it is keeping a close eye on positive cases in its’ students and staff, and confirm it currently has 137 active student cases along with 79 staff cases.

“The bulk of our teachers will say they have COVID but don’t have symptoms and want to return to work; we have to tell them no they cannot return,” said Woods.

Current safety plans don't look the same in every school district, Cleveland Public Schools just returned to in-person learning on Monday after a virtual stint.

Ravenna City Schools just required its students to learn virtually for the next two weeks.

“Each district has to assess the data and look at the science,” said Ohio Education Association President Scott DiMauro.

Districts like Akron said it is monitoring the science relentlessly and explained that its plans could always change based on the data.

DiMauro added that the plans will only work if it is a joint effort between the involved impacted.

“We need every school board and every superintendent to work collaboratively with teachers and parents to make sure the conditions are right to keep learning happening in a safe manner for the benefit of all of our kids,” said DiMauro.

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