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Pickerington Schools investigating elementary principal’s social media posts

/ HR, Ohio

WBNS |

Pickerington Local School District confirmed to 10TV they are investigating posts shared on the personal social media page of Fairfield Elementary Principal Ruth Stickel. The posts are critical of Black Lives Matter and political in nature.

“The district is aware of the posts on Principal Stickel’s personal social media page and is investigating the matter. The issue will be addressed in accordance with board policy regarding the use of social media as a representative of the school district (7540.04A) and the PLSD Administrative Handbook.”

“While these posts and/or comments were not on my personal timeline, I did make comments on other posts that others may see as offensive, and for that I am sorry and take responsibility. In no way do any of these reflect my feelings toward the students or the Pickerington community.”

This is the second social media incident involving the district recently. An assistant principal in the Pickerington Local School District had her promotion to principal rescinded after a social media post on her personal Facebook page showed profane language critical of police.

Urbana City School District officials investigating after student was allegedly told her hair was ‘distracting’

/ Ohio, social-justice

Journal-News |

The incident in question involves a 5-year-old student who alleges that the principal at Urbana Elementary School told her “that from here on out she is no longer allowed to wear her hair like this because it’s a distraction.” She said she was told to keep it up in a “ponytail or braided up.”

Delaware schools seeking renewal levy for operations

/ finance-funding, levy, Ohio

Columbus Dispatch |

The original 11.73-mill levy approved by voters in 2010 would continue to collect about $9.4 million annually, and “therefore represents no increase in taxes for our residents,” according to the district.

Columbus City Schools Will Bring Some Students Back Into Classrooms In October

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

WOSU |

The majority of high school students will remain completely online, even after the end of the first quarter. Meanwhile, lower grades will start returning in phases:

  • October 19: Pre-K through 3rd grade, and Career and Technical Education students
  • October 26: 4th and 5th grade
  • November 2: 6th, 7th and 8th grade

The district’s remote-learning plan originally had all grades learning from home until at least October 27. But since that was announced in July, Franklin County has dropped from a “red” level three public health emergency to an “orange” level two under Ohio’s Public Health Advisory System.

Under the new hybrid model, most Columbus students will attend in-person classes two days a week and learn online from home the other three.

Bringing Back the Neediest Students First: Cleveland Considers Joining Emerging Trend

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

The 74 Million |

District CEO Eric Gordon said he and his staff are debating limiting in-person learning to elementary students and those with special needs if schools are able to shift Nov. 9 to a “hybrid” plan — a mix of in-person and online classes. Whether any in-person classes resume, or if lessons remain online for the second quarter of the school year, depends on the city and county’s COVID-19 case counts over the next few weeks.

High school students would keep taking classes online under that plan, which is similar to how districts in the Chicago, San Antonio and Seattle areas are phasing in a return to school.

Ohio Ranked One of the Safest States in America for Schools to Reopen

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

CityBeat |

Personal finance website WalletHub (aka the curator of many rankings and reports unrelated to finance) has named Ohio one of America’s top 10 safest states for schools to reopen

Metrics involved in the ranking system included two main categories: risk of COVID-19 infection and health and financial infrastructure. Each contained 15 subsections related to their category including child COVID-19 cases per 100,000 children; public mask usage; average public school class size; share of children living in crowded housing; comprehensive school reopening guidance and student-to-school-nurse ratio.

Ohio came in at No. 7, just after Rhode Island at No. 6 and ahead of New Jersey at No. 8. The safest state for schools to reopen is Vermont, according to the study, and the least safe state is Mississippi.

ODE Awards Purple Star Schools for Demonstrating Commitment to Military Families

/ Alexa Flash Briefing, Ohio

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria today announced that 37 Ohio schools will receive the Purple Star Award this school year. The award recognizes a school’s demonstrated commitment to serving students and families connected to the United States armed forces and Ohio National Guard.

Full press release available from the Ohio Department of Education.

Dayton Public approves phased return-to-school plan

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Dayton Daily News |

A small number of Dayton Public Schools high school students in certain career-tech and arts classes would begin limited in-person work starting this Thursday. If that goes well, a second group, including English as a second language students and special education students in self-contained classrooms, would return Oct. 15.

Then starting Nov. 9, the vast majority of students would be on a hybrid plan where they attend school in-person two days per week and continue working remotely the other days.

“I just really believe we need to starting seeing our kids face-to-face,” Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli told the school board on Saturday.

Over 150 quarantined after positive virus tests in Perrysburg Schools

/ coronavirus, Ohio

Toledo Blade |

Some 152 students and five staff members have been quarantined after three students tested positive for coronavirus in the Perrysburg School District on Friday.

The incident marks the third positive case to appear in a Perrysburg elementary school in the six weeks since the district returned to the classroom. The district has over 5,700 students.

Despite COVID-19 pandemic, Gahanna-Jefferson to ask voters for new high school

/ finance-funding, levy, Ohio

Columbus Dispatch |

The Gahanna-Jefferson school district hopes to receive enough “yes” votes on a three-pronged tax request on Nov. 3 to build a new high school, expand several other buildings and bolster its operating budget. Those leading a committee in support of Issue 22 say that waiting isn’t an option.

The total 10.69 mills sought would cost school district residents an additional $374 per year for every $100,000 in assessed property value.

It’s expected that 800 additional students will move into the district by 2025, and numbers will continue rising due to home construction in the area, according to an enrollment study.

Judge agrees to change of venue in school mask lawsuit

/ coronavirus, legal, Ohio

Toledo Blade

A lawsuit challenging the state of Ohio’s insistence upon mask-wearing in K-12 schools this academic year has been moved to Franklin County Common Pleas Court against the objections of those who filed it. The case was originally filed Sept. 9 in Putnam County Common Pleas Court because of extenuating circumstances involving one of the parents named in it.

The lawsuit was filed against interim Ohio Department of Health Director Lance Himes. It claims his statewide directive infringed upon the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs, which consist of numerous northwest Ohio parents from Lucas, Putnam, Fulton, and Wood counties, as well as Warren, and Franklin counties.

Their complaint calls for an immediate halt to the mask order for all K-12 students.

Ohio schools ask state supreme court to support armed personnel

/ frontpage, legal, Ohio, school safety

Ohio Capital Journal |

Arguing for their right to arm school personnel, 17 schools from 11 counties in Ohio asked the Ohio Supreme Court to allow them to continue using firearms as an option for student safety. Four of the schools came from Shelby County, two each represented Hardin and Montgomery counties, and one district each from Tuscarawas, Williams, Adams, Morgan, Noble, Coshocton and Portage counties were listed on a brief to the court.

The schools are asking for the state’s highest court to reverse an appeals court decision that said state law did not allow boards of education to allow armed personnel without training on the same level as police and security officers.

(more…)

Legislators pushing for education funding before end of general assembly

/ finance-funding, legislation, Ohio

Ohio Capital Journal |

House representatives are moving forward with legislation they say will finally address concerns about the state’s K-12 funding formula, the topic of a decades-old decision by the Ohio Supreme Court.

State Rep. John Patterson, D-Jefferson, says House Bill 305 is moving forward with “tweaks” and other suggestions made by school districts and state education officials, and he says Speaker Bob Cupp, R-Lima, is committed to bringing the bill to the floor before the end of this year’s House business.

With Senate Bill 358, state Sens. Teresa Fedor, D-Toledo, and Nathan Manning, R-North Ridgeville, hope to continue the same easing of testing that took place in the spring. Despite the fact that the state doesn’t expect a waiver of federal testing, Lehner said the committee is attempting to work on the impact that testing has on the state’s schools. In doing so, Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, mentioned a possible strategy of not asking for a waiver of federal testing, but a waiver “to remove the accountability piece” from the tests. The only obstacle in that strategy is the requirement from federal education officials that the state still “differentiate” schools in terms of performance, for example.

2020 Champion of School Breakfast Awards

/ food-nutrition, Ohio

Schools were selected for their innovative and collaborative school breakfast practices, including their commitment to increasing school breakfast participation and empowering students to make healthy choices.

Click here for the 2020 Champion of Breakfast Award announcement, and click each school link below to view individual success stories.

The School Breakfast Program is a federal child nutrition program administered by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

OHSAA comments on COVID-19 mask policy at sporting events

/ coronavirus, Ohio, sports

WSYX/WTTE |

This year getting to play on the field can’t be taken for granted. “There are states around us who don’t have this opportunity,” said Doug Ute, the Executive Director of the Ohio High School Athletic Association. But in order for the plays to continue, he says rules must be followed.

“If they don’t follow the rules we could become a place to spread the virus through our events, and we don’t want to do that because that would shut down our contests… shutdown our children’s opportunity to compete in sports,” he said.

“If we have fans that do not choose to follow that order then they need to be asked to put your mask on or please, it’s time you can’t stay and watch your loved one participate,” said Ute.

Ohio Supreme Court justices dismiss school choice lawsuit

/ EdChoice, legal, Ohio, voucher

WSYX/WTTE Columbus |

The Ohio Supreme Court dismissed Citizens for Community Values v DeWine, a legal challenge to legislation freezing EdChoice scholarship enrollment passed in January 2020.

The suit, Citizens for Community Values vs. DeWine et al., was meant to preserve the rights of thousands of Ohio schoolchildren in poorer-performing school districts to choose their preferred school and have the tuition subsidized by their home district, up to $4,650 – $6,000 per student. However, in the 2020-2021 school year, the number of schools deemed “poor” on the state report card more than doubled, from 517 in 2019 to more than 1,200 in the current year.

Public schools were in uproar over the potential budget hit, including many that had not previously been required to participate in EdChoice.

In late January, the Ohio legislature and Governor passed Senate Bill 120 to “freeze” the program at just 517 eligible schools — but did not include “emergency” language in the bill. As such, the freeze should not have legally taken effect until April or May, according to Citizens for Community Values, and EdChoice applications and processing should have begun as expected on February 1st. However, the Ohio Department of Education did not process any applications.

“ODE is violating the law by refusing to receive, process, and award EdChoice Scholarships,” the lawsuit stated, asking for an order from the Supreme Court to spur ODE to act.

Later in the spring an emergency coronavirus relief bill HB 197, accomplishing much the same on EdChoice as SB 120, was passed and signed into law.

On Thursday, the Ohio Supreme Court found that due to HB 197 the Citizens for Community Values’ point was no longer relevant and dismissed the lawsuit.

Read the full court opinion.

City, Dayton schools partner to increase police ranks

/ curriculum, Ohio

Dayton Daily News |

The criminal justice program is taught out of Ponitz Career Technology Center, next door to the police department’s West Patrol Operations Division.

Students start with a class on the American criminal justice and advance to courses on police work in practice, investigations and forensics and security and protective services. In their senior year they will learn about the corrections system and services and homeland security, according to Superintendent Lolli.

The criminal justice program is taught by Dayton police Officer Leatha Savage, who also focuses on recruitment initiatives for the department. Less than 10% of Dayton’s police officers are people of color, even though the city is nearly 40% Black, according to city data and Census estimates.

Ohio reports weekly increase of 394 coronavirus cases in K-12 schools

/ coronavirus, frontpage, Ohio

Cleveland.com |

Based on cleveland.com analysis, statewide last week there were 157 new cases in students and 91 new staff cases for Sept. 7 through Sept. 13.

To-date, there are 466 student and 273 staff cases reported at schools through the state’s dashboard. Some school districts include cumulative data from before Sept. 7, when a mandate went into place guiding school reporting.

There are 325 districts or schools with at least one report to date, out of Ohio’s 610 districts.

Sixteen Ohio Schools Receive National Blue Ribbon Honors

/ Alexa Flash Briefing, Ohio

16 Ohio schools were named as National Blue Ribbon Schools  for 2020. Schools in each state are recognized as high performing based on all student scores, student subgroup scores, and graduation rates (if applicable).  

This year’s school’s being recognized are:

Avon Middle School (Avon Local);
Buckeye Woods Elementary School (South-Western City);
Central Elementary School (Logan-Hocking Local);
Constellation Schools: Westpark Community Elementary (Constellation Schools);
Crosby Elementary School (Southwest Local);
C.O. Harrison Elementary School (Oak Hills Local);
Eastwood Elementary School (Eastwood Local);
Evanston Academy Elementary School (Cincinnati Public Schools);
Holy Trinity School (Diocese of Cleveland);
Rocky River High School (Rocky River City);
Saint Paul School (Diocese of Columbus);
Solon Middle School (Solon City);
South Elementary School (New Philadelphia City);
Spencerville Elementary School (Spencerville Local);
Tyler Run Elementary School (Olentangy Local);
West Boulevard Elementary School (Boardman Local);

MCS Football parent arrested during middle school game – mask non-compliance leads to arrest after refusing to leave

/ coronavirus, Ohio, school safety, sports

Marietta Times and WCMH Columbus |

A Marietta City Schools parent was detained and arrested following noncompliance with state mask mandates during an eighth-grade football game at Logan Wednesday evening according to MCS Athletic Director Cody Venderlic.

In a statement, the Logan-Hocking Local School District identified the woman as a fan of the opposing team. The opponent in the game was Marietta.

In a news release Monday morning, Logan police identified the woman as Alicia Kitts and the officer as School Resource Officer Chris Smith. The statement asserts that Kitts was not tased for failing to wear a mask but for failing for comply with Smith’s request that she leave.

This morning, Logan schools were placed on lockout after receiving threats district-wide, according to superintendent Monte Bainter. Law enforcement is investigating, and it is believed the threats are related to the incident at the game.

2 Rootstown school board members resign amid racial controversy involving high school football team

/ Ohio, social-justice

WKYC |

The fallout over the resignation of Rootstown High School’s football coach continued Monday night at a heated school board meeting, during which the board accepted the abrupt resignations of two board members.

Criticism and pressure from the community have intensified for the resignations of board members and Superintendent Andrew Hawkins over decisions that led to the resignation of football coach Troy Spiker. Hawkins oversaw the reinstatement of a white football player who was kicked off the team for alleged repeated use of racial slurs. Spiker, who had levied the discipline of the player only to see it reversed, quit in frustration after just two games.

Should Cleveland schools return to normal after the pandemic? CEO says no: 2020 state of the schools

/ edreform, leadership, Ohio, re-opening schools

Cleveland.com |

In his tenth State of the Schools address, CEO Eric Gordon described the pandemic as an opportunity to make learning more individualized, unpinning learning milestones from strict timeframes and instead supporting individual students to learn in completion, even if it takes extra time.

Columbus teachers union pulls endorsement of board member James Ragland over school choice

/ leadership, Ohio

Columbus Dispatch |

Can a member of a public school board work for a group that advocates for private and charter schools?

It’s a simmering issue that recently boiled up for Columbus City Schools teachers and board member James Ragland. Ragland is the director of provider outreach for School Choice Ohio, a nonprofit group that informs Ohio families about the educational options available for their children, including private and charter schools.

The Columbus Education Association, the district’s teachers union, recently rescinded its endorsement of Ragland and took a vote of “no confidence” in his ability to serve the district, it announced Monday.

Arbitrator sides with University of Akron in layoff of nearly 100 union faculty

/ Higher Ed, HR, Ohio

Cleveland.com |

An arbitrator on Friday sided with the University of Akron administration in its decision to eliminate the positions of nearly 100 unionized faculty as part of the university’s cost-saving measures due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The ruling by arbitrator Jack Buettner came Friday afternoon, and stated that UA was within its rights to lay off the faculty under the “force majeure” clause in its contract with the Akron chapter of the American Association of University Professors.

Read the Arbitration Decision and Award.

35 missing Northeast Ohio children recovered during month-long operation; 5 remain unaccounted for

/ Ohio

WOIO |

Of the 35 missing and endangered children between the ages of 13 and 18 recovered during Operation Safety Net, just over 20% of them were tied to human trafficking.

The children recovered were located in areas that include Cleveland, Akron, Mansfield, Columbus, and Miami, Fla.
Initially, 40 cases of missing children were referred to the operation. Only five cases remain open.

Because of the success of Operation Safety Net, the U.S. Marshal for the Northern District of Ohio has established a permanent Missing Child unit, which will serve 40 counties in Northern Ohio to focus on missing, abused, and trafficking youth.

How Does Remote Learning Work if Students Can’t Even Get Online?

/ Ohio, remote learning, tech

The 74 Million |

Cleveland now ranks as the worst connected big city in the nation, newly-released U.S. Census data show, even as the need for online learning has skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Almost 31 percent of Cleveland households have no internet access at home at all, not even through cell phones, according to new 2019 American Community Survey data released late last week by the Census Bureau. That’s the greatest percentage of all cities with 100,000 or more households. Rankings from a year earlier placed Cleveland as fourth among the worst connected large cities.

Growing Up Poor In America – in places like Ohio

/ health/wellness, Ohio, social-justice

FRONTLINE |

Hear from Shawn, 13 of The Plains (southeast Ohio), Kyah, 14 of Columbus, and Laikyen, 12 of Marietta in the Frontline documentary, “Growing Up Poor in America.” As the country also reckons with issues of race and racism, the children share their worries and hopes about their futures.

The documentary follows these three Ohio children and their families as the COVID-19 pandemic amplifies their struggle to stay afloat.

Through the eyes of children – “Growing Up Poor in America,” premiered September 8th, 2020 on PBS.

Ohio’s Appalachian Region Was Already Losing Child Care Providers. Then the Pandemic Hit.

/ early-learning, Ohio

Eye on Ohio – Ohio Center for Journalism |

Ohio, like many places across the country, didn’t have enough child care options before coronavirus struck. The problem is more acute in the state’s rural areas, where parents have to travel further and the number of licensed centers – predominantly run by women – has steadily declined for more than a decade, according to state data obtained by The Fuller Project.

The pandemic is rapidly accelerating closures, widening a child care gap in a region where more than a quarter of all children under 12 live in poverty, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Appalachian Ohio has yet to rebound from the economic blows dealt by the Great Recession and the opioid epidemic, which obliterated an already depressed workforce.

Oregon students going back to classroom

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Toledo Blade |

In a written statement, district Superintendent Hal Gregory said students in grades K-6 will return to in-person education under a hybrid model for two weeks beginning Oct. 5.

Students in grades 7-12 will return to school for two weeks beginning Oct. 19.

OHSAA releases football playoff regions: several CPS schools not participating

/ Ohio, sports

Cincinnati Enquirer |

The Ohio High School Athletic Association has announced new regional alignments for the upcoming football playoffs after 664 schools opted in for the postseason. In a normal season, 224 schools qualify for the playoffs, with eight schools from each of 28 regions earning a bid through the OHSAA’s Harbin computer ratings system, which will not be used this season.

Protesters call for Rootstown superintendent’s resignation over handling of alleged racial issue

/ leadership, Ohio

WKYC |

A group gathered outside the high school Friday night demanding Superintendent Andrew Hawkins resign after he overturned the head football coach’s discipline decision. Coach Troy Spiker had suspended a player who reportedly used racial slurs toward his teammates, but when Hawkins reinstated the player, Spiker himself resigned in protest.

Rootstown Local School District is located between Akron and Youngstown with roughly 1,100 students.

Even if Ohio schools reopen, thousands of students in online ‘academies’ won’t return

/ Ohio, re-opening schools, remote learning

Columbus Dispatch |

Across 16 central Ohio districts, 18% of the students — or about 37,000 of more than 202,000 — won’t return to physical classrooms this semester, regardless of whether schools say that they are allowed to come back, according to data provided by the districts earlier this month.

Kids in “academies,” a separate learning track from other district students, are committed to fully online learning for a set period, typically a semester or an entire school year. Formats can vary significantly among districts. Some, such as Pickerington’s, are operated completely in-house. Others rely on third-party, for-profit vendors that provide an online curriculum and, in some cases, additional teaching personnel to support students, with costs based on student enrollment.

Rates of participation in schools’ online academies run the gamut, from just 5% of students in Bexley and Grandview Heights to 8% in Worthington to 30% in New Albany, 32% in Dublin and Reynoldsburg and 45% in Licking Heights. Columbus City Schools, the state’s largest district, with about 50,000 students, has 7% of students participating in its academy.

Union sues Oregon City Schools over staff reductions

/ HR, legal, Ohio

Toledo Blade |

The Ohio Association of Public School Employees and 26 Oregon City Schools employees contend in the lawsuit filed Friday in Lucas County Common Pleas Court that the reductions were not financially necessary and that the school board acted illegally by making the cuts during a meeting that violated state transparency laws.

Dublin educators’ T-shirts ignite controversy, conversations about racism

/ HR, Ohio, social-justice

Columbus Dispatch |

The T-shirts in question, which Dublin Scioto Principal Bob Scott, assistant Principal Leanndra Yates and social studies teacher Scott Marple wore on Sept. 10, featured the phrases “science is real,” “black lives matter,” “no human is illegal,” “love is love,” “women’s rights are human rights” and “kindness is everything” in a rainbow of fonts.

The trio tweeted a photo using the school’s Twitter account, welcoming students back to school after weeks of online learning. The image has since been deleted.

On Monday, Dublin City Schools Superintendent Todd Hoadley sent an email to all employees that didn’t directly reference the shirts but advised the staff that “political activities” don’t contribute to a positive learning environment and are not appropriate in school. He cited a 2002 school board policy on “controversial issues” and a 2007 administrative guideline on political involvement.

The Columbus Dispatch article continues with reaction from the community and Dublin students. See below.

TPS returning to in-person schooling on hybrid model

/ Big8, Ohio, re-opening schools

Toledo Blade |

After being notified that the rate of coronavirus infection has receded in Lucas County, Toledo Public Schools officials announced plans Thursday to reopen its doors for in-person instruction.

The district rolled out a plan in which all students in preschool through second grade will return to in-person instruction on Oct. 12 and students in grades three through 12 on Oct. 26. The return will be on a hybrid model – partly in-person and partly online.

Court awards funds to three Ohio school districts

/ Big8, finance-funding, legal, Ohio

Toledo Blade and WDTN Dayton |

Judge Gina R. Russo of the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas ruled on Sept. 10 that the Toledo, Cleveland, and Dayton school districts were unlawfully deprived of funding by ODE.

The underpayment to the districts stems from ODE’s decision in 2005 to substitute a funding methodology that differed from the one specified by state law.

Broadband education grants awarded, give rural districts extra boost

/ grants, Ohio, tech

Columbus Dispatch |

Tom Davis, president of the Appalachian Children’s Coalition, the advocacy organization that lobbied the state to waive the match requirement, said broadband is just one of the many chronic, generational challenges that southeastern Ohio faces.

The state awarded $7.2 million in grants to the 24 Appalachian counties served by the coalition; that’s 14% of the total funding for a region that has only 10% of the state’s population, according to data from the education department.

“That’s really significant,” Davis said, especially for a region as poverty-stricken and underserved as southeastern Ohio is.

1 in 6 Ohio districts ask to add extra seating for sports

/ Ohio, sports

Wilmington News-Journal – Associated Press |

About one in six Ohio school districts asked the state for permission to add additional spectators for fall sporting events, exceeding the limits set by Gov. Mike DeWine in last month’s sports order, records show.

The Health Department approved all requests quickly, often the same day it received them, although some local departments reduced districts’ requests before they went to the state for approval, according to district requests and the state’s responses, obtained by The Associated Press through the open records law.

New statewide scholarship program seeks to recognize Ohio high school students for contributions to STEM innovation, entrepreneurship

/ Ohio, STEM-STEAM

Highland County Press |

The Believe in Ohio program this week announced the launch of a new statewide scholarship program that seeks to recognize Ohio high school students for their contributions to innovation and entrepreneurship in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The program also introduces applicants to Choose Ohio First, an Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) scholarship program for students in STEM fields.

OHSAA doesn’t expect any changes to the upcoming winter sports seasons at this time

/ Ohio, sports

WCPO |

The Ohio High School Athletic Association said Thursday afternoon it doesn’t expect any plans to change the start of the winter sports season during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it will continue a dialogue with the Ohio governor’s office and Ohio Department of Health.

Last week, OHSAA executive director Doug Ute told a statewide media group that the OHSAA planned to go ahead with its winter season starting on time unless told otherwise by the governor’s office or health department.

Ohio schools COVID-19 data available

/ coronavirus, Ohio

Ohio Department of Health |

The data is from Sept. 7 to Sept. 13, though some districts may have chosen to include cases from before that date, according to the state’s website. The data might be confusing for those who have seen cases announced in their district, but then do not see the numbers on the state website.

The report reflects new and cumulative COVID-19 cases reported to schools by parents/guardians and staff. Schools are required to report cases to their assigned Local Health Department who then report to the Ohio Department of Health.

(more…)

Dayton area school districts work on challenging attendance rates

/ Ohio, remote learning

WKEF/WRGT |

Several school districts in the Miami Valley are reporting low attendance numbers, especially those in remote learning.

At Trotwood-Madison school district, superintendent Dr. Reva Cosby said her tenth-grade attendance is struggling the most at about 78 percent so far.

Rural Ohio school district telehealth project could be blueprint for region

/ health/wellness, Ohio, rural-ed, tech

Farm and Dairy |

A long commute is an inconvenience. But when you’re one of two behavioral health counselors for Switzerland of Ohio Local School District, with eight buildings spread across 536 square miles, it’s more than an inconvenience. It’s a serious hindrance to your work.

This year, the district has been the site for a telehealth pilot project that could be replicated by other school districts across the state. The project is increasing broadband infrastructure and other equipment and facilities so that counselors can meet with students in different buildings, virtually.

Lydia Brodegard, director of special education for Ohio Valley Educational Service Center, said the district is the largest geographical district in Ohio, covering all of Monroe County and parts of Belmont and Noble counties.

The project is connected to the Ohio Broadband Strategy and is a $1 million effort funded by Ohio Medicaid.

Child abuse reporting numbers fell, but now on the increase as school resumes

/ health/wellness, Ohio

Reporting of child abuse fell in Ohio as COVID kept kids from school

Columbus Dispatch |

The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services received 78,706 reports of child abuse and neglect from March to August, down from 99,303 reports last year during the same time period.

“That’s not because child abuse and neglect was no longer happening,” said Lindsay Williams, executive director of the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund. “It was because children were no longer seeing teachers, school personnel, day care providers, coaches and those individuals that are ‘mandated reporters’ and would typically make those observations that would be indicators of potential concern and reporting those concerns.”

Child Abuse Calls Nearing Pre-Pandemic Levels As Schools Restart

WOSU |

Whenever students return from summer break, social workers expect to see increased reports of possible child abuse. And this year some counties are approaching pre-pandemic levels already.

Law gives legal immunity to schools, health care, businesses

/ law, legislation, Ohio

Dayton Daily News |

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday signed House Bill 606 into law, which shields individuals, schools, health care providers, businesses and other entities from civil lawsuits so long as they were not acting recklessly or showing intentional misconduct.

Ohio school report cards available with limited data

/ assessment, Ohio, SW Ohio

School report cards out have limited data

Dayton Daily News |

The report cards from the Ohio Department of Education will contain only a handful of the normal data points because spring 2020 state tests in English, math, science and social studies were canceled after mid-March coronavirus-related school closures.

“While schools have less information available than in years past, we still emphasize the importance of gauging where students are in terms of academic achievement and using available district data to (improve) instruction,” said Paolo DeMaria, Ohio’s superintendent of public instruction.

The main data categories that will be available are graduation rates and high school “prepared for success” measures, since that information is reported on a one-year lag, according to ODE.

Ohio releases state report cards (sort of)

Cincinnati Enquirer and Columbus Dispatch |

While much of the local data that was available was fairly comparable to 2019, there were some areas of improvement. For example, Cincinnati Public Schools improved its four-year graduation rate by 1.5 points, from 77.9% last year to 79.4% for the Class of 2019. CPS improved its five-year graduation rate by more than 5 points, from 77.9% to 83.5%. Graduation data lags a year behind on report cards.

Meanwhile, four-year graduation rates fell in North College Hill, Hamilton, Lockland, Norwood and Winton Woods.

The newly released data also lists the number of third-graders advancing to fourth grade with the literacy skills required under the state’s third-grade reading guarantee program.

Of 49 districts in Southwest Ohio, 36 advanced 100% of third-graders in 2020, compared to 22 districts in 2019. No district advanced less than 98.5%. But those figures are likely skewed because the state relaxed the program’s requirements due to the coronavirus pandemic.

View Ohio School Report Card Data

COSI, Hyperloop Partnership Brings STEM Education To Next Generation

/ Ohio, STEM-STEAM

Spectrum News 1 |

COSI has teamed up with Virgin Hyperloop, the leader in Hyperloop technology, to bring STEM kits called COSI Learning Lunchboxes to underserved youth — with hands-on components to make the technology come alive.

Broadband education grants awarded across the state

/ grants, Ohio, tech

Ohio Capital Journal |

Grants were awarded to 951 schools.

Awards ranged from about $1,000 for schools like Arlington Local School District in Hancock County, Hamilton County’s educational service center, and Constellation Schools in Northeast Ohio, to more than $151,000 for schools like Girard City School District in Trumbull County, Franklin County’s Reynoldsburg City Schools, Lucas County’s Springfield Local School District and Federal Hocking Local School District in Athens County.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said in a press conference announcing the awards that schools who requested less than $20,000 would get their entire amount if eligible. Those who requested more than $20,000 would receive the first $20,000, with the rest awarded at 60% “in order to ensure every qualifying school receives some support,” Husted said.

Some Cleveland students can attend pandemic pods for remote learning

/ community, Ohio, remote learning

Cleveland.com |

The United Way and the Cleveland Foundation worked with 25 community partners on the “Academic Learning Pods,” which will serve students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Organizers raised more than $720,000, though more money is needed to keep the program running, according to a Cleveland Foundation press release.

As schools cancel homecomings, frustrated parents consider hosting large private dances

/ coronavirus, Ohio

Columbus Dispatch |

Many students and parents grudgingly accept this as the cost of slowing COVID-19, which has so far killed more than 192,000 Americans, or the equivalent of the population of Akron.

But a few parents fed up with pandemic restrictions are going around the schools and planning private homecoming dances of their own, which has some health officials worried.

Parents sue health department director Lance Himes over K-12 school mask mandate

/ legal, Ohio

Cincinnati Enquirer |

More than two dozen parents have sued Ohio’s health director over the state’s mask mandate for children in schools.

A complaint, filed last week in Putnam County Common Pleas Court, argues a state-imposed mask requirement infringes on parents’ religious beliefs and ability to rear their children as they wish. Attorneys for the parents, which include a Cincinnati-area mom, also say mask mandates have become a political issue, and forcing children to wear masks is forcing them to make a political statement.

(more…)

Maumee city schools announces plans to reopen school buildings

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Toledo Blade |

The district’s announcement marks the second of its kind in the past week, as Washington Local School announced plans to return to in-person instruction last Friday. Both announcements follow the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department’s announcement of a downgrade to last week’s Lucas County coronavirus threat level.

Ohio Department of Education Releases Abbreviated 2020 School Report Cards

/ Alexa Flash Briefing, Ohio

Full press release available from the Ohio Department of Education.

The Ohio Department of Education today released the 2020 Ohio School Report Cards. This year’s report cards do not contain overall grades for any district or building, individual grades or ratings for given components or performance measures. The report cards also do not include any information about student performance on state tests, the academic growth of students during the school year and the extent to which achievement gaps are being addressed for students. This is in keeping with legislation passed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that also canceled the administration of most state tests for the last portion of the 2019-2020 school year.

Little Miami: Football players suspended from team for carrying Thin Blue, Thin Red lines flags at game

/ Ohio, sports

WKRC |

The players asked the school permission prior to the game and were denied and told if they defied the order, there would be consequences.

“We did not want to place ourselves in a circumstance where another family might want a different flag to come out of the tunnel, one that may be [one that] many other families may not agree with from a political perspective,” said Gregory Power, Superintendent of Little Miami.

Players Williams and Bentley heard from the athletic director Monday afternoon and received an indefinite suspension. “We can’t have students who decide to do something anyway after they’ve been told that they shouldn’t be doing it,” said Power.

Ohio 8: Technical Glitches, Power Outages and Cyber Attacks Interrupt Learning

/ Ohio, re-opening schools, tech

Spectrum News 1 |

Summing it all up within the Ohio 8 Coalition, it could be said that the first day of school was met with frustration, criticism and grace all at the same time. Although most of the Ohio 8 had some challenges to start, they’re confident that they’ll have the kinks worked out and can be up and running as smooth as possible sooner than later.

Cincinnati Public Schools is the only district, which indicated they did not have any glitches or issues with functionality of devices.

Three NW Ohio schools receive 21st Century Community Learning Center grants

/ grants, Ohio

WPKO – Bellefontaine |

The Midwest Regional ESC announced that three new 21st Century Community Learning Center grants have been awarded to: Bellefontaine Middle School, Upper Scioto Valley Elementary, and Sidney-Shelby County Opportunity School. The total number of grants is five located in Shelby, Logan, and Hardin counties.

21st Century Community Learning Center grants are competitive federal grants that provide schools with funding to support before/after/and summer programs.

Ohio State Cancels Spring Break To Reduce Risk Of Spreading COVID-19

/ coronavirus, Ohio

WOSU |

Ohio State students will start their second semester on January 11 with the first week of classes online. Instead of spring break, there will be two instructional breaks with no classes on February 9 and March 31.

Ohio AG files brief in support of school districts letting employees go armed

/ legal, Ohio, school safety

Ohio Capital Journal |

Ohio’s Attorney General Dave Yost this week put his support behind a Butler County school district’s policy to arm school personnel.

“This case presents the question whether school districts may allow non-security employees to carry firearms on school grounds,” Yost wrote in a brief to the court. “The answer is yes.”

Yost filed the brief as an interested party in the case of Gabbard v. Madison Local School District Board of Education, a case in which parents at the school sued to keep the school from implementing such a policy.

Concerns arise if Ohio enacts long-term freeze of school accountability

/ assessment, Ohio

Galion Inquirer |

Without an accountability alternative, Greg Lawson, a research fellow at the Buckeye Institute, believes parents will lack critical information to make decisions about their children’s education.

“I want to be clear that we understand that holding a bunch of sanctions over the heads of schools during this situation is problematic to begin with, but that being said, assessments are a good measuring stick,” Lawson said. “They are imperfect. They are flawed, but parents have a right to understand what’s going on.

Bexley superintendent in contract negotiations with Eastland-Fairfield for similar post

/ leadership, Ohio

This Week Community News |

While Superintendent Kimberly Pietsch Miller said she had not officially resigned as of Sept. 11, she acknowledged Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools had selected her to fill its superintendent vacancy and she was entering contract negotiations.

COVID-19 spike forces Carrollton students to learn from home

/ coronavirus, Ohio

Canton Repository |

As of Thursday, six Carrollton school staff members and 14 students had reported either probable or confirmed cases, Superintendent David Quattrochi said. Eleven more students are home with COVID-19 symptoms and are awaiting test results.

He said 146 students and staff members have been quarantined. The district has an enrollment of roughly 2,000 students and employs about 250 staff members, including 143 teachers.

Pittis named chairman of Management Council

/ leadership, Ohio, tech

The Daily Jeffersonian |

The Management Council announces the election of Adam Pittis as Board of Trustees Chair. Pittis has been serving on the Management Council Board of Trustees since 2018.

“This is an honor and it was well received when my colleagues appointed me to this position,” said Pittis, who represents the Ohio Mid-Eastern Regional Education Service Agency on the Management Council.

Pittis was also recently named chairman of the OME-RESA board.

The Management Council coordinates and supports the collaborative efforts of the Ohio Education Computer Network, which implements a broad spectrum of academic and administrative technologies across Ohio’s PreK-12 education system.

Columbus Receives $2.5 Million Grant For Middle School Sex Education

/ curriculum, health/wellness, Ohio

WOSU |

Nationwide Children’s Hospital announced Thursday it received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that will go towards their work in Columbus City Schools. The money will fund a three-year project called Get Real, targeted at 7th and 8th grade students.

Get Real will focus on teen pregnancy prevention in 12 middle schools, reaching 7,000 students.

State lawmakers, educators fight to pause standardized tests during pandemic

/ assessment, legislation, Ohio

WLWT |

“We need to stop the high stakes testing, so that we don’t keep losing kids, I mean they’re going to tune us out. That doesn’t help us, that doesn’t help them or our communities or our economies,” said Lakota Schools Superintendent Matt Miller.

Ohio Senate Bill 358, introduced two days before DeVos’s letter, could press pause on the high stakes testing by spring. 

Part of the bill seeks a waiver for federal testing requirements, no later than Dec. 15. If there is no waiver, the state education department will determine which assessments are necessary to meet federal requirements as well as adjust the dates.

Parents of children taking classes online could be eligible for unemployment help

/ Ohio, remote learning

Cincinnati Enquirer |

If you cannot telework or take paid leave to oversee your child’s online education, you could receive some financial assistance through unemployment, according to new guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. 

But there are limitations: the assistance is available only to parents eligible for unemployment under the federal stimulus package, called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA. That includes self-employed individuals and those who make less than $269 a week.

Online outage continues in Day 2 for Toledo Public Schools

/ Ohio, tech

Toledo Blade |

A supposed cyber attack that brought to a halt the first day of online classes at Toledo Public Schools appeared to cause more issues Wednesday as students logged on for the school year’s second day of online instruction.

Concerns of COVID-19 Closing Schools Again, Prompts Switch

/ e-schools, Ohio, remote learning

Spectrum News 1 |

Last spring Ohio Connections Academy ended the year with about 4,800 students. Now Superintendent Marie Hanna said it’s at 6,000. “I think it was the uncertainty I think they decided that, at least, if they were here they’d have a consistent learning pattern and I think there’s some concern now that the schools might have to switch, you know to be safe,” Hanna said.

OCA has hired an additional 25 teachers and has a waiting list for students.

Parents, teachers give mixed reviews to school reopen

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Ohio Capital Journal |

The governor’s lack of a statewide school reopening response, along with internet connectivity were among the topics on which parents and school personnel gave feedback in a questionnaire sent out by Democratic lawmakers.

(more…)

Ohio High School Athletic Association names Doug Ute as its executive director

/ Ohio, sports

WCPO |

Ute (pronounced “yoot”), a former coach, teacher, athletic administrator, principal and superintendent, is the 11th leader in the 113-year history of the OHSAA. He takes over for Interim Executive Director Bob Goldring, who is the OHSAA’s Senior Director of Operations.

Parent group aims to raise awareness about race issues in Athens schools

/ Ohio, social-justice

The Athens News |

Athens Parents for Racial Equality aims “to support the superintendent in hiring, or contracting with, designated Diversity, Equity and Inclusion staff by 2021.” The group noted several school districts in the state who have similar staff employed: Bexley City Schools, Kings Local and Shaker Heights, to name a few.

Safe Spaces Become Learning Spaces for Children Fleeing Violence in Ohio

/ homeless-students, Ohio, remote learning

Ohio News Connection – CityBeat |

Families and educators in Ohio aren’t the only ones coping with back-to-school challenges during a pandemic. Domestic violence shelters also are working tirelessly to turn safe spaces into learning spaces.

To accommodate learning, some shelters are converting living areas into classroom spaces; others are changing mealtimes to match school schedules. Many work with local districts to bring in tutors, and have hired a new staff member with educational experience to work with kids.

OHSAA makes major financial cuts but postseason tournaments to remain

/ Ohio, sports

Cincinnati Enquirer |

The OHSAA plans to move forward with tournaments for all 26 of its sanctioned sports this school year but will make cuts in other areas due to a significant decrease in revenue from the cancellation of tournaments earlier this year and greatly reduced attendance permitted at upcoming tournaments.

The OHSAA has cut three full-time positions, eliminated part-time employees and interns, and instituted a 20% pay cut for senior staff. All retirement contributions have been suspended.

Legislators push to lift testing requirements as school resumes amid pandemic

/ assessment, legislation, Ohio

Akron Beacon Journal |

A bipartisan bill, which received its first hearing in the Senate last week, seeks to lift state testing requirements — including elementary-school assessments and high school end-of-course exams — directing the Department of Education to seek a waiver from federal testing mandates.

‘Inappropriate and racist content’: Some schools cancel online curriculum Acellus as COVID-19 back to school kicks off

/ curriculum, Ohio, social-justice

USA Today |

Examples posted online by activists and confirmed by Kansas City-based Acellus, a learning company that contracts with about 6,000 schools, include suggestive language such as “sweetie lips” and a controversial illustration in a lesson about Harriet Tubman.

(more…)

School virus reporting to start Sept. 8, order posted

/ coronavirus, Ohio

Starting Sept. 8, parents and staff should notify their school of any positive coronavirus diagnosis within 24 hours.

The order was posted Friday afternoon, September 4th.

Under the order, school districts are also required to notify parents and guardians of cases in writing within 24 hours of receiving notification. Schools should provide as much information as possible without releasing protected information, DeWine said.

(more…)

Education associations say teacher evaluations illogical in COVID-19 school year

/ HR, Ohio

Ohio Capital Journal |

Current and former superintendents, along with representatives from teacher’s associations across the state said Wednesday that significant uncertainty still remains as schools go back to various learning modes, and the idea of also completing the usual yearly checkpoints shouldn’t be a focus for educators this school year.

(more…)

Teacher at Ohio School for the Deaf Named 2021 Ohio Teacher of the Year

/ leadership, Ohio

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria today surprised Ohio School for the Deaf teacher Anthony Coy-Gonzalez by naming him the 2021 Ohio Teacher of the Year.

Coy-Gonzalez teaches upper elementary students at the school located in Columbus. DeMaria made an unannounced appearance during a video conference staff meeting to share the unexpected news with Coy-Gonzalez and several of his colleagues.

Full press release available from the Ohio Department of Education.

Toledo Public Schools distributes 22,000 laptops for remote learning

/ Ohio, remote learning, tech

Toledo Blade |

James Gault, TPS’s executive transformational leader of curriculum, said this school year — beginning Tuesday — each student will have access to a Chromebook as well as Internet access. In April the district was tasked with finding the best way to distribute its 12,000 Chromebook computers to roughly 23,000 students.

Mr. Gault added that between spring and this week, the district is slated to distribute 22,000 Chromebooks and 4,000 hot spots.

Ohio could seek federal waiver to cancel 2020-21 state testing, freeze report cards, teacher assessment

/ legislation, Ohio

Cleveland.com |

Bipartisan SB 358 would prompt Ohio to seek a federal waiver for state testing, as districts worry about learning loss from the improvised shut-down of schools in the spring. Most Ohio tests are delivered in the spring, but a K-3 reading test and some high school assessments are delivered in the fall.

Ohio school district bans “thin blue line” flag after student football player caused controversy

/ Ohio, sports

KMOV |

Chardon Local Schools superintendent Michael Hanlon, Jr. banned the flag in all school settings after a student football player carried a “thin blue line” flag on the football field Friday night before the start of a game. The move sparked controversy among the school community.

In a statement, Hanlon said the incident caused many people to directly complain to school officials, and therefore he made the decision to ban the flag in school settings.

In the statement, Hanlon said the football player who displayed the flag was doing it to show support for one of the team’s coaches, who is a police officer.

“Based on discussions that ensued over the weekend, it does not appear that this action was motivated by racism, rather a show of support for one of our coaches who serves as a police officer, as well as for the first responders in our community who have developed a special relationship with our school and students in the wake of our school tragedy of February 27, 2012,” Hanlon said in the statement. “Nevertheless, it is understandable how this could be interpreted as a racially-motivated action and, therefore, not acceptable in a school community.”

COVID Lawsuit Immunity Bill Passes Ohio House

/ coronavirus, legislation, Ohio

Statehouse News Bureau |

State lawmakers have sent on to Gov. Mike DeWine a bill to shield first responders, businesses and schools from COVID-19 related lawsuits. The bill had passed the House overwhelmingly in May, but this time Democrats had serious concerns with how the Senate changed it

(more…)

Hours of opposition testimony, three hearings, lead to committee passage of school firearms policy bill

/ legislation, Ohio, school safety

Ohio Capital Journal |

The Ohio Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee, chaired by Coley, passed SB 317 along party lines Tuesday, after more lengthy spoken opposition testimony.

SB 317 allows school districts to enact firearms policies for personnel.

Free Lunches Will Continue For Some Ohio K-12 Students

/ food-nutrition, Ohio

Statehouse News Bureau |

Lisa Hamler Fugitt, the executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, says kids who got free meals through schools this summer can continue to do that, whether in class or doing remote learning because the USDA is allowing the continuation of that program during the fall. 

But in schools where students must apply for free or reduced priced food programs, students will continue to have to pay for their meals if they are deemed able to do so. 

As it stands now, the program will end December 31st.

Ohio’s BOE approves pandemic license aimed at letting more child care providers host remote learners

/ Ohio, remote learning

WLWT |

Members of Ohio’s Board of Education approved a temporary licensing measure Tuesday that will let more places host remote learners, potentially giving parents more options.

“What I like most about this decision is that it ensures that parents are going to have consistency when it comes to the rules, the guidelines and the care that is taken for their children,” said Vanessa Freytag, president of 4C for Children, an organization that helps families find child care.

Young Ohioans fuel increase in coronavirus cases in wake of college, other school reopenings

/ coronavirus, Ohio, re-opening schools

Cleveland.com |

Based on the date for the onset of symptoms, the under 30 group accounted for 53.5% of the cases over the last seven days.

This is an increase from 43.8% the previous seven days and in the range of 31% to 33% for each of the three weeks before then, cleveland.com found in an analysis of the latest data from the Ohio Department of Health.

“This is a stark reminder that the virus is not going away,” DeWine said. “We think a significant part of this is caused by our colleges going back as well as our grade schools and high schools going back.”

Ohio to Receive an Additional 9 Million Face Masks from FEMA

/ Alexa Flash Briefing, Ohio

Full press release available from the Ohio Department of Education.

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA), in cooperation with the Governor’s Office, the Ohio Departments of Education, Health, and Job and Family Services, is receiving shipments of an additional 9 million face masks this week for public distribution.

ODE releases tiered, reduced minimum standards of early learning for 2020-2021 school year

/ curriculum, Ohio

Ohio Capital Journal |

The new Early Learning and Development standards were split up into degrees of feasibility during the 2020-2021 school year. The department also said the reductions are only in place for the current school year.

The standards fall into three categories: critical and feasible, recommended/supplemental, and enrichment or not likely feasible.

Ohio Education Town Hall

/ Ohio

Spectrum News 1 |

Superintendents from Crestview, South-Western, Fairfield Union, Youngstown, Dayton, and Akron participated in the first of a two-part town hall, presented by Spectrum News, where they addressed a range of topics from the digital divide and legislation to support for working parents.

COVID precautions costly for Ohio schools

/ finance-funding, Ohio, re-opening schools

Columbus Dispatch |

A survey, conducted by reporters in the USA TODAY Network, shows districts expect to spend on average of $129 more per student this school year due to the additional precautions, equipment and personnel.

Some of Ohio’s largest districts, such as Cincinnati Public Schools with nearly 36,000 students, have spent millions on the additional COVID-19 precautions. Even the smallest of Ohio’s districts, such as Sebring Local Schools with 420 students in Mahoning County, have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars.

(more…)

Dayton school board votes 4-3 to approve 241 layoffs, furloughs

/ Ohio, re-opening schools, SW Ohio

Dayton Daily News |

The temporary RIF list includes teachers in nearly every area, but heaviest in music (20), art (17), preschool (16) and physical education (14). The list also includes 22 school nurses, plus a few counselors, library specialists and others.

(more…)

Superintendents: Reporting COVID-19 Cases To Parents Is Not A Problem

/ coronavirus, Ohio

WKSU |

Most administrators across the state find the order to be “reasonable,” Kevin Miller, director of government relations for the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, told ideastream Friday.

Most Ohio schools already have communication mechanisms in place to notify parents of things like snow days, so adding coronavirus alerts to email or text blasts shouldn’t be a problem, he said.

Ohio Requiring School Districts To Establish COVID-19 Notification Systems

/ coronavirus, health/wellness, Ohio

Statehouse News Bureau |

The health order will require districts to establish a reporting mechanism so parents and guardians can tell a school if their child or a staff member has a confirmed case of COVID-19. DeWine says an example could be something similar to an attendance phone line, which parents call to tell administrators their child will be absent.

Then the schools will be required to notify the local health department and the other families of that school within 48 hours.

Columbus K-12 Schools Can Resume In-Person Classes, City Health Commissioner Says

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

WOSU |

Columbus Public Health now recommends the district move to a hybrid model, similar to the one the district originally proposed in June.

Columbus Health commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts released new recommendations for in-person learning on Thursday afternoon. They include creating seating charts for classrooms and buses that allow for six feet of distance between students at all times, and making masks mandatory for everyone but those under the age of 6.

Related: Columbus City Schools is resuming athletics and extracurricular activities on Saturday after a two-week suspension (Columbus Dispatch).

Union pushes back against reduction in staff hours at Oregon City Schools

/ HR, Ohio, remote learning

Toledo Blade |

Union leaders at Oregon City Schools are criticizing what they characterize as an 80 percent “slash and burn” reduction in the work hours for the school system’s support staff, approved by the board of education in a meeting that the union says lacked proper transparency and public input.

In a written statement, field representative Dave Duhamel, with OAPSE-AFSCME Local 4 AFL-CIO, said district administrators and board members approved the reductions for 122 bus drivers, librarians, cafeteria workers, paraprofessionals, and monitors during a special board meeting Monday.

The school district began the academic year with remote learning on Monday.

School reopening triggers lawsuits in Ohio, other states

/ legal, Ohio, re-opening schools

Dayton Daily News |

A round-up lawsuits concerning re-opening in Ohio, California, Florida, Iowa, Massachusetts, and Oregon.

In Ohio:

  • The Ohio School Boards Association filed a “friend of the court” brief, asking the court to “preserve the local authority of boards of education.”
  • A family sued the Upper Arlington school district in Columbus (as well as the Franklin County health commissioner), after the schools announced plans to open the year in an online, remote-learning model. Their lawsuit says “there is no reliable scientific evidence that establishes a causal relationship between the spread of COVID-19 and options for in-person instruction.”

Ohio Director’s Order that Provides Mandatory Requirements for Entertainment Venues

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Ohio Department of Health |

The guidelines apply to performing arts companies and events in educational, professional, and amateur settings.

It includes many requirements shared with other reopening orders, such as requiring masks, although performers are not required to wear masks during performances, and putting out signs and markings to indicate social distancing.

The order also shares seating requirements applied to sports, which means 1,500 people or 15% of the venue’s seated capacity for outdoor venues, whichever is fewer, or 300 people or 15% of seated capacity for indoor venues, again whichever is fewer.

Read the Director’s complete order.

Ohio Ranks 9th Worst State in America for Women’s Equality, According to Study

/ equity, Ohio

CityBeat and WalletHub |

Ohio, ranked No. 42 out of 50, making it the ninth worst state in America in terms of gender equality. Ohio excelled in having one of the top smallest educational attainment gaps among advanced degree holders; however, it was among the bottom rung for having the largest political representation gap in the nation.

The study looked at 17 metrics in these categories: Workplace Environment, Education & Health and Political Empowerment. Those metrics included income disparity, disparity in advanced educational attainment, disparity in share of lawmakers in U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, disparity in share of executive positions and more. 

Hilliard City Schools plans COVID-19 tracing pilot program with Ohio State

/ coronavirus, Ohio

WSYX/WTTE |

Hilliard City Schools has plans to develop an early warning system for potential COVID-19 outbreaks within the district through a partnership with The Ohio State University, allowing the school and health officials to plan quarantine strategies.

(more…)

Sylvania Schools switches to remote learning for all students

Toledo Blade |

The announcement came in a letter to parents on Sunday, in which Veronica Motley, the district’s superintendent, claimed that the district’s Board of Education has been misled.

“The Board has been misled, I have been misled, our principals/staff members were misled, and our families have been misled. Our buildings still look similar to what they looked like in March at the beginning of the pandemic. This lack of preparation is UNACCEPTABLE and we cannot in good conscience safely return our elementary children to school under the green plan,” she wrote.

As Hewlett-Packard Can’t Deliver Computers on Time, Cleveland School District Sent Scrambling to Find 9,000 New Laptops in Two Weeks

/ equity, Ohio, re-opening schools, tech

The 74 Million |

The district canceled the $4.7 million order last week after Hewlett-Packard warned that it could not provide laptops until October, which would have left thousands of the district’s students challenged to access their classes for at least a month. The exact number of students who could be left without any computers and how many will have to use old ones or share devices with family members are still unclear.

Ohio’s rural schools face unknown with in-person classes amid COVID

Columbus Dispatch |

The largely rural Belmont County and Tuscarawas County plan to start the school year with in-person classes.

Coordinated by each district in partnership with local public health departments, the decision to start in-person or remote learning is being determined by community survey data and access to broadband resources, according to the East Central Ohio Educational Service Center (ESC).

Randy Lucas, the superintendent of the East Central Ohio ESC, said the 22 school districts in his counties are adhering to a colored, tiered system that the service center developed. Green equals in-person, yellow means hybrid and red is fully remote.

“The No. 1 problem is broadband,” Lucas said. “It’s very difficult to hold students and family accountable for the work if you can’t guarantee they have access to the internet.”

How one teacher equips students to stop trafficking before it starts

/ Ohio, school safety, Solutions

Christian Science Monitor |

When Ohio mandated five years ago that public school staff receive training on human trafficking (ORC 3319.073 (B) – without providing any money or much direction – Toledo Public Schools’ teacher Mona Al-Hayani developed a curriculum for the district, trained more than 20,000 students and educators in how to identify risk factors, connected the schools to local advocacy groups, and has started offering training for nearby communities.

(more…)

Six graves found under Upper Arlington high school in Ohio

/ Ohio

WTRF |

As construction continues on Upper Arlington’s new high school building, archeologists have unearthed history below the current high school’s campus.

Historians said the building was constructed in 1955 on top of a cemetery belonging to freed slave Pleasant Litchford.

Ohio School For The Deaf Embraces Remote Learning For Fall Semester

/ Ohio, remote learning

WOSU |

Malia Schneck is excited about the upcoming school year, but like many students across the U.S. wishes that she could see her friends again in September. Instead, Schneck and 160 other students at the Ohio School for the Deaf will scattered across the state for another semester of remote classes.

Schools in Ohio seek protections from COVID-19 liability

/ coronavirus, legal, Ohio

Columbus Dispatch |

In Ohio, House Bill 606 by Rep. Diane Grendell, R-Chesterland, would provide civil immunity from coronavirus-related liability to businesses and schools.

“With the fall school year rapidly approaching, House Bill 606 will offer our schools much-needed legal protection. I have received hundreds of calls from across the state urging passage of this bill,” Grendell said.

(more…)

Attorney General Yost Announces Teen Ambassador Board Members

Ohio Attorney General’s Office |

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today announced that more than 400 students representing 68 Ohio counties have been named to his office’s Teen Ambassador Board for the upcoming school year. The participants represent more than 180 schools throughout the state.

Board members advise the Attorney General’s Office on issues relating to teens, and they work with their peers to develop solutions. They also attend presentations, hear from elected officials, interact with assistant attorneys general, and have the opportunity to participate in events throughout the state once activities resume, but until then, the office plans to offer video calls with prominent figures around Ohio.

Cleveland schools scramble for fix to digital divide as school starts remotely

/ equity, Ohio, tech

Cleveland.com |

By some estimates, Cleveland is one of the worst-connected large cities in the country – and school begins as early as next week for some students.

Ohio Bill Would Penalize School Districts That Fail To Transport Private School Students

/ Ohio, transportation

WOSU |

Ohio’s public schools are paid by the state to transport students who attend private, charter or community schools. But during the pandemic, some public school districts are not even transporting their own students. 

(more…)

Meager results for Ohio vouchers after spending $250 million

Cincinnati Enquirer |

Since 2018, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars have been shifted away from Ohio’s public schools and into private, mainly religious ones in the form of vouchers, all to enhance academic success.

Yet those same private schools mostly failed to meet the academic caliber set by their neighboring public school districts, according to an Enquirer analysis of nearly 2.5 million test scores from schools in more than 150 Ohio cities during the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years.

Read the full article at the Cincinnati Enquirer (may only be available to subscribers).

School funding bill to get new look under new speaker

/ finance-funding, legislation, Ohio

Ohio Capital Journal |

A school funding bill originally sponsored by new Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp is getting a fresh look and hopefully time in front of legislative committees before year’s end.

“We’re taking a more balanced approach in the new bill,” Patterson, D-Jefferson, said.

Patterson said a substitute version of House Bill 305 seeks to address “overarching criticisms” of the original bill, and the education system itself. One of the major criticisms is the distribution of money in the school funding formula between school districts with varying financial situations.

(more…)

Gov. DeWine announces signature of health order on fall sports

/ Ohio, sports

WCMH |

The 12-page order spells out all the rules for youth, collegiate, amateur, club and professional sports.

Read the full order.

Gov. DeWine said these guidelines are for not only high school athletes but all athletes and teams in the state. Lt. Gov Jon Husted added the OHSAA will have oversight at games to check that schools are enforcing state guidelines for sports.

Originally posted on NBC4i

Akron schools superintendent David James to retire in June

/ leadership, Ohio

Cleveland.com |

James has worked for the district for 29 years, including 12 years as superintendent.

During his time as superintendent, James oversaw the creation of the district’s College and Career Academies, which offer tracks in various disciplines that partner students with more than 300 businesses, nonprofits, colleges and universities to provide hands-on learning experiences, both inside and outside the classroom.

James also led an $800-million effort to construct 36 new school buildings, dubbed “community learning centers.”

Upper Arlington schools OK updated hybrid plan, but attorney says it’s not enough

/ legal, Ohio, re-opening schools, SpecialEd

Columbus Dispatch |

“We were under the belief the district was going to take a big step by getting many kids back to school, including kids with (individual education plans),” attorney Rex Elliott said in an email to The Dispatch on Tuesday night.

Elliott, who had said on Monday that the lawsuit might be withdrawn, said after the board’s Tuesday meeting: “Unfortunately, it appears they fell short and are only bringing back those with the most significant disabilities, leaving hundreds of learning-challenged kids to try and learn alone at home in front of a computer.”

(more…)

OHSAA releases sport-specific coronavirus guidelines following governor announcement

/ coronavirus, Ohio, sports

Dayton Daily News |

These guidelines include updated rules from the National Federation of State High School Associations, which writes playing rules for high school sports in 51 member state associations, including Washington, D.C., according to the NFHS website. Some changes are geared toward promoting social distancing, while more sport-specific changes touch on a number of subjects like safety concerns.

Sport specific guidelines are detailed in the article.

DeWine Gives The Go-Ahead For High School Sports

/ coronavirus, Ohio, sports

Statehouse News Bureau |

Ohio high school sports will be allowed to have a fall season under the department of health’s pending order.

The details of that order have not been released, but DeWine spelled out some of the rules. For example, only parents and people deemed to be close to the athlete will be allowed to attend the games. Also, players will not be expected to get tested for COVID-19 prior to competitions.

Parma superintendent leading push to move fall contact sports to spring, sending letter to OHSAA

/ coronavirus, Ohio, sports

FOX 8 |

Parma City Schools Superintendent Charles Smialek sent a letter, which included a bevy of other area superintendent signatures, to the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) urging the organization to allow districts to move certain contact sports seasons from fall to spring.

School districts that are in agreement with the petition include: Bay Village, Bedford, Berea, Brecksville‐Broadview Heights, Brooklyn, Brunswick, Cleveland Heights‐University Heights, Cleveland Metropolitan, Cuyahoga Heights, Euclid, Fairview Park, Garfield Heights, Lakewood, Maple Heights, North Olmsted, North Royalton, Parma, Rocky River, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid‐Lyndhurst, Warrensville Heights and Westlake.

Masks, Divided Tables, Assigned Spots on the Rug: Inside One Preschool’s Strategy for Coping With COVID-19

The 74 Million |

Masks, small numbers of kids, assigned seating and mock brushing are just a few of the adaptations this Head Start center has made since the pandemic hit Cleveland in March. It’s also one of the few early childhood centers in the city that found a way to keep going, even just as a trial over the summer to work out how to reopen in the fall.

DeWine encourages Ohio parents to sign up for book gifting program tied to Dolly Parton

/ literacy, Ohio

WLWT |

The Ohio Governor’s Imagination Library partners with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to promote early childhood literacy across the state. The program sends a free book to children in Ohio every month from birth to age 5.

School Districts Face Substitute Scarcity During Pandemic

/ HR, Ohio

Spectrum News 1 |

Scott DiMauro, the president of the Ohio Education Association, said the state is facing a significant substitute teacher shortage for the upcoming school year. 

“Even before the pandemic started, school districts were having difficulty filling substitute teaching positions,” said DiMauro. “It’s going to be a challenge. And if districts can’t find substitutes that they need, I think it’s going to pose a real challenge to maintain social distancing and keep schools open safely.” 

Court Denies Unemployment Benefits to Striking Employees

/ HR, legal, Ohio

Ennis Britton | Education Law Blog

In somewhat of a novelty decision, the Fifth District Court of Appeals of Ohio has upheld a trial court decision affirming the denial of unemployment benefits to 51 non-teaching employees who went on strike after OAPSE and the Board of Education were unable to reach an agreement on a successor contract.

Ohio school face mask and face shield information

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Director’s Order Requiring the Use of Facial Coverings in Child Education Settings (Mask Order) – Ohio Department of Health.

News Release: Use of Face Shields Not Appropriate Substitute for Masks – Ohio Department of Health.

Governor Mike DeWine’s tweet affirming prohibiting the use of face shields.

COVID-19 FAQs Face Shields – Ohio Department of Health.

The big, yellow bus fight among Ohio parents, lawmakers and school

Columbus Dispatch |

Ohio law requires public schools to transport all eligible students — including those who pick private schools. But that rule has caveats, and one possible exception being raised during the coronavirus pandemic is how it applies to districts that choose remote learning.

If a district isn’t busing its own students, does it have to bus others?

Senate Bill 350 would ban public school districts from providing vouchers for public transportation to students in kindergarten through eighth grade for the 2020-2021 school year.

Ohio Department of Health: Face shield shouldn’t be worn as mask replacement in schools

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Cleveland.com |

The use of face shields in schools does not meet the requirements of the state’s K-12 mask order, the Ohio Department of Health announced Saturday. This announcement is in keeping with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“At this time, it is not known what level of protection a face shield provides to people nearby from the spray of respiratory droplets from the wearer,” the CDC states on its website. Since there is not currently enough evidence to support the effectiveness of face shields, the CDC does not recommend them as substitutes for masks.

Columbus And Franklin County Launch Partnership To Get Students Online

/ finance-funding, Ohio, tech

WOSU Columbus |

The public-private partnership, facilitated by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, aims to get computers and hot spots in the hands of students who wouldn’t otherwise have internet access.

Franklin County is putting forward $500,000 and the city of Columbus is contributing $1.5 million. In addition to the public funding, J.P. Morgan Chase committed $50,000, and MORPC says it’s looking for more backers.

‘Learning Centers’ Take In Kids Locked Out of Schools During Online-Only Classes

/ Ohio, remote learning

The 74 Million |

The coronavirus may have closed school buildings in Cleveland for at least several weeks, but it’s not stopping nonprofits like the Boys and Girls Clubs or the YMCA from giving students a place to do their online lessons while their parents work.

The organizations are joining a growing movement in Cleveland and nationally to provide remote “learning centers” or “learning hubs.” They’re a key strategy in cities like San Antonio, Denver and San Francisco or for statewide efforts like in Oklahoma to help kids connect to classes in broader ways than the learning “pods” affluent parents are setting up.

Four more (Dayton area) schools change fall restart plans

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Dayton Daily News |

Northmont and Jefferson Twp. schools announced students will start classes online this fall — Northmont on Sept. 1, and Jefferson on Sept. 8. Northmont’s commitment to online classes so far is through the first quarter, while Jefferson will stay online for the entire first semester.

Columbus School Board Voting On $25 Million In COVID-Related Spending

WOSU |

The school board agenda lists $7.15 million to pay for more Chromebooks so students can attend classes and do school work online. All students in the district are starting the school year with all-virtual learning. 

Also listed is $3,808,331 for coronavirus-related needs as provided by the federal CARES Act. Those funds could be used for items such as PPE, including face masks and hand sanitizer.

Most of the money, $14 million, would provide grab-and-go meal packs, for three or five days, to feed the district’s more than 50,000 students while they’re attending school from home. That portion of expenses would be reimbursed by the federal school lunch and breakfast programs.

Students In Ohio’s K-12 Schools Must Wear Masks

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

WVXU |

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Tuesday added another statewide health order requiring all children in grades K-12 to wear masks while in school, with certain exceptions.

“We are limited in the ways that we can protect people of the state of Ohio, protect our kids, protect the adults,” he said. “The other way is not to go back to school at all, and some schools are making that choice.”

No statewide decision has been made on high school contact sports, with DeWine saying officials want to get closer to the date of competitions before making a ruling.

HCESC’s Chris Anderson – a 2020 Ohio STEM Excellence Award winner

/ HCESC, Ohio, STEM-STEAM

The Ohio STEM Learning Network (OSLN) unveiled the four winners of the “STEM Excellence Awards.” These awards recognize outstanding teachers, school leaders, or education advocates who advance quality science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education in Ohio. Nominations for the 2020 awards opened in March.

(more…)

Ohio Distributes 2 Million Face Masks to Schools

/ Alexa Flash Briefing, Ohio

Full press release available from the Ohio Department of Education.

The Ohio Emergency Management Agency (EMA), in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Education, received two million face masks this week for Ohio school children, teachers, and administrators. 

Parents, students protest online plans for back-to-school, plus sports cancellations

/ coronavirus, Ohio, sports

Cleveland.com |

Parents and students in several Northeast Ohio schools are pushing back against their districts’ decisions to suspend in-class instruction and extracurricular activities this fall, as recommended by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health due to COVID-19.

Ohio Department of Health order will require COVID-19 tests for fall sports participants

/ coronavirus, Ohio, sports

WKBN Youngstown |

The new order will require fall high school contact sports participants to be tested for the coronavirus in order to play or scrimmage against opposing schools.

Preble County Return to School Coalition releases return-to-school plan

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Eaton Register Herald |

The group released the collaborative agreement between Eaton Community Schools, National Trail Local Schools, Preble County Educational Service Center, Preble Shawnee Local Schools, Tri-County North Local Schools and Twin Valley South Local Schools.

The document was created in conjunction with the Preble County Health Department and other local stakeholders to ensure the protocols align with the most current data and community expectations.

What happens if a child has coronavirus when schools reopen, and how can districts prevent stigma?

Cleveland Plain Dealer |

As counties across Ohio teeter on the edge of the highest risk status in the state’s color coded coronavirus alert system, districts are still developing the basics of back-to-school plans — like whether schools will open at all.

But after the basic plans roll out, difficult decisions still lie ahead, including what happens if a student is diagnosed with COVID-19. While tracing the virus through classrooms and common spaces, districts also have to protect student privacy and prevent social conflict around the virus.

There are two aspects to handling this: a procedure on how to notify those affected and creating an environment in schools where the virus isn’t stigmatized.

Northeast Ohio School Superintendents Unveil Plans For Upcoming School Year

WCPN Cleveland |

The Sound of Ideas talked with four superintendents about their re-opening plans.

  • Dr. David Glasner, Superintendent, Shaker Heights City Schools
  • Justin Jennnings, Chief Executive Officer, Youngstown City Schools
  • Jodie Hausmann, Superintendent, Bay Village City Schools
  • Dr. Henry Pettiegrew, Chief Executive Officer, East Cleveland Public Schools

Northeast Ohio school board member nominated as OSBA president-elect

/ leadership, Ohio

Highland County Press |

If elected during OSBA’s statewide conference in November, Robert M. Heard Sr. will become OSBA president in 2022 following his term as president-elect. 

The 15-year Cleveland Municipal Schools board member currently serves as his board’s vice president, a role he has held since 2017. He also served as board president from 2007-09. 

Dayton area schools’ reopening plans differ on masks, online school, more

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Dayton Daily News |

There are some consistent themes in the plans — most offer both in-person and online school options, busing will continue in some form, and all schools are building robust cleaning and disinfecting plans.

But there are differences from school-to-school as well — about when classes will start, whether students have to wear masks at all times, and whether they’ll go to school five days a week or two days. For students who will learn remotely, the online curriculum varies from school to school.

Nearly every school warns that everything could change if the COVID-19 outbreak suddenly gets better or worse, or if state or local health officials order changes.

Columbus City Schools may be on full remote learning this fall

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

WBNS Columbus |

Dr. Talisa Dixon, the superintendent of Columbus City Schools, made that announcement during a call with reporters on Sunday. “I know parents want to know right now what we are going to do, but I just don’t have that answer right now,” she said.

Late last month the district announced a plan to have K-8 students attend in-person classes in a blended format, with 9-12 students learning remotely. The start date is Sept. 8. But after a recent meeting with officials with Columbus Public Health, Dr. Dixon said those plans may need to change.

Coronavirus case numbers are rising in the district’s attendance boundaries. Health leaders suggest it would not be safe to reopen prior to the city seeing four consecutive weeks of dropping numbers.

Schools will need to work with health departments once school returns

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Norwalk Reflector |

As Ohio schools are planning to reopen in August, many concerns are still unable to be addressed. The Reflector posed questions to Huron County Public Health (HCPH), Norwalk City Schools and Monroeville Local Schools.

Health Department, Licking County schools collaborate on back to school guidelines

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Newark Advocate |

As Licking County schools prepare for a return to buildings and classrooms next month in the midst of COVID-19, the Licking County Health Department has developed a set of guidelines for the reopening, in collaboration with county superintendents.

Superintendents seem happy with the recommendations. “We are now using this as our primary guidance document for returning to school,” Heath superintendent Trevor Thomas said.

“Unfortunately, most classrooms are not designed for 6-foot social distancing,” LCHD commissioner Chad Brown acknowledged. So LCHD has tried to minimize the number of students and staff that would need to be quarantined if the virus is identified in their class. It involves using assigned seating throughout the school year, placing students at least three feet apart if not able to by six feet, and positioning desks so students aren’t facing each other.

Ohio’s “Short-term” Return-To-Play order for high school sports extended

/ Ohio, re-opening schools, sports

WKRC – Local 12 |

The order extension was signed on July 15 by Lance Himes, the Ohio Department of Health’s interim director. The extension allows contact sports to continue practices through July 22. 

The extension still allows for competitive games and tournaments for non-contact sports, as long as all teams involved agree to comply with the requirements of the order. Practices and open gyms with other teams, clubs and inter-club/team play is also permitted. Only intra-club/team scrimmages are permitted for contact sports.

On Tuesday, the OHSAA announced that fall sports will resume in Ohio on August 1. The state is still working to come up with a permanent plan for fall athletics.

DeWine Suggests Schools Could Stay Shut

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Statehouse News Bureau |

DeWine talked about COVID-19 in a wide-ranging hour-long interview on “The Sound of Ideas” on WCPN/ideastream Friday morning.

Case numbers are above where they were when schools were closed in March, and many school districts haven’t even unveiled their final plans to open next month. With that, and a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people still in place, DeWine was asked why the state doesn’t just order schools to stay closed.

“We may end up there. What we’ve told the schools all summer to do is to prepare for different alternatives,” DeWine said. “We’ve known that even if school opens back up, there may be another surge that comes on in a month or two or three and that school’s going to have to go remote.”

How are Cuyahoga County districts handling back to school amid coronavirus surge? See the list

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Cleveland.com |

A roundup of what students and their families can expect in Cuyahoga County (messages have been left with all school districts and this post will be updated when new info is received).

What to know about e-schools, as pandemic prompts more traditional schools to offer online programs

/ e-schools, Ohio

Cleveland.com |

Ohio has 14 public e-schools, but most of them are ranked as “dropout prevention and recovery schools,” which primarily enroll students who dropped out or are at-risk of dropping out of the public school system.

Picking whether an e-school is best for a student isn’t as simple as looking up rankings, though there are some sites, like Niche, which offer user-submitted reviews.

CARES Act funding to aid Ohio schools, care facilities

Ohio Capital Journal |

A total of $88 million is going toward primary and secondary education. This money is further being split by type of district:

  • $34.5 million for rural and small-town districts
  • $29 million for suburban districts
  • $24.5 million for urban districts
  • $12 million for community schools, county boards of developmental disabilities, joint vocational school districts, independent STEM schools and non-public schools.

Each district will receive funding proportional to the amount of students enrolled there. Extra funds will be added based on “special populations” — students with disabilities, English learners and poor students. The money can be used for “expenses they are likely to face as school leaders prepare for the start of the 20-21 school year,” the funding line item states.

Remembering Aaron Kaufman, Superintendent Holmes Local Schools

/ leadership, Ohio

The Daily Record |

“In my professional dealings with Aaron, he was a dedicated and hard-working professional,” James Ritchie, superintendent of the Tri-County Educational Service Center, said. “He cared a great deal about the students and the people he worked with, and he’ll be sorely missed.” Kaufman, 47, died Friday.

Kaufman, a resident of Washington Township, was named superintendent in February after serving district schools in various roles for nearly three decades. His titles included teacher, athletic director, elementary principal and, most recently, high school principal. The district has 2,100 students.

Chief Justice Speaks Out On Masks, Rights And “Duty To Fellow Ohioans”

/ coronavirus, legal, Ohio

Statehouse News Bureau |

In an interview on “The State of Ohio”, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said there are no cases before the court that could settle who has the authority to do what. But she has heard recent statements made by some lawmakers and citizens who oppose those orders.

“People will tell you, ‘I have a right not to wear a mask. I have a right not to do this or I have a right to do this’ or whatever, and nobody focuses on their duty. What’s your duty to society?” O’Connor said. “What’s your duty to your community? Your right not to wear a mask and potentially spread disease – what about your duty to your fellow Ohioans?”

Northwest Ohio: COVID-19 forces a reboot for back to school in Ohio

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Lima News |

Auglaize County school superintendents met Tuesday to discuss their reopening plans with the Auglaize County Health Department. Putnam County superintendents did the same on Wednesday with their health department, and Allen County superintendents met on Thursday with Allen County Public Health.

How will central Ohio schools hold fall classes as coronavirus cases rise?

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Columbus Dispatch |

In Franklin County, health officials are currently recommending a hybrid model of both in-person and online learning from home. But with about two months before classes are scheduled to begin, few have committed to a choice.

Educators worry plans to return to classroom aren’t safe enough

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

WKRC Cincinnati |

Scott DiMauro, president of the Ohio Education Association, thinks Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s mask mandates for counties should apply to schools as well. “Looking at what health experts have said, we know that mask-wearing is a significant way to reduce the risk of contracting the disease and stopping the spread,” DiMauro said.

“I think the other thing is we all need to be prepared that for all the effort and planning on reopening schools, we’re also going to have to pivot quickly back to remote learning as needed.

Ohio colleges, K-12 schools could receive $300 million total in additional federal money to deal with costs of reopening

Cleveland.com |

Ohio higher education institutions could receive $200 million in additional federal CARES Act money allocated by the state, with another $100 million going to K-12 institutions. If approved by the state’s controlling board, the new funds would go to costs associated with reopening in the fall and educating during the coronavirus pandemic. That could mean improving infrastructure and developing programs for remote learning or funding staff, testing or personal protective equipment.

DeWine noted that the $100 million figure for K-12 schools particularly will likely just be the start of additional funding.

Sen. Brown talks about what he says needs to happen for Ohio schools to reopen safely this fall

WKBN – Youngstown |

In a conference call with reporters Thursday, U.S. Senator for Ohio Sherrod Brown talked about schools reopening, specifically addressing what needs to be done to make the environments safe for kids and teachers to return.

“It’s going to take federal money to help the Youngstown, and the Warren, and the Girard, and the Austintown and the Niles schools to make sure those kids are safe when they get into school. We want them into school. We’ve got to find a way to do it,” Brown said.

Ohio’s state guidelines for reopening colleges during the coronavirus pandemic

/ Higher Ed, Ohio, re-opening schools

Cleveland.com |

The state issued both a planning document for testing and a general set of guidelines on Thursday for higher education. Institutions must develop a coronavirus testing strategy. 

The four-page guidelines, which touches on school events, housing and other aspects of campus life, is divided into “minimum operating standards” and “best practices.”

(more…)

Ohio High School Athletic Association is proceeding as if fall sports will occur

/ Ohio, sports

WCPO |

Ohio High School Athletic Association interim executive director Bob Goldring said in a memo Tuesday night the education-based athletics governing body is proceeding as if fall sports will occur. “As you all have seen during this pandemic, those plans can be modified or canceled quickly,” Goldring wrote.

Masks now required in 12 Ohio counties; Hamilton, Butler counties on ‘watchlist’

WLWT |

New counties include Clermont, Pickaway, Fairfield, Wood, Lorain and Summit counties. This is added to the previous list, which included Hamilton, Butler, Montgomery, Franklin, Cuyahoga and Trumbull.

Mask mandates for the new counties go into effect at 6 p.m. Friday.

Residents in impacted counties must wear a mask when out in public or in a place where they are unable to follow social distancing rules. It will not be required for children under the age of 10 or anyone who has a medical condition that keeps them from wearing a mask.

Internet Access, Laptops Get Kids Ready for Kindergarten

/ equity, Ohio, tech

Spectrum News 1 |

The Waterford Upstart Summer Learning Program helps families at 200 percent of the poverty line and below. This year alone, nearly 13,000 kids in nine states, including Ohio, are getting the help they need most.

Are educators liable for kindergarten bullying? Ohio Supreme Court to decide.

/ HR, legal, Ohio

Clevland.com |

An attorney for a kindergartener whose parents said she was bullied asked the Ohio Supreme Court on Wednesday to hold educators responsible for not doing enough to stop it — which he said culminated in the child being stabbed in the face with a sharp pencil.

The case has garnered statewide attention in the education community because the Toledo Public School District could lose its immunity from liability if the court agrees with the child’s attorney that administrators were reckless to a child during her “tender years.”

Ohio’s private colleges received PPP funding as public schools have struggled

/ finance-funding, Higher Ed, Ohio

Ohio Capital Journal |

More than two-dozen private campuses in Ohio received funding from the Paycheck Protection Program, forgivable federal small business loans and retained thousands of local jobs.

The PPP guidelines do not explicitly prohibit public institutions from applying, but the rules do render most public campuses in Ohio as being ineligible for funding. One key restriction is that only entities with 500 or fewer employees can apply, thus leaving out most large-scale universities. Applicants must also fall under certain registered categories — primarily as a business or nonprofit. 

Ohio Agencies Look to Reduce Racial Bias in Child Welfare

/ health/wellness, Ohio

CityBeat |

Compared with their white peers, Black children are more likely to linger in foster care, less likely to find a permanent home and more likely to be placed in an institutional setting. Robin Reese, director at Lucas County Children Services, said they are focusing on prevention as they work to reduce disparities.

Gov. DeWine Mandates Face Masks In Seven Counties – Butler, Hamilton, and Montgomery included

/ Ohio

WVXU |

Tuesday’s orders apply to any indoor location other than a residence, as well as people who are outdoors and unable to consistently maintain six-foot social distancing, and while waiting for and riding public transportation. There are exceptions granted for children under 10 years old, and those with physical or developmental disabilities.

(more…)

Jerry Snodgrass out as Ohio High School Athletic Association executive director

/ leadership, Ohio, sports

WCPO Cincinnati |

“The Board of Directors felt it necessary to go in a different direction with OHSAA leadership,” the OHSAA said in a statement. “We cannot go into more detail at this time.” Snodgrass spent 12 years working for the OHSAA. He served as the OHSAA’s executive director since July of 2018.

The OHSAA announced Monday night that senior director of operations Bob Goldring has been named the interim executive director. Goldring also previously served as the OHSAA’s acting executive director from mid-March to mid-June back in 2016.

Keeping focused on reading and math basics poses problems for children learning at home

/ Ohio, remote learning

Cleveland.com |

“That issue about our youngest learners about getting them to hone their skills in reading and math is very important, because that’s the key to the rest of their education,” Akron Superintendent David James said in a web conference for the Ohio 8, an alliance of superintendents and teachers union leaders from eight urban Ohio districts.

Dayton schools Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said in the Ohio 8 conference that teaching the basics, like phonics, involves showing students how the mouth forms certain sounds, which is difficult over a screen. Not all students have parents at home who can sit and work with them on these kinds of fundamental lessons.

Fulton County schools have joint plan to open

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Fulton County Expositor |

A joint announcement released Monday outlines an overall framework for the county’s school districts, Swanton Local Schools Superintendent Chris Lake said. He said the plan is broad enough to permit each school district to meet the needs of individual school buildings if necessary. 

The plan puts students back into schools five days per week this coming academic year. Fulton County is just west of Toledo and includes Archbold Area Schools, Evergreen Local Schools, Gorham Fayette Local Schools, Pettisville Local Schools, Pike-Delta-York Local Schools, Swanton Local Schools, and Wauseon Exempted Schools.

Read the full agreement.

Brown, Portman Support Expanding Broadband Access

/ BigPicture, equity, legislation, Ohio, tech

Statehouse News Bureau |

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) are backing a piece of legislation that would build-up internet access in underserved areas like rural communities.

The Rural Broadband Acceleration Act would put $20.4 billion towards building rural broadband in two phases.

Ohio High School Athletic Association: Teams now permitted to travel for camp

/ Ohio, re-opening schools, sports

Newark Advocate |

The Ohio High School Athletic Association informed member schools Sunday afternoon Gov. Mike DeWine is preparing to announce a change in policy regarding the state’s Phase 2 in a return to sports.

The change now will permit high school teams to participate in off-site team camps.

(more…)

Ohio Senate committee passes dropout recovery funding

Ohio Capital Journal |

A bill originally written to create school violence prevention groups will now also bring temporary financial relief to dropout recovery and prevention e-schools if passed. The Senate Education Committee spent its last meeting before a summer break passing House Bill 123 with an added amendment supported by the governor.

The bill was created to require local school districts to designate a student-led violence prevention club for each school building serving grades 6 through 12, but after amendment, the bill will “permit” but not require those clubs. 

The major amendment added to the bill in its seventh hearing, in which it was also passed on for a full Senate vote, creates a temporary funding formula for e-schools who are also a part of the state’s dropout prevention and recovery program. The funding would be specifically for the 2020-2021 school year.

Remembering Joseph Regano, former Superintendent, Solon City Schools

/ leadership, Ohio

Cleveland.com |

Regano became the superintendent of Solon City Schools in 1987 and provided steady leadership for a district that has consistently ranked at the top of the Ohio Department of Education’s annual rankings. He died of cancer Sunday morning.

Faculty want say in how Ohio colleges reopen this fall

Columbus Dispatch |

“Faculty, staff, students and community members at our schools are profoundly concerned that so many of our campuses are planning to physically reopen campus in the fall, given the almost assured potential to launch a super-spreader event that will harm, or even kill, members of our communities,” the AAUP (American Association of University Professors) chapters said in an open letter.

The letter was signed by more than 20 AAUP chapters and state conferences, including the Ohio AAUP state conference and AAUP chapters at Ohio State, Ohio, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Miami and Wright State.

Ohio State to require face masks, daily health checks of students this fall

Cincinnati Business Courier |

Students, faculty and staff at Ohio State University will be required to wear face masks indoors, do daily health and temperature checks, and sign a “pledge” to promote health and safety, the university announced Wednesday.

The university has launched a new website, called Safe and Healthy Buckeyes, to publish rules related to social distancing, personal protection and hygiene, along with details related to classrooms, workspaces, housing, dining and more.

Gov. Mike DeWine says after May cuts to education, he wants to keep schools at new baseline

Cleveland.com |

“Nobody wanted to cut the schools — certainly I didn’t want to cut the schools,” DeWine said. “We cut 3.7 percent, we wanted to do that early because we wanted schools to be able to have flat funding from then on. Our goal is to keep that funding at that flat level until we get enough revenue in to raise them. It’s trying to bring some continuity to the schools.”

DeWine lays out K-12 reopening plans

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Ohio Capital Journal |

The guidance is specifically noted as “not mandatory” in the documents and emphasized the need for schools and districts to develop and implement their own protocols, while using the information provided by local and state health departments.

“Planning teams should include school leaders, local health department officials, local school board members, educators, education support professionals, school health professionals, parents, students, community partners and local business leaders,” the planning documents stated.

Finally: Ohio’s planning guides for re-opening schools

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Guidelines for reopening Ohio’s schools for the upcoming school year was released by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine this afternoon.

Teachers will be required to wear face coverings with a few exceptions, including interfering with learning or working with disabled students.. When they’re not practical, DeWine said face shields may be considered.

(more…)

Decision on Columbus school resource officers is months away

/ Ohio, student-voice

Columbus Dispatch |

A group tasked with evaluating safety and security throughout Columbus City Schools — including whether city police should continue to be stationed in district buildings — had a total of 179 people apply to be part of the group.

But only one was a student, Columbus Board of Education President Jennifer Adair said. “Student voices are essential,” Adair said. “We will work on a way to figure out how to better engage our students and ensure that they are part of this process.”

School officials, legislators seek way forward without Academic Distress Commissions

/ legislation, Ohio

Ohio Capital Journal |

Groups from the three Ohio school districts under academic distress commissions met in a virtual town hall calling for the elimination of those commissions Tuesday. Parents, school board members, and state legislators decried the work of House Bill 70, which laid out the role of academic distress commissions (ACD) in taking over school districts considered the lowest performing state report cards. 

The districts currently under academic distress commission control are Lorain, East Cleveland and Youngstown. 

Lack of broadband hinders at-home schooling

/ equity, Ohio, remote learning, tech

The Columbus Dispatch |

A new report on broadband access in Columbus found that too many households lack what has become “the fourth utility” for students and parents working from home. 

The gap is not due to lack of infrastructure — internet service providers are available in even the most-impoverished areas — but the result of economic factors, technical literacy and personal choice, researchers said.

Early education leaders discuss rebuilding ‘workforce behind the workforce’ after coronavirus closures

/ coronavirus, early-learning, Ohio

Cleveland.com |

As the state’s businesses reopen, early educators hope the continued need will showcase how essential early education centers are to the state’s economy — and hopefully direct more resources to programs.

“This is the workforce behind the workforce,” Robyn Lightcap, the executive director of Dayton-Montgomery County Preschool Promise, said in an Ohio State University Crane Center For Early Childhood Research and Policy forum on Wednesday.

Columbus schools won’t fully reopen under COVID-19 plan

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

The Columbus Dispatch |

Online lessons will become the norm, with high school students likely to learn completely online and younger students in classrooms only two days a week. Schools would group students in cohorts that wouldn’t mingle, including eating meals in classrooms instead of the cafeteria. 

The district’s teachers union has voiced concerns about the district’s plan, noting its bargaining unit hasn’t agreed to it.

New Study Says Lack Of Good Childcare Is Hurting Businesses

/ early-learning, Ohio

Statehouse News Bureau |

The report by ReadyNation shows $57 billion in lost earnings nationally in productivity and revenue because of the lack of day care. To solve the problem, business leaders want Congress and the state to help Ohio recover funds for child care that have been lost during the pandemic.

Cleveland Schools Finds Family Income, Student Age Impacted Remote Learning

/ Ohio, remote learning, tech

WOSU |

“For those kids who did have [internet access], they told us they put more effort into their work, they were more confident that they could do their work and complete it,” said district CEO Eric Gordon. “They were more focused, and they spent more of their day actually engaged in learning.”

The survey found other factors also had an impact on the effectiveness of remote learning, Gordon said, including the ages of individual students. Middle and high school students adapted better to the shift, he said, while younger students needed more assistance.

Schwendeman v. Marietta City Schools

/ HR, Ohio

Ennis Britton Law Blog |

This case is support for school districts taking action based on an employee’s dishonest actions while out on leave, even when such action appears in close proximate time to certain protected actions of an employee (e.g. filing charges of discrimination with EEOC and/or OCRC). If a district learns new information, it is not prohibited from acting on the new information even though an employee may have sought other legal avenues.

http://www.ennisbritton.com/blog/2020/schwendeman-v-marietta-city-schools

Reopening guidelines for Ohio schools delayed again, to Thursday

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Cleveland.com |

Governor DeWine originally said on June 16 that Ohioans could expect school reopening guidelines — which school leaders say are crucial to guide planning for the fall — within 10 days. He said on Thursday the guidelines would be released Tuesday. But now, no briefing is planned for Tuesday.

When the schools document is released, DeWine said Ohioans shouldn’t expect any surprises and that there would be a great deal of flexibility built into the plans.

Are Ohio schools’ equity policies enough to fight racism?

/ equity, Ohio, social-justice

Columbus Dispatch |

Officials in the Akron and Youngstown school districts in northeast Ohio, which already have equity policies, have recently committed to revising and strengthening them to more explicitly address racism’s impact and how to mitigate it.

In central Ohio, districts such as Hilliard, Upper Arlington and South-Western have created task forces to explore solutions, involving both school employees and outside professionals.

P-EBT Cards Mailed To Ohio Students Who Receive Free School Lunches

/ food-nutrition, Ohio

WOSU |

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is sending the P-EBT cards to make up for the 53 days of school breakfasts and lunches students missed out on when the state’s public schools went virtual in March.

Families will receive one card for every student in the free meals program. Each card will have $302 or $231, depending on when the student enrolled in the program.

67% of parents in 3 Midwest states likely to send children to school in fall: University of Michigan report

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Cleveland.com |

The report is based on the responses of 1,193 parents and guardians in Ohio, Illinois and Indiana, surveyed from June 12-22.

In Ohio, 68.2% of about 390 parents said they would likely send one or all children back to school in the fall, nearly 2 percentage points higher than those in Indiana or Illinois. The results are similar to a recently released Quinnipac University poll, which found 49% percent of 1,139 Ohio parents thought sending students to elementary, middle and high schools will be safe this fall.

Lawsuit filed in Warren County to fully open Ohio day cares

/ coronavirus, legal, Ohio

WLWT |

The lawsuit is against Lance Himes, current director of the Ohio Department of Health, Amy Acton, the former director of the Ohio Department of Health and the Warren County Health District. Finney Law Firm and The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law filed the suit Tuesday.

In the lawsuit, the day cares stated that because schools and child-oriented activities were closed, day care services are more necessary to Ohioans now than ever before and the Ohio Department of Health is restricting Ohio families access to those services.

(more…)

Ohio 8 Coalition ask for decision on funding and planning for fall

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

The Ohio 8 Coalition is asking DeWine to bypass what they describe as the non-binding guidelines from the U.S. Department of Education related to the $330 million marked for the state from the federal CARES Act.

Ohio Public Radio – Statehouse News Bureau – Andy Chow reporting

WKYC 3 reports that in a call with reporters Monday, superintendents said they need clarification on several issues, including on how federal money set aside by Congress to deal with the coronavirus will be distributed; what state testing will be required; and if more state money will be available.

Eric Gordon, CEO of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and co-chair of the coalition, said 40 percent of families in the district lack access to reliable internet access. He said the district has already spent millions getting students connected in March when the state shut down schools because of the virus.

David James, the superintendent of the Akron Public Schools, said that he estimates bringing back kids safely will cost his district millions. He said the district estimates hand sanitizer alone could cost between $3 to $4 million. Providing disposable masks – up to five a day to every student – could cost $2 million.

Dr. Elizabeth Lolli, superintendent of Dayton City Schools focused on the curriculum demands. “The curriculum is massive and can’t be expected to be taught in one year. Hold off for a year on the third-grade reading guarantee. We’ve missed a quarter and now we’ve missed a summer.”

The group recommends the state condense reading and math lessons for the 2020-2021 school year and have standardized testing to reflect the new narrowed scope. 

They also say third graders and younger should be the first to return to a classroom as it’s too hard to teach them to read online.

Report: 2020 KIDS COUNT Data Book – Ohio drops in ranking

/ BigPicture, equity, Ohio

Broadly speaking, kids nationwide experienced gains in the Economic Well-Being domain and promising-but-mixed results in the Health, Education, and Family and Community domains. The positive strides realized — driven by effective policies and achieved before the coronavirus pandemic — serve as an encouraging reminder that the nation can advance the substantial work now needed to improve the prospects of its youngest generation.

Despite documented gains for children of all races and income levels, the nation’s racial inequities proved deep and stubbornly persistent during the reporting period, according to the data. The nation failed to provide African American, American Indian and Latino children with the support necessary to thrive while states failed to dismantle barriers facing many children of color.

(more…)

High school teams enter next phase in restart program

Sandusky Register |

The new week will mark the beginning of Phase 2 in a return-to-play plan formulated by the OHSAA and Ohio Department of Health. It will allow such things as 7-on-7 football among teammates, intrasquad scrimmages and contact in basketball practices.

State Science Day winners announced – 4 from southwest Ohio

/ Ohio, science, student-voice, SW Ohio

More than 1,200 students from grades 5-12 participated in State Science Day this year held by The Ohio Academy of Science.

Every year, about 10,000 students from schools across Ohio participate in local science fairs and are judged on different criteria. The students who achieve the best ratings are invited to be in district science fairs. Judging this year, took place over several days back in May and early June.

This year 4 local students from southwest Ohio won at the state level:

  • 7th-grader Maura Risk of Mother Teresa Catholic in Liberty Township, received first place for the project Best Materials That Reduce Heat.
  • Eighth-grader Alexander Krol of Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati, received third place for the project The Capture and Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide from a Closed System: How Much CO2 is Absorbed per Gram of Soda-Lime.
  • Tenth-grader Anuj Raghavan of Mason High School in Mason received first place for the project World Without Waste: Separating Laminated Plastic from Paper.
  • Eleventh-grader Justin Huang of Mason High School in Mason received first place for the project Preparation of Reusable PVA-Nano TiO2 Foam for Wastewater Treatment.

Each recipient will receive a $100 prize and a certificate signed by Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson.

Mason Middle School was one of 14 schools to receive the Harold C. Shaw Memorial Outstanding School Award recognizing the highest possible school and team achievement at State Science Day.

Full program available for viewing.

Gov. Mike DeWine signs ‘religious freedom’ bill

The bill also restores state K-12 funding cuts for some districts

KDKA Pittsburgh and Cleveland Plain Dealer |

The House bill introduced by Republican Rep. Tim Ginter in March 2019 (HB164) expands religious freedom in Ohio public schools and allows students to engage in religious expression in their school assignments. It was signed into law Friday by Republican Gov. Mike DeWine.

(more…)

Ohio University permanently waives ACT, SAT requirements

/ assessment, Higher Ed, Ohio

The Columbus Dispatch |

The university had temporarily made ACT and SAT scores optional through next spring as part of its response to COVID-19 and as national tests dates were canceled across the country.

Thursday’s announcement makes the test-optional policy permanent.

Ohio school boards have more time to fill vacancies because of coronavirus

/ coronavirus, leadership, Ohio

Cleveland Plain Dealer |

Usually, districts have 30 days to fill a vacant position before the county probate court is tasked with finding a new member. The state superintendent’s order moves that deadline back to 60 days.

No More Jobless Benefits For Ohio Workers At Home For Lack Of Child Care

/ coronavirus, HR, Ohio

Statehouse News Bureau |

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Kim Hall said an executive order allows for benefits to continue for people who can’t telework and are in a high risk category, are over 65, those who have evidence of a health or safety violation by their employer, and those who have proof that they had to quarantine or are caring for a family member with COVID-19.

But she adds: “Refusing to return to work because of a child-care issue was not included in the executive order.”

Ohio school districts should notify state of remote learning plan, but it’s complicated

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Cleveland Plain Dealer |

Ohio school districts should submit a remote learning plan to the state by July 31 in case the coronavirus pandemic spikes again, according to a section of a bill passed last week.

But the new law could confuse the 107 districts that have already submitted a “declaration” to the state’s department of education of their intent to use a blended learning plan.

The difference comes from the language used in the bill. “Remote learning,” though not defined anywhere in the bill, refers to students learning entirely at home, while “blended learning,” which is defined in the Ohio Revised Code, refers to a mix of learning at home and in schools.

Legislature considering lowering standards for armed teachers despite failed history of legislation

/ legislation, Ohio, school safety

Ohio Capital Journal |

Senate Bill 317 is currently sitting in the Government Oversight and Reform committee, the chair of which, state Sen. Bill Coley, is the bill’s sponsor. The bill would provide exceptions to current law barring possession of firearms in “school safety zones,” which include school property, school-sponsored activities and buses. Those exceptions would include security officers employed by a board of education, or those with written authorization from the board of education or school district governing body.

The bill comes after the 12th District Court of Appeals disagreed with a lower court that the Madison Local School District, in Coley’s home county of Butler, could pass a resolution allowing district employees to carry concealed firearms into school safety zones.

Child Abuse Reports Down, But Advocates Say Abuse May Be More Prevalent

/ health/wellness, Ohio

Statehouse News Bureau |

Child abuse reports in Ohio were down by half in March – when schools were shut down – compared to a year ago. April’s reports were down 45% from a year ago, and reports of child abuse were down 36% in May compared to last year.

Kristi Burre heads the Office of Children Services Transformation at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, and said families are struggling with isolation and economic stress – especially those who were already in poverty.

“There’s a recognition that for all of us, things have been a bit stressful, and the potential that many of our kids and families in communities across the state are at greater risk, and then that may of course lead to greater risk of child maltreatment,” Burre said.

Legislature limits governor’s budget cuts for 36 Greater Cleveland, Akron school districts

/ finance-funding, Ohio

The Cleveland Plain Dealer |

The largest chunk of money would go to Cuyahoga County districts, with nearly $6 million split among 14 districts. 

The largest amounts in the state to be restored are for three Columbus-area districts: Olentangy ($2 million), Upper Arlington ($1.3 million) and Dublin ($1.1 million), plus the Sycamore district near Cincinnati, ($1 million), according to estimates provided by the nonpartisan bill-scoring Legislative Services Commission.

(more…)

Senator Wants Lottery To Bring In More Cash From Players To Replace Budget Cuts

/ finance-funding, Ohio

Statehouse News Bureau |

K-12 schools took a $300 million budget cut last month because of declining state revenues.  

Sen. Bill Coley (R-Liberty Township) said since Ohio Lottery profits go to education, the Lottery needs to come up with ways to replace that money.

Columbus City Schools to reevaluate police resource officers

/ Ohio, school safety, social-justice

The Columbus Dispatch |

Columbus City Schools will hold off negotiating a new contract to deploy school resource officers in its buildings following demands from some students, alumni and families that the district end its relationship with the Columbus Division of Police.

The district will announce members of a working group who will evaluate its overall approach to safety and security, Columbus Board of Education President Jennifer Adair announced Tuesday. The goal is for employees, families and students to participate, Adair said.

Ohio House passes additional funding for schools

/ finance-funding, legislation, Ohio

The Morning Journal |

The House last week voted in favor of Senate Bill 4, which includes $555 million for schools and infrastructure projects statewide. It returns to the state Senate to consider changes the state House made.

As it stands now, the measure allows the state to issue up to $300 million in bonds for school construction via the Facilities Construction Commission. It also permits the Public Works Commission to issue $225 million in bonds, including $175 million for the State Capital Improvement Program, an initiative that supports local infrastructure projects.

Canton schools join EdChoice lawsuit

/ EdChoice, legal, Ohio

Canton Repository |

The Canton City School District Board of Education on Monday voted to join or initiate a lawsuit against Ohio’s EdChoice program.

Earlier this year, Canton schools authorized the Ohio School Board Association to determine if the district and other public school districts had the grounds to sue, said Board Member Eric Resnick.

Canton will be part of a coalition of districts challenging the program. It will cost the district $2 per student — about $16,000 — to be part of the coalition.

Dozen Ohio Horizon Science Academies sue Ohio Department of Education over denied grant funding

/ finance-funding, legal, Ohio

Cleveland Plain Dealer |

Horizon Science Academies are suing over denied Ohio Department of Education grant money, claiming the rules for the grant were changed after the application process.

The lawsuit, filed in the Ohio Supreme Court, refers to the “Quality Community Schools Support Grant” created through House Bill 166, a state budget bill.

Under the grant, qualified charter schools are eligible to receive up to $1,750 each fiscal year for each pupil identified as economically disadvantaged and up to $1,000 each fiscal year for all other students, according to the Ohio Department of Education website.

Ohio’s Broadband Bill Passes House But Still Needs Approval From The Senate

/ legislation, Ohio, tech

Statehouse News Bureau |

Nearly one million Ohio households lack reliable broadband service and of that, there are 300,000 that don’t have any service at all. The Ohio House has passed a bill that would help bring broadband to those area. It’s now up to Senators to pass the plan.

Legislator: If schools don’t open this fall, “real chaos” will ensue

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Ohio Capital Journal |

State Sen. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, introduced a bill to the Senate Education Committee that would give authority to local school districts — public, private and home-schooled — on deciding when they would reopen for the 2020-2021 school year, and the precautions put in place to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

Committee member Sen. Dr. Teresa Fedor, D-Toledo, said the level of authority in the bill concerned her, and that elected members of school boards could have the effect of protesting public health orders and taking risks.

Will Ohio schools, churches refuse to serve as polling places in November?

/ coronavirus, Ohio

Columbus Dispatch |

During a meeting of Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s Ready for November task force on Tuesday, elections officials worried that they won’t be welcome in schools even though those responsible for those facilities are legally obligated to make them available.

Election officials are lobbying state legislators to require schools to keep students separate from voters as well. They worry that the possibility of mingling could make it hard for them to recruit poll workers, who tend to be older and more susceptible to COVID-19, while also more easily spreading the virus.

Less than 20% of Ohio school districts filed paperwork to hold blended learning this fall

WSYX/WTTE |

Making the declaration with the state means that a district will be allowed, by law, to teach remotely for more than three days out of the school year. See the list at the link (accurate as of Friday, June 12th).

Fall learning could look different at each of Ohio’s 610 school districts, with state in supporting role

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

The Cleveland Plain Dealer |

A state advisory group has been exploring physical logistics, including a rotating school week, and Gov. Mike DeWine says he expects to open up buildings. ​And the state legislature has taken ​some steps to free up local districts to make the most appropriate decisions for learning, instead of tasking that decision with education officials in Columbus.

School law full of graduation, funding, religion changes approved

Journal-News |

Ohio legislators passed a wide-ranging education bill this week, affecting graduation rules for current high school students, restoring funding for some suburban schools, protecting religious expression in schools, but removing language that would have allowed schools to furlough staff this year.

Test/graduation rules: The bill says high school students whose state end-of-course exams were canceled this spring can use their classroom grades in those subjects toward Ohio’s graduation requirements.

Funding: A late amendment to the bill will restore $23 million in funding to school districts mainly in wealthy communities. House Bill 164 ensures that between state cuts, CARES money and “offset payments” in this bill, no school district ends up getting less than 94% of its original state funding amount for 2019-20.

(more…)

Student religious liberty bill passes Ohio Senate, heads back to House with COVID-19 amendments

Ohio Capital Journal and Cleveland Plain Dealer |

While the language from the original bill would allow religious expression at school to be treated in the same way as secular activities, much of the amendments came from Senate Bill 319 in response to coronavirus.

  • Removed language that would allow furloughs for school employees instead of a reduction in force system.
  • An appropriation from the general fund of $24 million would be given to schools to fill gaps created by budget cuts. Any cuts made to schools would be limited to 6%.
  • School psychologists would be able to provide services online. 
  • School districts would be able to assign teachers to subjects outside of their licensure for the 2021 school year. 
  • Students would be able to move from the third grade despite a failing score on the third grade reading assessment, as long as the school principal and reading teacher give evidence of the student’s ability to succeed.
(more…)

Putnam County superintendents’ letter to DeWine: Tell us by July 1

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Lima News |

“The decision on when and how we return to school in August must be left to the local school districts working in conjunction with their local health departments. We respectfully reject the one-size-fits-all approach as it pertains to students safely returning to their respective school buildings… In the interest of allowable time to adequately collaborate and prepare for students returning in mid-August, we also officially request that the decision to allow students to return to school be made on or about July 1.”

Putnam County School Superintendents, June 5th, 2020

Read the full letter.

The letter is signed by superintendents Nicholas Verhoff, of Columbus Grove schools, Danny Kissell, of Continental schools, Nick Langhals, of Jennings schools, Karl Lammers, of Kalida schools, Greg Williamson, of Leipsic schools, Kerry Johnson, of Miller City-New Cleveland schools, Don Horstman, of Ottawa-Glandorf schools, Scott Mangas, of Ottoville schools, R. Todd Schmutz, of Pandora Gilboa schools, and Jan Osborn, of the Putnam County ESC.

Laws, health rules, local choice all play into school restart decision

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Dayton Daily News |

State superintendent Paolo DeMaria said an updated version of Ohio’s fall restart guide for K-12 schools is expected in the next two weeks, but new proposed legislation also is likely to affect parts of the process.

DeMaria said a return to school five months after coronavirus-related shutdowns will require balancing four components — any changes in law from the legislature, health and safety guidelines from the Ohio Department of Health, resource information from the Ohio Department of Education and local decisions by schools and districts.

Hundreds support Ohio Senate public health crisis declaration on racism

/ legislation, Ohio, social-justice

Ohio Capital Journal |

Hundreds of people, from elected officials and nonprofit representatives, to medical students and public school employees, submitted testimony in support of the resolution, which would require elected officials, staff, “funders and grantees” to receive implicit bias training, secure resources, and promote community engagement on issues of racism.

The resolution also includes a commitment to reviewing codified ordinances with a “racial equity lens” and government hires in the same way.

Call for the end of police presence in Columbus City Schools

/ Ohio, school safety, social-justice

The Columbus Dispatch |

More than 2,500 community members, teachers, and parents demand that Columbus City Schools end its relationship with Columbus police.

During the 2019-20 school year, there were 19 school resource officers, two sergeants and three truancy officers working with Columbus City Schools, according to district spokesman Scott Wortman.

About 46% of public schools in the nation use school resource officers, who are police officers with the authority to make arrests, according to a report on the 2017-2018 school year from the National Center for Education Statistics.

Ohio’s community colleges encourage students to take online classes this fall

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

The Columbus Dispatch |

The Ohio Association of Community Colleges announced its “Year 1 at Home” initiative Wednesday, encouraging students and families to consider community colleges’ experience in online instruction, lower tuition and the easy transfers of general education credits.

Ohio’s community colleges don’t plan to be exclusively virtual this fall, but choosing to attend community college classes at home and online can eliminate uncertainty for students and families, OACC President Jack Hershey said.

Cleveland and Ohio’s Urban Districts Say DeVos’s Pandemic Aid Plan Would Cost Them Millions Meant for High-Poverty Students

/ finance-funding, Ohio

The 74 Million |

The Ohio 8 Coalition urged Gov. Mike DeWine in a letter last month to award federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act money to schools based on poverty levels, saying their schools would lose out on millions of dollars under DeVos’s plan, which calls for the money to be distributed to private schools based on enrollment, without considering family income.

17 Ohio GOP senators sponsoring bill to prohibit state officials from making coronavirus school reopening plans

Cleveland Plain Dealer |

Senate Bill 320, introduced Monday, would instead leave that task to local school boards and leaders of charter and private schools. However, the bill, if passed, would interrupt plans underway in Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration for the fall.

Under SB 320, local officials would make the decisions about whether and under what safety measures and guidelines schools will open under the bill. Local officials would also be allowed to close the buildings mid-year if necessary because of the pandemic.

Protest For Changes In Columbus City Schools

/ Ohio, social-justice

Statehouse News Bureau |

Columbus School Board President Jennifer Adair said she welcomes that conversation.

“This is the time to talk about it and talk about it as a community, to get people around the table – parents, students, teachers, the police themselves,” Adair says.

Protestors say money spent on police in schools could be better spent on more counselors and social workers.

In a written statement, the Columbus Police Department says “We do not want to impose on the school system if we are not welcome. The priority for Columbus Police is always safety first. That includes the safety of students and staff.”

Legislators ask for increased public school funding in next appropriations bill

/ finance-funding, legislation, Ohio

Ohio Capital Journal |

The members of the Democratic caucus of the Ohio Legislature are calling on their U.S. Congress counterparts to bring more funding to the state’s public school systems.

In a letter sent this week to the Ohio Congressional Delegation, the state legislators asked that U.S. representatives and senators push for education funding in the next appropriations bill related to COVID-19. 

Bill Would Keep Non-School Officials From Closing Ohio Schools

/ legislation, Ohio

Ohio Capital Journal |

State Sen. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, said Senate Bill 320 will “allow the people who know their students and parents best to make decisions that are best for their local school districts.” Parents giving students home instruction would be able to decide if a facility offered adequate protection from COVID-19, under the bill.

After state cuts and federal coronavirus funds, find out if your Ohio school district is getting more or less money

/ finance-funding, Ohio

Cleveland.com |

Nearly three out of five districts will see a net funding cut, due to how the formulas behind the $300 million in state cuts and $384 million in offsetting federal funds through the CARES coronavirus relief act, are actually calculated.

There could be more federal money coming to schools soon though. This week, the Ohio Controlling Board, a legislative panel that approves spending of federal grants, set up a Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund containing $104.9 million. Mandi Minick, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Education, said the money will be split between K-12 schools, and state colleges and universities, once the DeWine administration decides how.

New Ohio Senate bill would address testing, graduation, bus drivers, furloughs, other school issues amid coronavirus

/ legislation, Ohio

The Cleveland Plain Dealer |

State Senate Bill 319 would address some testing and graduation requirements for this and next year, as schools have closed due to the pandemic. It would also suspend parts of contracts negotiated through collective bargaining, which teachers unions disagree with.

Columbus school board promises more action to reverse problems rooted in racism

/ equity, Ohio, social-justice, Solutions

Columbus Dispatch |

Starting next school year, the district will employ a chief equity officer – a person who will monitor programs to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of employees and students and promote a culture of inclusion.

Ohio State announces plan to return to on-campus learning this fall

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Cincinnati Business Courier |

The university says the “resumption of full operations on Ohio State campuses” will include the use of face coverings, physical distancing, hand hygiene, limited density indoors, control of traffic flow in buildings, continued teleworking by employees, more Covid-19 testing, symptom tracking and contact-tracing, according to a news release from the university.

Gov. Mike DeWine: Ohio to return to in-person lessons this fall

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Cincinnati Enquirer |

School leaders, including Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Laura Mitchell, have said that the most impactful learning happens in classrooms. Some students are less engaged, according to a national survey and local educators, while away from teachers and peers.  

DeWine said he worries about children who haven’t adjusted well to online learning because of their age, a disability or a lack of access to Internet. 

OASN: From kindergarten to college, back-to-school preparations need to start now

The Highland County Press |

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, routine childhood vaccinations have plunged. This can create a drop in herd immunity and potential for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. 

OASN warns families that waiting until classes start could make it difficult to make an appointment with their child’s pediatrician or primary care provider.

OHSAA: All students eligible for fall 2020 sports

/ Ohio, re-opening schools, sports

Portsmouth Daily Times |

In a memo written by OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass and issued to all member school administrators on Friday afternoon, May 29th, OHSAA adjusted their by-laws so that “all students entering grades 7‐12 will be eligible for 2020 fall sports insofar as academic eligibility is concerned.”

Cleveland Heights Superintendent Comments On George Floyd’s Death

/ Ohio, social-justice

Patch |

Superintendent Elizabeth Kirby said she is concerned about the impacts these high-profile deaths will have on students. “I am also extremely concerned about the impact these incidents have on our students who are trying to make sense of a world where these tragedies continue to happen even in a global pandemic,” she said. 

The superintendent said she believes everyone should take this time to remember how interconnected we are and how much kindness matters. This time, she said, should also reinforce the efforts of the school district to ensure equitable education.

Impact Of School Budget Cuts

/ finance-funding, Ohio

WOSU |

WOSU’s All Sides radio program looks at how public schools managed to end the school year and their prospects going forward with the following guest:

  • Daarel Burnette, staff writer covering education funding and finance, Education Week
  • Dr. Talisa Dixon, superintendent and CEO, Columbus City Schools
  • Stan Bahorek, treasurer and CFO, Columbus City Schools
  • Stephanie Starcher, superintendent, Fort Frye School Local School District in Beverly Ohio

Ohio Bill Seeks to Install Protective Barriers for School Bus Drivers

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

School Transportation News |

House Bill 615, introduced on May 6 by Rep. Lisa Sobecki, states that an “owner of a school bus may install a protective barrier around or near the operator’s seat of the school bus for purposes of providing protection to the operator from infectious diseases.”

The bill states that the protective barrier may be inspected by the Ohio State Highway Patrol to ensure compliance. The act is declared to be an “emergency measure necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety.”

Ohio House passes bill to further limit state school testing

/ assessment, legislation, Ohio

Journal-News |

The bill also would create a pathway for parents to opt their child out of the statewide junior-year administration of the ACT college entrance exam, starting with the Class of 2022 — students who will be juniors next year. In addition, the bill would prohibit schools from holding 2020-21 third-graders back a year if they don’t achieve the promotion score on the state’s third-grade reading test, according to the LSC.

Petition to Stop Mixed School Days Gains Support From Thousands of Ohio Parents

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Spectrum News 1 |

An initiative to get one school district in Ohio to back down from potentially implementing split school days in the fall now has support from more than 55,000 parents across the state. The parent behind the petition, Alice Marrs, is hoping to get 75,000 signatures before June 8 and then send it to ODE, legislators and superintendents.

For now, the next major plan of action is a rally at the Department of Education in Columbus on May 29.

Appalachian Children Coalition launched to help Southeast Ohio young people

Pike County News Watchman |

The Appalachian Children Coalition is a first-of-its-kind regional partnership of Educational Service Centers; Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health (ADAMH) Boards; and K-12 school districts across 24 Southeast Ohio counties. 

The coalition’s initial focus will be on three areas:

  • lack of internet access, and the negative impact this has on a majority of kids across Southeast Ohio;
  • the shortage of child behavioral health specialists;
  • the lack of in-patient, acute care facilities.

A full list of the Coalition’s member agencies can be found in the article.

Learn more at the Appalachian Children Coalition website.

https://www.appalachianchildrencoalition.org

Child care centers preparing to re-open

WKRC – Cincinnati |

Child care centers in Ohio can open May 31 but that is a Sunday so most are planning to reopen June 1.

Students and parents will see changes when they return to the school next week. There are designated entrances for children and their temperatures will be taken and logged once they enter the building. Arrows on the ground and floor inside show one-way foot traffic is allowed only.

OHSAA offers guidance as schools ‘Return to Play’

/ Ohio, re-opening schools, sports

Portsmouth Daily Times |

With the return of OHSAA-sanctioned sports comes summer recommendations, as the OHSAA — in following up from Friday’s May 22 memo to member schools — issued guidance to those member schools which are strongly suggested to be followed in three “phases.”

The memo states that “every school/program should start at Phase One of this program and remain there for at least 14 calendar days. If there is a downward/flat trajectory of documented cases within a 14-day period, a school may progress to Phase Two, where a new 14-day period of tracking of cases should begin. If there is another 14-day downward/flat trajectory of cases, schools may progress to Phase Three.”

The list of guidelines for all three phases can be found at https://ohsaaweb.blob.core.windows.net/files/SchoolResources/OHSAAGuidance2020.pdf

Athletic trainers left off advisory group for summer sports

/ coronavirus, Ohio, sports

WKRC |

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) created an advisory group that just developed Ohio’s coronavirus guidelines for youth summer sports leagues. Only two doctors – an orthopedic surgeon and ODH’s assistant medical director – make up the 24-person roster.

No member of the OHSAA, nor an athletic trainer make up the list.

Schools in Athens County worry about funding during pandemic

/ finance-funding, Ohio

The Athens News |

While Athens County school district superintendents said they were worried about the impact of these and future cuts due to declining state revenue because of the pandemic, federal funding from the coronavirus relief bill passed earlier this year (the CARES Act) will balance out these cuts for now.

Dave Hanning, superintendent of Federal Hocking Local Schools, said in an email earlier this month that his district received a $212,001 reduction in state funding this year.

(more…)

A tale of two states: Ohio and New York take different paths to budget cuts for schools

/ finance-funding, Ohio

ChalkBeat |

Ohio offers a stark contrast to New York, where a recently passed state budget disproportionately cut from high-poverty school districts. Together, the states offer competing roadmaps for how to distribute the pain of budget cuts — choices other states are certain to face soon as they grapple with this economic downturn.

No clear answers on reopening Ohio’s schools

The Center Square |

“Schools will and should reopen when public health standards can be met,” Ohio Education Association (OEA) President Scott DiMauro said in a statement.”

Kevin Miller, director of governmental relations for the Buckeye Association of School Administrators (BASA), suggested that any decisions should allow school districts some leeway. “The important thing is that no matter what plan anyone develops, there has to be flexibility and trust in our local school districts and what decisions they make,” Miller told lawmakers.

Lawmakers could soon consider Senate Bill 313, sponsored by state Sen. Terry Johnson, R-McDermott. The measure, which has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee, would require the Department of Education to make payments in the 2020 or 2021 fiscal years to school districts that see a drop in the taxable value of property in their communities.

Protecting school bus drivers, Ohio House considers bill to allow bus barriers

ABC6 WYSX/WTTE |

The Ohio House is considering an emergency bill that would allow for plastic barriers to be installed around school bus drivers, attempting to limit their exposure to airborne respiratory droplets that could carry the COVID-19 virus. H.B. 615 had its first hearing before the Transportation and Public Safety Committee on Tuesday.

Ohio return-to-school survey shows masks for kids is a divisive issue

/ Ohio, re-opening schools

Journal-News |

The Ohio Parent Teacher Association asked people whether they would send their kids back to school in the fall if the buildings reopened. About 60% of the 14,448 respondents said yes, 11% said no, and 29% said they were unsure. But when the question was tweaked to ask if parents would send their children back to school if they were required to wear a mask, only 32% said yes, with 40% saying no, and 28% unsure.

2020 designation of STEAM/STEAM schools

/ Ohio, STEM-STEAM

Ohio STEM Learning Network |

10 more schools have earned the mark of STEM/STEAM designation from the Ohio STEM Committee.

OHSAA’s Jerry Snodgrass is optimistic the high school football season will occur

/ Ohio, sports

WCPO – Cincinnati |

On Thursday afternoon, the Ohio governor’s office and the OHSAA announced all high school sports may begin individual skills training May 26 at school facilities at the discretion of the respective school districts.

4 Ohio students named 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars

/ Ohio

Highland County Press |

• From Cincinnati – Elizabeth Radway, Indian Hill High School (Cincinnati)

• From Parma Heights – Olivia Wenzel, Laurel School (Shaker Heights)

• From Shaker Heights – Ryan Nicole Brady, Hathaway Brown School (Shaker Heights)

• From Worthington – Aniv Ray, Columbus Academy (Gahanna)

Inside Cleveland’s Plan to Treat Broadband Like a Public Utility Service — and to Pay for Every Student to Get Online

The 74 Million |

School district CEO Eric Gordon is working with local nonprofit DigitalC to treat internet access as a public service available to all, just like electricity, water and sewers. Gordon’s goal is to create a public utility that brings the internet to the poorest neighborhoods and students so that they have the same access to resources as affluent and connected suburban students.

Cleveland Schools Considering Bold Plan to Confront Coronavirus Learning Loss

The 74 Million |

Cleveland schools would toss aside teaching many students in traditional grade levels this fall and dramatically expand the “mastery” learning plan it has tested for a few years. A system of “grade bands” that combine students of a few ages and grade levels into the same classroom would be used.

Nonprofit hopes to steer Ohio pre-K students away from an educational ‘COVID cliff’

/ Ohio, tech

WCPO – Cincinnati |

Waterford is offering its Upstart Summer Learning Path program to 15,000 families for free. The program includes videos and software to help children learn colors, letters and other skills they need to start kindergarten on the right foot.

Expanded Ohio high school football playoffs to start in 2021

/ Ohio, sports

The Lima News |

The expansion will increase the number of football playoff qualifiers from 224 to 336. Last year there were 709 schools in Ohio that played 11-man football. Football is the only OHSAA team sport in which not every school qualifies for the postseason.

Madison school district appeals over training hours for armed school staff

/ legal, Ohio, school safety

News Journal – Wilmington, Ohio |

The district has appealed a state appeals court ruling that they must provide police-level training to employees carrying concealed weapons. Several other school districts and the Ohio Attorney General’s Office have filed briefs in support of Madison’s appeal.

Ohio Senate committee discusses future of Ohio’s K-12 education

/ coronavirus, equity, Ohio

Ohio Capital Journal |

The Senate Finance Committee held a panel discussion Tuesday, in which they heard from the Buckeye Association of School Administrators, the Ohio Education Association, the Ohio Federation of Teachers and the Ohio School Board Association.

Those who spoke during the meeting said proper funding to allow equity in schools, proper safety measures to make sure high-risk populations are protected, and flexibility for school districts to plan for their unique needs are all top priorities for districts across the state.

DeWine Expects Students Back In Classrooms This Fall

WOSU – Columbus |

While the future is still uncertain, right now the plan is for students to return to school buildings and classrooms in August, the governor said in an interview for “The State of Ohio” which will air later this week.

He said he discussed it with a group of superintendents last week.

“They’re all planning to go back in the fall. What I’ve asked them all to do is to kind of come up with their plans, their best practices,” DeWine said.

Ohio Parent Teacher Association survey on schools re-opening plans draws ‘huge’ interest

Cleveland Plain Dealer |

Ohio PTA President Ana Chapman said public interest in the survey was unprecedented, with 14,448 people responding, and tens of thousands more responding on social media. The results have been shared with the Ohio Department of Education.

Sixty percent of parents said they would send them back in the fall, while only 11% said no, according to Chapman. Twenty-nine percent were unsure. But asked about masks, parents were much more split. Forty percent said no, 32% said yes and 28% were unsure.

High school sports will begin to open slowly on May 26

/ coronavirus, Ohio, sports

News-Herald – Willoughby |

A group of six high school sports (baseball, golf, softball, swimming/diving, tennis and track & field) may begin workouts and have coaching contact beginning May 26. However, none of those activities are permitted to take place on school grounds or at school-owned venues. That was the gist of a memo sent from the Ohio High School Athletic Association to its member schools on Friday evening (May 15) in an email.

Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted pledges to work with OHSAA as part of state’s reopening plan

WCPO – Cincinnati |

Husted called OHSAA executive director Jerry Snodgrass Monday morning, and communication will continue regarding school-sanctioned sports as part of the “Responsible Restart Ohio” plan. “We’re going to begin to coordinate with them on protocols for training in preparation for school-sanctioned sports,” Husted said.

Could coronavirus curb November levy plans for Columbus City Schools?

/ finance-funding, levy, Ohio

The Columbus Dispatch |

At its third and final online meeting Monday, the district’s “millage committee” unanimously recommended the Columbus Board of Education consider a 4.7-mill levy to fund such permanent improvements. But that’s as far as the committee was willing to go. It intentionally omitted a time frame for the levy — even though the board, which formed the group earlier this year, specifically asked it to contemplate a levy for the Nov. 3 general election.

Wendy Knapp Appointed State Librarian of Ohio

/ Ohio

State Library of Ohio |

The State Library Board was impressed with Knapp’s deep engagement with using innovative technologies to advance library goals, experience developing relationships within state government, and enthusiasm for advocacy for building library support. She is a member of the E-Rate Taskforce for the ALA Office of Information Technology Policy and former board member of the Association of Cooperative and Specialized Library Agencies.

Will students show up, pay for college classes? Examining the financial fallout

/ Higher Ed, Ohio

Journal-News |

“Most of our colleges and universities are making plans for in-person, on-campus instruction. I think they know very well that they need to provide the safest, healthiest conditions for students, faculty, staff and the public,” said Randy Gardner, Ohio’s chancellor of higher education.

Dayton area schools get federal stimulus; formula has clear winners, losers

/ finance-funding, Ohio

Dayton Daily News |

The Beavercreek and Dayton school districts are losing just over $2 million each in May and June as part of last week’s state-level budget cuts triggered by plummeting Ohio tax revenue.

But while Dayton will receive $9.2 million from the federal coronavirus-related CARES Act, Beavercreek will get only $323,541, leaving one district $7.2 million ahead and the other $1.7 million behind, according to figures released Thursday by the Ohio Department of Education.

Immigrants’ kids face barriers when schools go online

/ EL, equity, Ohio, remote learning, tech

The Columbus Dispatch |

As of May 5, 69% of Columbus City Schools students had the technology they needed to do online learning, according to the district. But a Columbus Education Association survey found that 54% of students — and only 35% of English language learners — were participating in distance learning.

State education officials seek feedback from Ohio parents on reopening schools

Cleveland Plain Dealer |

State education officials have asked the Ohio Parent Teacher Association to come up with feedback to their draft re-opening plan. The Ohio PTA has set up a short online survey for parents, asking three things:

1. What are your main questions?

2. Will you send your child to school if they reopen in the fall?

3. Will you send your child to school if masks are mandated?

Ohio considering flipping high school sports seasons

/ coronavirus, Ohio, sports

The Citizens Voice |

The Ohio High School Athletic Association put together a few proposals, but one gaining the biggest attention is the potential to flip the sports seasons. Sports typically played in the spring would be played in the fall, the winter sports season would remain the same. The high school football season would be played in the spring of 2021.

State of confusion: OHSAA, local coaches and ADs thrown a curve by latest ruling on sports reopenings

/ coronavirus, Ohio, sports

The Chronicle |

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said the state never forced high schools to close their athletic facilities, only the school buildings where children congregated for classes.

Believing that schools and their athletic facilities were shuttered through June, the OHSAA canceled all spring sports seasons and instituted a no-contact period between coaches and athletes through that time frame.

Traditional public schools getting triple the state cuts of charters

/ finance-funding, Ohio

The Columbus Dispatch |

The traditional districts saw their state allocation drop an average of 3.72%, compared to 1.03% for charter schools, which are taxpayer funded but generally privately run. The cuts cover the final months of the current state fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Why the difference?

“Community (charter) schools have no access to local sources of revenue and cannot levy property tax levies,” said Mandy Minick, press secretary for the Ohio Department of Education.

Group that won Ohio school-funding suit now challenging vouchers for private schools

/ EdChoice, legal, Ohio, voucher

Columbus Dispatch |

The coalition sent messages this week seeking support from Ohio’s 600-plus public school superintendents, saying, “We cannot stand silent witness to the systematic dismantling of the public school system.” The lawsuit, expected in a few weeks, already has support from both teachers unions in the state.

What you need to know about Ohio’s new daycare guidelines

/ coronavirus, early-learning, Ohio

Journal-News |

When Ohio’s child care centers reopen at the end of the month, they will have to follow a rigorous cleaning regimen, care for fewer children and implement new drop-off and pick-up routines.

Parents have also been given guidance on what to expect.

Sector-fact-sheet-8-Child-Care

(more…)

Kids have been out of school since March 16. Here’s how teachers, parents say it’s going.

/ coronavirus, Ohio, remote learning

Cleveland.com |

If you think it’s difficult to direct your children’s at-home learning during the pandemic, imagine being a teacher who is balancing the tasks of creating remote learning content, grading it, answering parent and student emails — and monitoring your own children’s schooling.

Ohio was the first state to close schools buildings, beginning March 16. Since then, kids have been learning at home and opinions are abundant on what is working and what needs to improve. Most pronounced are family and school district wealth disparities — with kids from richer school districts equipped with their own tablets and children from poorer areas sharing them or not getting them at all.

Guidance: Ohio Supreme Court Upholds School District Takeover Law

/ legal, Ohio

Ennis Britton |

HB 70 does not apply to the vast majority of Ohio school districts. However, it has been declared constitutional and will remain valid Ohio law until such time as the legislature amends it. Recent legislation has been proposed seeking to end school takeovers such as this (SB 89) or dissolve the academic-distress commission overseeing Lorain City Schools (HB 9).

Former Lorain School superintendents and another local district administrator apply to be the next CEO

/ leadership, Ohio

The Chronicle-Telegram

Lorain Schools Academic Distress Commission contracted with the Educational Service Center of Lorain County to conduct a fast-tracked CEO search, hoping to fill the position by Aug. 1.

The application period closed 11:59 p.m. Monday, with 12 current and former school district leaders applying for the position, according to applications supplied to The Chronicle-Telegram via a public records request.

Divided Ohio Supreme Court upholds controversial school takeover law

/ legal, Ohio

Akron Beacon Journal

In a 5-2 decision, the court found lawmakers did not violate the Ohio Constitution when they added a 67-page amendment allowing the takeover of academically distressed local school districts to a 10-page bill and passed the measure on the same day.

Fall school reopening in planning: Ohio superintendent wary of full August return

/ coronavirus, Ohio

Journal-News

Superintendent Paolo DeMaria told the state school board that the Ohio Department of Education’s role is not to advocate for a particular model, but to present resources for a variety of models, so local school boards, superintendents and others can choose the approach that works best for their community.

Here’s what Ohio schools might look like when classes resume

/ coronavirus, Ohio

Cincinnati Enquirer

Both students and teachers would wear masks, schools would have a quarantine room, and field trips would remain banned when in-person classes finally resume for Ohio schools, under a non-binding state Department of Education plan.

An online draft of the proposal, discussed and distributed at the Ohio Board of Education meeting Tuesday, emphasizes that it is not mandatory and simply offers directions and suggestions on tactics local districts can use to help protect students and teachers.

Education bills seek to end EdChoice, academic distress commissions

/ legislation, Ohio

Ohio Capital Journal |

A series of bills set to be considered by the Ohio House go after the EdChoice voucher program, look to end academic distress commissions, and enact language meant to hold community schools accountable.

(more…)

Ohio families to get $300 to feed children who relied on school meal programs

/ food-nutrition, Ohio

WJW Cleveland |

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services received notice that its Pandemic EBT plan was approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). That allows the state to distribute SNAP benefits to 850,000 students in Ohio, who relied on free or reduced-price meal programs at school. Benefits will be mailed directly to students. Families do not need to apply and will receive around $300.

State cuts CH-UH school funding by another $1.4 million; EdChoice vouchers factored in again

/ coronavirus, finance-funding, Ohio

Cleveland Plain Dealer |

That’s about double the amount CH-UH officials were expecting initially when Gov. Mike DeWine announced May 5 that $300 million would be pulled from this fiscal year’s budget for public schools as a result of the COVID-19 health emergency.

“Unfortunately, the state chose not to do a straight percentage cut and instead did a ‘per pupil reduction’ — including EdChoice students — based on property wealth,” CH-UH Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Scott Gainer said Tuesday (May 12).

State school board takes voluntary pay cut ‘to set example’

/ finance-funding, Ohio

Dayton Daily News |

Members of the 19-person board (one seat is currently vacant) have been paid $32.02 per hour for their time attending monthly meetings, visiting schools and holding face-to-face meetings with constituents. Tuesday’s vote means they’ll be paid $25.62 per hour for the rest of the year.

Thousands sign Ohio petition against mixed school days and remote learning next year

/ Ohio, remote learning

WSYX/WTTE Columbus |

So far, more than 33,000 people have signed the petition on change.org, including parents, grandparents, and teachers. They’ve said their kids need structure, stability, and social interaction.

Cleveland, Akron, other big schools say COVID-19 coronavirus relief should target students in poverty

/ coronavirus, finance-funding, Ohio

Cleveland Plain Dealer |

In a statement, the Ohio 8 Coalition objected to the non-binding guidelines from the federal Education Department that urged distribution based on residency, regardless of need.

Coronavirus economic fallout ‘terrifies’ Northeast Ohio school leaders, experts, stirring fears of deep budget cuts, merged districts

/ coronavirus, finance-funding, Ohio

Cleveland Plain Dealer |

Views on cuts and budgets from Northeast Ohio Superintendents and several Ohio think-tanks.

Teachers celebrated ‘Appreciation Week’ at home. Then DeWine cut their funding

/ coronavirus, finance-funding, Ohio

Ohio Capital Journal |

In the days following this announcement, the Capital Journal heard from more than a dozen teachers and administrators throughout Ohio who expressed dismay at the governor’s decision.  Most acknowledge the state faces significant financial peril during this pandemic, but they wish the governor hadn’t decided to first turn to public education in filling the gap.

COVID-19 Pandemic Highlights The Importance Of Broadband

/ coronavirus, Ohio, remote learning, tech

via Statehouse News Bureau |

A 2018 US Census report showed 710,000 Ohioans don’t have any access to broadband at home. Some cities have spotty coverage areas, and the terrain in southern Ohio makes it a challenge.

Ohio’s top 50 high schools in 2020, according to U.S. News & World Report

/ Ohio

via Cleveland Plain Dealer |

Ottawa Hills High School, just west of Toledo, topped the 2020 News & World Report rankings for best high school in Ohio.

In-Person K-12 Classes Off For Rest Of School Year, Virtual Learning Continues

/ coronavirus, Ohio, remote learning

via Statehouse News Bureau |

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says students will complete the school year through virtual learning, saying coronavirus still poses too much of a health threat to students, teachers, staff, and the rest of the community.

“The reason that the school was shut before. The physical locations of the school was because of our concern about people going in, kids going in and then going back and forth, back into their families and the spread that occurs because of that,” says DeWine.

Local superintendents talk about decision to learn from home for remainder of school year

/ coronavirus, Ohio, remote learning

via WLWT and WKRC |

“It’s a very emotional time. There’s a lot of things that we will not feel like there’s closure like they would want,” said Mason City Schools Superintendent Jonathon Cooper.

(more…)

Choose to Read Ohio 2021 and 2022 Titles

/ literacy, Ohio

via State Library of Ohio |

The State Library of Ohio and the Ohioana Library Association, with the Ohio Center for the Book and the Choose to Read Ohio Advisory Council, are pleased to announce the 20 books selected for the 2021 & 2022 Choose to Read Ohio (CTRO) booklist.

The CTRO initiative promotes reading across Ohio through a biennial booklist of 20 representative titles for all ages. CTRO booklists spotlight and celebrate the rich and diverse tapestry of published literature by Ohioans.

Choose to Read Ohio (CTRO) is a project of the State Library of Ohio and the Ohioana Library Association, in collaboration with the Ohio Center for the Book and Ohio’s libraries.

Courts Continue to Uphold Political Subdivision Immunity in Favor of School Boards

/ legal, Ohio

via Ennis Britton |

These cases emphasize that Ohio courts will recognize and enforce the immunity defense when properly applied and in the absence of wanton, reckless, or otherwise irresponsible actions on the part of district staff. The extension of this coverage to activities often seen as outside the scope of the educational process enlarges staff protections in its many areas of student supervision. 

Douglas v. Columbus City Schools Bd. of Edn., 2020-Ohio-1133

Michael v. Worthington City School Dist., 2020-Ohio-1134

Columbus City Schools to form task force for post-coronavirus opening

/ coronavirus, Ohio, remote learning, tech

via The Columbus Dispatch |

In response to a question about whether the crisis will kick start a district movement toward “blended learning,” which utilizes more internet courses from offsite locations, Dixon confirmed that the district will move in that direction as a result of the crisis.

CARES Act Funding For Ohio Could Address Ed Disparities Exposed By COVID-19

/ coronavirus, finance-funding, Ohio, tech

via WKSU |

State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria said the intention of the roughly $460 million in federal assistance is to help schools with coronavirus-related expenses.

“Those resources will be available to schools and districts for a broad range of purposes,” said DeMaria, “including addressing things like buying computers, supporting internet connectivity and those kind of things.”

For many students at Ohio career centers, pandemic has put their plans on hold

/ career-tech, Ohio

via Columbus Dispatch |

The goal is for students to graduate with the credentials needed to enter the workforce — but now many of them are barred from those experiences.

Officials at area centers say they’re prepared to work with students however they can.

Miami Valley schools worried about future funding

/ coronavirus, finance-funding, Ohio

via Dayton Daily News |

Treasurers say revenue from multiple sources are in jeopardy in the next year-plus.

Local school districts are saving small amounts of money during coronavirus-related closures, but schools are still paying their staff, and treasurers say revenue from multiple sources is in jeopardy in the next year-plus.

Almost half of local school districts – including nearly all of Miami, Preble and Darke counties — rely in part on school income tax levies. With thousands of residents out of work for an indefinite period, those revenues are expected to decline.

Foodbanks could serve 40 percent of Ohioans by time pandemic ends

/ coronavirus, food-nutrition, Ohio

via Dayton Daily News |

But some food pantries in the state have less than a three-week supply of food, said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.

Coronavirus has day care providers on the edge

/ early-learning, Ohio

via The Columbus Dispatch |

In Ohio, 29% of the 78 facilities surveyed reported not knowing how long they remain closed and then reopen without support. Thirty-four percent said they have parents who can’t pay fees or copays, and 46% have lost income because they are paid by attendance rather than enrollment.

(more…)

Schools skip A-F grades during coronavirus disruption, make classes pass/fail

/ assessment, coronavirus, Ohio

via Cleveland.com |

Some schools are dropping their normal grading system during the coronavirus crisis and grading students as Pass or Fail for the fourth quarter of the school year. Though some states have recommended pass/fail grades for the final quarter of the school year, including Connecticut and New Mexico, Ohio has left it up to each district.

Virus scare prompts suspension of school lunch program – Chesapeake Union EVSD

/ coronavirus, food-nutrition, Ohio

via The Herald Dispatch |

The school district had been offering about 160 free lunches a day at Chesapeake Elementary School. The decision to suspend the program was attributed to following the U.S. surgeon general’s guidance. CUEVSD is located in southern Ohio near Kentucky and West Virginia.

Columbus schools spend $50,900 on wireless data plans for online instruction amid coronavirus shutdown

/ coronavirus, Ohio, remote learning

via The Columbus Dispatch |

The Columbus Board of Education approved spending a total $50,900 Tuesday night to purchase unlimited data plans from Verizon Wireless to keep students without internet access learning during a state-ordered shutdown of school buildings due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Ohio’s Information Technology Centers Support Schools Amid Closures

/ coronavirus, Ohio, Solutions, tech

via Morning Journal |

“This is an ‘Apollo 13 moment’ for teaching and learning in Ohio,” said Geoffrey Andrews, Chief Executive Officer of the Management Council. “Zoom’s real-time video collaboration coupled with quality digital resources from INFOhio enables educators to effectively teach, and students to successfully learn in a remote environment.

Both resources are delivered to Ohio’s school districts through Ohio’s Information Technology Centers.”

EdChoice voucher reversal a struggle for Ohio families

/ EdChoice, legislation, Ohio

via Columbus Dispatch |

Some families who’d planned to send their kids to a private school now have to choose between paying themselves or sticking with a troubled public school.

Some schools embrace online lessons, others mired in Internet obstacles during coronavirus shutdown

/ coronavirus, Ohio, tech

via Cleveland.com |

The differences between suburbs and cities is significant and has many school advocates, from teachers unions to legislators to advocacy groups, worry that learning and opportunity gaps between poor and affluent students will grow even wider.

ODE releases Remote Learning Resource Guide

/ Ohio, remote learning, Solutions, tech

via Ohio Department of Education |

The Remote Learning Resource Guide from the Ohio Department of Education is designed to be a one-stop shop to help schools, educators, students, parents and caregivers consider how to approach and apply a comprehensive remote learning plan that enables each child to carry on learning during this time of social distancing.

The guide covers the following:

• Ohio’s core principles for remote learning;

• Defining and deploying remote learning;

• Developing and updating remote learning plans;

• Existing resources to maximize remote learning;

• Identifying internet providers and getting connected;

• Using instructional resources to enhance remote learning.

(more…)

Despite closures, central Ohio schools feed kids at 215 ‘grab and go’ sites

/ coronavirus, food-nutrition, Ohio

via The Columbus Dispatch |

The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food-insecure Americans as those who don’t always have access to the money and resources they need to obtain enough food to live a healthy, active life. If any silver lining can come from the coronavirus outbreak and school closures, advocates say, it’s a newly heightened awareness of this issue.

School Closure Response from Paolo DeMaria

/ coronavirus, Ohio

via Ohio Department of Education |

Waivers granted to provide meals that can be picked up at school and taken off site; waivers granted related to attendance and participation.

(more…)

Ohio public, private, charter K-12 schools to close for 3 weeks

/ coronavirus, Ohio

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria addresses COVID-19

/ coronavirus, Ohio

via Ohio Department of Education |

Schools have important questions concerning COVID-19 best practices and the impact on state testing and group gatherings. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria addresses some of these questions in this brief video update.

(more…)

Ohio applying for waiver to serve meals in a non-congregate setting and school sites during closures related to the coronavirus

/ coronavirus, food-nutrition, Ohio

via Ohio Department of Education |

The Ohio Department of Education is in the process of requesting a USDA waiver  to enable sponsors to serve meals in a non-congregate setting and at school sites during school closures related to the coronavirus. Meals served by sponsors during these school closures would be claimed either through the Summer Food Service Program or the Seamless Summer Option.

Upon approval, the Department will update this notification with further instructions for schools.

For more information about the waiver and non-congregate meals, reference USDA policy memo SP 08-2020 Child Nutrition Program Meal Service during Novel Coronavirus Outbreaks and the corresponding question and answer document.

DeWine is not ordering K-12 schools to close at this time; restricting mass gatherings

/ coronavirus, Ohio

The first case of “community spread” has been found in Stark County, Ohio. Community spread means the spread of an illness for which the source of infection is unknown (CDC).

Governor DeWine said that he is not ordering schools to close at this time.

But he is reinforcing his stance on mass gatherings.

(more…)

DeWine recommends limiting those at indoor sporting events, OHSAA abides

/ Ohio, sports

via WKRC |

Gov. Mike DeWine issued a statement on Tuesday recommending that spectators not attend sporting events as Ohio deals with the spread of coronavirus.

Jerry Snodgrass, Executive Director of the Ohio High School Athletic Association issued a press release Tuesday afternoon. In part it says:

Boys basketball regional tournament games scheduled for Tuesday night can proceed with fans.

The OHSAA will announce Wednesday morning how the tournaments will proceed moving forward. More information will be released as soon as possible, including the process for tickets already sold and what kind of media coverage will be permitted at the state tournaments. 

The OHSAA girls basketball state tournament begins Thursday at St. John Arena, the wrestling state tournament begins Friday at the Schottenstein Center and the ice hockey state tournament begins Saturday morning at Nationwide Arena.

March 10, 2020, OHSSA

Governor DeWine press conference: COVID-19 update (3/10/20)

/ coronavirus, Ohio

Governor DeWine’s press conference this afternoon covered a range of institutions that may be effected by COVID-19.

‘Tough decisions must be made now,” he said as part of his statements.

Below is an outline of Governor DeWine’s comments that touch on education.

K-12

  • recommendation today is NOT to close K-12 at this time
  • should start thinking about what that would look like if we had to though
(more…)

Central Ohio school districts share action plans regarding COVID-19

/ coronavirus, Ohio, school safety

via This Week Community News |

Central Ohio school districts in ThisWeek Community News’ coverage area were asked about their actions regarding the virus — specifically, the following questions:

  1. What are the immediate-action plan and communication plan if an outbreak should occur?
  2. What precautions are the district taking now, such as field trips, athletics and other extracurriculars?
  3. What plans does the district have to keep up with classwork should an outbreak force long-term closure?
  4. What additional information should residents in your district be aware of?
(more…)

Coronavirus In Ohio: Officials Confirm First Three Cases Of COVID-19

/ coronavirus, Ohio

via WVXU |

Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday declared a state of emergency after the first three cases of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, were identified in the state. DeWine announced that three Ohioans tested positive for the virus.

All three patients are from Cuyahoga County, and in their mid-50s.

Ohio Awarded $3.25 Million Federal Grant for Data Systems and Analysis

/ grants, Ohio

via Ohio Department of Education |

The Ohio Department of Education announced today that it will receive a $3.25 million federal grant aimed at helping states design, develop, implement and expand educational data systems.

The Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) Grant Program awarded the funds based on Ohio’s plan to accelerate and expand use of its existing data system to better support educators.

(more…)

Governor DeWine Creates BroadbandOhio to Support Expansion of High-Speed Internet

/ Ohio, tech

via InnovateOhio |

Establishing an office committed to increasing high-speed internet access across the state was a pillar of the Ohio Broadband Strategy that was released in December 2019.

“BroadbandOhio will implement our strategy for increasing high-speed internet access to underserved and unserved Ohioans across the state,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “We know there are more than 300,000 households in Ohio without broadband access. We need to increase access and establishing the office is a first step.”

(more…)

OSBA Southwest Region to host spring conference

/ leadership, Ohio

via Highland County Press |

More than 200 public school board members, administrators, staff, students and guests from across southwestern Ohio are expected to participate in the March 10 Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) Southwest Region Spring Conference. The event will be held at the Warren County Career Center. 

The Southwest Region 2020 President’s Award will be presented to Harold Dexter Carpenter, a coach and custodian at Northwest Local Schools in Hamilton County. The award recognizes an individual for outstanding contributions to students and public education in the Southwest Region.

(more…)

March is National Arts in Education Month

/ Ohio

The Ohio Arts Council (OAC) and Ohio Department of Education in celebrating the arts in schools all month long as National Arts in Education Month / Arts in the Schools Month.

With 3,400 schools in Ohio and an enrollment of about 1.7 million students, there are only about 44,027 schoolchildren not enrolled in arts courses for the 2017/2018 school year (Ohio Arts Education Data Dashboard).

The OAC promotes a number of art opportunities for students around the state and that support the arts in Ohio classrooms.

(more…)

Legal settlement requires Ohio to improve special education plans

/ legal, Ohio, SpecialEd

via Dayton Daily News |

The settlement calls for particular efforts to improve special education students’ inclusion and achievement in 11 districts where experts found systemic denials of a “free appropriate public education,” according to the disability rights group.

School screenings for depression seek to save kids’ lives

/ health/wellness, Ohio

via The Columbus Dispatch |

Thousands of central Ohio students have been surveyed about their mental health over the past four or five years, and officials say the process helps identify kids at risk.

Students Compete With Poetry Out Loud

/ arts, Ohio

via WVXU |

Michael Monks took a look at Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry competition where high school students compete by reciting poetry that showcases their public performance, memorization and recitation skills, on a recent edition of WVXU’s Cincinnati Edition.

(more…)

“Head Case”: Lack of athletic trainers can lead to missed concussions

/ Ohio, sports

via WKRC |

Kentucky and Ohio high school athletic handbooks have extensive rules on concussions that coaches and other school officials only need to know concussion signs and symptoms.

Both states’ handbooks also say coaches and officials cannot diagnose a concussion.

(more…)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Ohio’s Schools and Districts

/ coronavirus, Ohio

via Ohio Department of Education |

The ODE page is designed to help Ohio’s schools and districts consider local preparedness and action planning steps necessary to carefully and effectively prepare for and respond to a possible coronavirus outbreak.

It is based on information from the Ohio Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Ohio Department of Education.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Art, Writing & Multimedia Contest Winners

/ equity, Ohio

via Ohio Civil Rights Commission |

The Ohio Civil Rights Commission held its annual statewide Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Art, Writing & Multimedia Contest. The contest is intended to encourage students to reflect upon Dr. King’s life, philosophy, and impact on the Civil Rights movement and present day America. It is meant to challenge students to think about how civil rights and diversity affect their lives and how they can continue the work of Dr. King in their own way.

(more…)

Perry County students get early jump on welding careers

/ college-career, Ohio

via Columbus Dispatch |

New Lexington High School is diversifying its program to include an “emergent welding” program to teach third-, fourth- and fifth-graders a skill that could lead to good-paying jobs.

State asks for Ohio Supreme Court dismissal in EdChoice lawsuit

/ EdChoice, Ohio

via Ohio Capital Journal |

The Ohio Attorney General’s office filed the motion last week saying the school groups and individuals lack standing in their lawsuit. The attorneys for the state said the parties “fail to assert a claim for which relief can be granted,” and the Supreme Court does not have jurisdiction over the lawsuit.

Which private schools use the most vouchers in Ohio?

/ EdChoice, finance-funding, Ohio, voucher

via Cleveland.com |

This list includes all of Ohio’s voucher programs, not just EdChoice, which gives high schools $6,000 per student and elementary schools $4,650 per student.

(more…)

How would Northeast Ohio schools handle a coronavirus outbreak?

/ coronavirus, Ohio, school safety

via Cleveland.com |

Schools are making plans in case the COVID-19 coronavirus spreads to Northeast Ohio, mostly based on government authorities and guidelines.

(more…)

99 school issues slated for March 17th ballot

/ finance-funding, levy, Ohio

The upcoming primary election will see 99 school issues on the ballot across Ohio. Eleven schools in Southwest Ohio (see chart) have levy or bond issues on the ballot.

(more…)

Ohio remains prepared as coronavirus spreads

/ coronavirus, health/wellness, Ohio

via Dayton Daily News |

Kenna Haycox, senior policy consultant for the Ohio School Boards Association, said COVD-19 is just coming onto schools’ radar, and she got her very first request for COVD-19 information from a school district Wednesday.

Ohio EPA: Water systems at schools, daycares being tested first for PFAS

/ health/wellness, Ohio

via The Columbus Dispatch |

Nearly 250 Ohio schools and daycares with their own water supply systems are the first public systems being tested by the state for PFAS, or so-called forever chemicals.

Daycare and school water systems are in 60% of Ohio’s counties, records show, and testing should take another month or so. Testing the rest of the public water systems in the state will likely go through the end of the year, Griesmer said.

More than 100,000 people use the water systems at the school and daycare sites, according to state data.

Sydney Schools to honor girl’s state champion wrestler

/ equity, Ohio, sports

via WHIO |

Sidney City Schools has reversed course and will now create and hang a banner to recognize Josie Davis, Ohio’s first state championship girls wrestler at 126 pounds. Superintendent Bob Humble said the district will hang a banner for her in the wrestling gym, honoring her achievement. 

A disagreement about how to honor Davis came about because the Ohio High School Athletic Association does not recognize wrestling as a girl’s sport. Sydney has only recognized athletes in the school’s gyms that competed in OHSAA sports.  

Davis is set to represent the United States and travel to Europe to compete in a girls’ wrestling tournament. 

9 Students to Compete in Ohio Poetry Out Loud State Finals

/ arts, Ohio, SW Ohio

via Ohio Arts Council |

Nine Ohio high school students will compete for the title of Ohio’s 2020 Poetry Out Loud (POL) State Champion on March 6 at the King Arts Complex’s Nicholson Auditorium in Columbus.

Locally, Mi’Cayla Hendrix-Pitts, senior, Mount Notre Dame High School (Cincinnati) is in the state finals.

Students competing at the State Finals competition are:

(more…)

Humane Society of Summit County launches anti-bullying program to teach 4th graders compassion for animals and people

/ health/wellness, Ohio

via Cleveland.com |

The program is designed to teach empathy and good citizenship as a way to improve students’ relationships to other people and animals.

Ohio to provide training grants on preventing school violence

/ Ohio, school safety

via WFMJ |

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today announced the development of new resources to address gaps in preventing targeted violence in schools.

School resource officers or other law enforcement personnel with responsibilities that include school safety may receive a $500 Ohio School Threat Assessment Training Grant when they complete the training and agree to help form or participate on a school-based threat assessment team.

DeWine To Meet With House, Senate Leaders On School Vouchers

/ EdChoice, finance-funding, legislation, Ohio

via The Journal-News |

This after a five-day period in which the voucher debate went from loud, long and public to eerily quiet.

DeWine Touts Wraparound Services As Way To Help Students Reach Full Potential

/ health/wellness, Ohio

via Statehouse News Bureau |

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) is doubling down on his commitment to renew education funding for student wellness programs saying these services can play a vital role in a student’s education. The governor told a crowd of about 1,400 educators about his mission to renew the fund during a summit on mental health and social-emotional learning in Columbus.

Leaders Push to Restore Local Control of Public Schools

/ legislation, Ohio

via The Business Journal |

In light of the Ohio House of Representatives’ recent passage of Senate Bill 89, legislative leaders, community members, elected officials and educators led a press conference Monday to urge statehouse leaders to eliminate Academic Distress Commissions and restore local control of public schools in Youngstown, East Cleveland and Lorain.

2021 Ohio Teacher of the Year Nominations Open

/ Ohio

via ODE |

Since its inception in 1964, the Ohio Teacher of the Year program annually identifies exceptional teachers statewide celebrating their effective work in and outside the classroom. The mission of the program is to provide opportunities for professional growth to exemplary teachers as leaders in and advocates for public education.

Selected teachers move through two levels of recognition: (1) the State Board District Teacher of the Year as a regional recognition and (2) the Ohio Teacher of the Year as the state-level recognition.

Ohio legislation would make assaulting referees a crime

/ legislation, Ohio, sports

via Cincinnati Enquirer |

The latest version of the bill would make an assault on referees before, during or after a sporting event, or in retaliation for their decisions, a first-degree misdemeanor with an automatic fine of $1,500 and 40 hours of community service.

Free books for Ohio kids: How to sign up for the new Governor’s Imagination Library

/ early-learning, Ohio, Solutions

via Cincinnati Enquirer |

If you’re an Ohioan with a child under the age of 5, you might be eligible for free books delivered to your home each month.

Here’s how it works: You can enroll online at ohioimaginationlibrary.org if your child is younger than 5 years old and you live in a county that has launched the Governor’s Imagination Library.

Ohio graduates won’t have to be “proficient” in math or English, under state superintendent’s plan

/ assessment, ELA, math, Ohio

via The Plain Dealer |

DeMaria told the state school board this month he plans to require scores of 684 on both exams, scores that are above the state’s “Basic” level of minimal skills, but short of its higher “Proficient” bar.

Schools add esports

/ e-sports, Ohio

via The Daily Standard |

Coldwater High School students gathered under the watchful eye of district technology director and volunteer coach Nick Wirwille as they scrimmaged against a team from Shaker Heights High School.

St. Marys Memorial High School, St. Henry High School and New Knoxville High School are also developing programs, enlisting students to play games such as Overwatch, Rocket League, Fortnight and Hearthstone.

Statewide school associations, bus driver union call on Ohio Senate to keep Ohio’s front license plate

/ legislation, Ohio, transportation

via Highland County Press |

The state last year as part of the gas tax bill passed a provision that would no longer require front plates on vehicles in Ohio starting in July 2020. Senate Bill 179 would retain the front plate.

Students at Akron high school to benefit from IT partnership with University of Cincinnati

/ curriculum, Ohio, Solutions

via Cincinnati Enquirer |

Akron Public Schools, Stark State College and the University of Cincinnati announced Thursday a way for students at Kenmore-Garfield High School to earn enough college credits in high school to be automatically admitted into Cincinnati’s IT program. The program would save students a year’s worth of college tuition and set them up for a chance at a job during college through a Cincinnati co-op.

Local students take part in Esports to compete with other schools

/ e-sports, Ohio

via WTOV |

Steubenville City Schools implemented an Esports program last year and now Indian Creek is starting a league of their own.

“We went from just having a couple of members to having over 100 people show up because we decided to have an Esports team,” said David Moffat, interactive media teacher at Indian Creek.

State Auditor Warns Schools To Keep Levy Campaigns Separate

/ finance-funding, levy, Ohio

via Statehouse News Bureau |

The warning reminds school districts that are on the ballot to make sure they are not using taxpayer or state money to fund their campaigns. 

Public, Parochial Schools Sound Off At Holiday Hearing On EdChoice Vouchers

/ EdChoice, finance-funding, legislation, Ohio

via WVXU |

Lawmakers and school leaders would normally have Presidents Day off, but instead they spent it at the Statehouse, as testimony on changes to the EdChoice private school voucher program went on. Most of the witnesses were firmly in one of two camps – public schools or parochial schools.

Voucher schools escape test score scrutiny

/ EdChoice, Ohio, Ohio Report Card

via Cleveland.com |

Ohio doesn’t assure that schools that accept vouchers are any better than “failing” ones.

Though public schools can be labeled as underperforming by their state report card grades, Ohio law doesn’t calculate graduation rates or issue report cards for any of the private schools receiving about $400 million in tax-funded tuition aid.

A case study in what is wrong with funding Ohio schools: River View School District

/ finance-funding, legislation, levy, Ohio

via WDTN |

A major industrial employer in the area – the Conesville Power Plant — is closing its doors in May, causing the district to lose a total of $2.2 million in revenue as a result.​

The State of Ohio is currently funding the school district as if it is a wealthy district because of the value of the land surrounding the district.

While that land, which is mostly agricultural in nature, may be valuable, it’s not being sold and the financial yield the crops grown on it is hit or miss, depending on the growing season.​

When you look at the student body of the district, more than half of them are economically disadvantaged.​

Levy supporters, some of whom graduated from the district, said not much has changed for River View.

They were being literal…

Read the full story of the River View School District below.

EdChoice Students, Parents Speak Out For Senate Plan To Keep But Change Program

/ EdChoice, finance-funding, Ohio

via Statehouse News Bureau |

One by one, EdChoice students and parents supported a plan passed by the Senate to expand income based vouchers to 300% of the federal poverty level while keeping 420 school buildings on EdChoice, which is based on school performance.

Current state of Ohio’s EdChoice school voucher program: Mixed messages, frustrated parents, students left in limbo

/ EdChoice, finance-funding, Ohio

via WLWT |

Public school advocates spoke out against EdChoice on Friday at Butler County ESC.

Ohio senator proposes offering vouchers to every student in Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo

/ EdChoice, finance-funding, legislation, Ohio

via Cincinnati Enquirer |

Sen. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, is advocating for the same program found in Cleveland. The Cleveland Scholarship Program, which started in 1996, offers set amounts of public dollars to all students who live inside the city limits to help them cover the cost of tuition at private schools.

About 7,500 children currently use the program, according to Ohio’s Department of Education.

Professional Development Workshop for Fine Arts Educators to be held at South Central Ohio ESC

/ arts, Ohio, Solutions

via Highland County Press |

The day-long summit on March 11th will offer multiple workshop sessions designed to meet the needs of fine arts educators (dance, music, theatre, visual arts) in Ohio schools. Topics include: Arts Integration and Curriculum, Adaptive Instruction and Inclusion, Arts and Accessibility, Working with Visiting Artists & Artist Residencies and Grant Writing.

Esports program added at Indian Creek

/ e-sports, Ohio

via Hearld-Star |

Indian Creek High School students are getting their game on by joining the Esports Ohio League. The Indian Creek Esports Team includes 43 members on varsity and junior varsity squads.

14 colleges and universities in Ohio have official Esports programs, plus they offer scholarships from $3,000 to $6,000. Such opportunities are available at the likes of Tiffin University, Ashland University, Ohio Northern University and Lourdes University as well as 10 others in Ohio.

Superintendents oppose state school voucher expansion

/ EdChoice, finance-funding, legislation, Ohio

via Zanesville Times Recorder |

Public school boards in the Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center area are passing resolutions to oppose the voucher expansion, urging state legislators to amend the program.

Ohio Senate signs off on increasing penalties for school bus scofflaws

/ legislation, Ohio, transportation

via The Center Square |

Senate Bill 134, the “School Bus Safety Act,” would increase the maximum fine from $500 to $1,000 for motorists who improperly pass a stopped school bus.

Ohio Senate rejects House’s plan for EdChoice vouchers

/ EdChoice, finance-funding, legislation, Ohio

via Cleveland.com |

The Senate voted on whether to accept amendments to Senate Bill 89 that would phase out the part of Education Choice program that bases vouchers on report card grades of local public schools and move to base all vouchers on family incomes.

State groups support bill making private-school voucher income-based

/ EdChoice, finance-funding, legislation, Ohio

via Journal-News |

Leaders of the Ohio School Boards Association, Buckeye Association of School Administrators and Ohio Association of School Business Officials supported the provisions in Senate Bill 89, which was modified by the House to include EdChoice changes.

Ohio school report cards: Broken system, or easy scapegoat?

/ Ohio, Ohio Report Card

via Dayton Daily News |

Former state school board President Tom Gunlock said last week that the report card is fair, and adults in the education system should spend more time helping kids meet the targets and less time worrying how the report card makes them look.

EdChoice Voucher Battle Pits House And Senate Leaders Against Each Other

/ EdChoice, finance-funding, legislation, Ohio

via WVXU |

With just hours to go before families could submit applications for the state’s EdChoice private school voucher program on February 1, lawmakers delayed that window till April 1 till they could work out a compromise. And those chambers’ Republican leaders are holding fast to their different proposals.

Ohio House moves to undo law change that helped wealthy Stark County village try to change school districts

/ legislation, Ohio

via The Plain Dealer |

As part of a larger education bill passed on Wednesday, the House approved an amendment that repeals the school-territory transfer language tucked into last year’s state budget bill.

Gov. DeWine Urges Lawmakers To Remember Purpose Of Vouchers During Debate Over Them

/ EdChoice, finance-funding, legislation, Ohio

via Statehouse News Bureau |

“School Choice was designed originally to focus on poor children and poor families who are trapped in a school that is not performing well.  And these children need the same opportunity that more affluent families have,” DeWine says.

Ohio House amends bill to phase out EdChoice vouchers

via The Plain Dealer |

The bill would change the existing income-based EdChoice voucher system to the Buckeye Opportunity Scholarship. Existing recipients of vouchesr would be grandfathered in for that system. The House placed several amendments into Senate Bill 89, which had dealt primarily with career-tech education. Just before the vote on the bill, multiple members of the House suggested this should be the first step toward totally revamping Ohio’s education system.