Ohio drafts statewide plan for reopening schools

Other states are creating safety guidelines while suggesting districts leaders may have final say
By: | May 14, 2020
States are drafting guidance for school districts as officials try to reduce the potential for coronavirus outbreaks as students return to classrooms in the fall. (GettyImages.com/LWA)States are drafting guidance for school districts as officials try to reduce the potential for coronavirus outbreaks as students return to classrooms in the fall. (GettyImages.com/LWA)

Students would get temperatures checked every day at home, wear fear masks to school and sit at desks spaced six feet apart under a plan drafted by the state of Ohio to prevent coronavirus outbreaks when schools reopen in the fall, Cleveland.com reported.

Teachers would also wear masks, door handles and other high-touch school surfaces would be cleaned regularly, and visitors could be prohibited from schools, according to Cleveland.com, which published the state’s proposal.

The plan concedes that opening schools will likely lead to new infections. And it addresses how individual schools could be shut down and individuals quarantined if there is an illness or exposure, Cleveland.com reported.

In California, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said Wednesday that the state’s 1,000 districts will decide how they open—with logistical guidance from a state task force, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.


More from DA7 questions schools will have to answer to reopen in fall 2020


“I want to be clear: Opening will happen in a way where we place safety first,” Thurmond said, according to the newspaper. “We won’t ask any school to open their campus to students if we cannot point to data, and consultation from our health partners and workplace safety experts.”

Thurmond suggested that students may attend schools in morning and afternoon shifts, and that everyone may have to wear face masks. California Gov. Gavin Newsom has also suggested reopening schools in late July or early August to prevent further student learning loss, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Pennsylvania Education Secretary Pedro Rivera has said state officials will provide a range of safety and logistical options to help schools reopen in the fall, the Associated Press reported via KDKA-TV.

School districts will need increased financial resources to operate safely, Rivera said, according to the AP report.

Around the world, meanwhile, schools are reopening with a range of safety precautions, including plastic barriers, staggered attendance and plenty of hand sanitizer, Reuters reported.


DA’s coronavirus page offers complete coverage of the impacts on K-12.