LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Starting Tuesday, all schools across Ohio are officially closed for at least three weeks trying to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
It’s part of Governor DeWine’s “extended spring break,” keeping children from potentially passing the virus to each other, increasing the risk that they bring it home to their families.
The empty hallways at Lakewood Catholic Academy make it seem like the school is on spring break, but the sound of teachers scrubbing toys and electric cleaning devices make it clear it’s part of coronavirus prevention.
“Any school leader and teacher knows that schools are often a petri dish of lots of germs, so we’re doing our best here at Lakewood Catholic Academy to combat that by cleaning,” said Lakewood Catholic Academy President Brian Sinchak.
The process already started early this week with teachers disinfecting their rooms and anything that students might touch inside them.
An additional machine is used by Academy staff to spray cleaning material on all surfaces. Sinchak says the material then spreads out to clean hard to reach areas on book shelves or play equipment.
“The new situation we find ourselves in demands that we take our cleaning to the next level,” said Sinchak.
The Lakewood Catholic Academy academic calendar shows that graduation is scheduled for June 3, meaning that the school has to get creative to reach it’s students while they can’t be in the building.
While students are out of school, Lakewood Catholic Academy is pre-recording a talk show from one of the now-empty classrooms with lessons to help keep students on track and to pass along the latest information from the school.
“We’re actually pre-recording all the videos today and tomorrow for the full three-week period,” said Sinchak. “And then we’re requesting some really fun and interesting ways of communicating back but it won’t be live at the same time.”
After Governor DeWine said he isn’t sure if schools will open again this school year, the plan at Lakewood Catholic Academy is to clean everything and seal it off until whenever students come back.