Ohio schools will stay closed through the rest of the school year, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Monday.
DeWine originally closed the schools starting at the end of March 16. He then extended the order, which was originally slated to end on April 3, to May 1. On Monday, he announced that schools would stay closed through the end of the school year.
“We’ve flattened the curve, but the virus remains. Also, to go back to school now with a relatively small amount of time left — many educators have expressed to me that this wouldn’t be a good idea even if the health situation was resolved,” DeWine said on Twitter. “We have to think about the risk to teachers, students, and our communities.”
DeWine said the administration is has not yet decided about whether school will resume in the fall.
“I know parents, teachers, and administrators are anxious about an answer about the fall, but we’re not in the position to make that decision yet,” DeWine said. “There is the possibility that we will have a blended system this fall — some distance learning as well as some in-person learning. That’s just a possibility and each school district is different.”
DeWine also expressed concern for children with special needs who are now home from school, such as those developmental needs, health challenges, limited access to the internet or those who do not have “supportive home lives.”
“As these decisions are made, we’re going to allow a great deal of flexibility within broad parameters for the local schools. What you find in one district is different from another district,” DeWine said. “I’m so impressed with everything our educators are doing to continue educating our kids in these difficult circumstances.”
Ohio currently has more than 12,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to the Ohio Department of Health. The death toll in the state is 491.
Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]