Ohio Gov. MIke DeWine
ohio gov dewine

Ohio is closing all schools in the state

March 13, 2020
Gov. Mike DeWine has announced that all schools in the state — public, private and charter — will close at the end of the day Monday until at least April 3.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has announced that all schools in the state — public, private and charter — will close at the end of the day Monday until at least April 3.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the decision come as state health officials banned gatherings of more than 100 people

“We thought long and hard about that, and we understand the sacrifice this is going to entail, but this is the best medical advice we can get from people who study viruses,” DeWine said.

A fifth Ohioan tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. The confirmed five cases are expected to double within six days, DeWine said.

“Every action every one of us takes is going to save lives,” Acton said.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paola DeMaria spoke with educators Thursday  to provide detail and clarity following the school-closing order.

“We anticipate continued cooperation as we transition to this period of suspended in-person activity as seamlessly as possible,” DeMaria said in a statement. “We are especially grateful to schools that have proactively developed plans to keep learning going even if school buildings aren’t open.”

For now, classes are  set to resume April 3, but local districts will decide themselves exactly how to proceed.

Columbus City Schools, the state’s largest district with more than 50,000 students, was one of several area districts that announced prior to DeWine’s order that they would close starting Monday.

The Ohio Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, released a statement in support of DeWine’s decision.

“Although we have not yet seen the official order, OEA understands the sacrifice this is going to entail for all Ohioans, but agrees this is the best action at this time,” president Scott DiMauro said.

Some districts were caught off-guard by DeWine’s order of an “extended spring break.”

“This was unexpected news and we have no other details,” the Groveport Madison school district posted on its Twitter page. “We will follow up as soon as we have more information.”

New Albany-Plain schools spokesman Patrick Gallaway said the district already was preparing for the “unprecedented situation” so that student instruction continues at home.

“We will prep with staff early next week to be able to execute our plans for instruction,” he said.

Beyond academics, some school district officials have expressed concerns regarding student access to both the internet and food during an extended closure. Elsewhere in the country, closed schools have resorted to providing kids free meals via pickup or delivery.

For example, all Columbus students receive free breakfast and lunch every day.

Earlier this week, the Ohio Department of Education had asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue offering free and reduced-price meals to low-income students should schools close, spokeswoman Mandy Minick said.

About the Author

Mike Kennedy | Senior Editor

Mike Kennedy, senior editor, has written for AS&U on a wide range of educational issues since 1999.

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