COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday that schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Students will continue distance learning for the rest of the school year, DeWine said during his coronavirus briefing.
DeWine said the decision was made after talking to several parents, teachers, and administrators.
The governor laid out two reasons for the decision: the virus is still out there, and continuity for the students.
Even though the state has flattened the curve of the disease, it is still not safe to have students back in schools, he said.
“We have flattened the curve, but it remains dangerous,” DeWine said of the virus. “The situation is fluid. We now have eight or nine days straight of a fairly straight line in regard to hospitalizations, so that’s good news. We’ll feel a lot better when it starts going down.”
As for continutity, DeWine said he’s been told by many teachers and school administrators that putting students back into classrooms after being out for more than a month, and with such a short time in the year remaining, could be distruptive.
DeWine said a decision has not been made about reopening classrooms for the 2020-21 school year in the fall, saying it is too soon for a decision to be made.
“We’ve made no decision about the fall yet,” DeWine said.
The governor said the state is looking at the possibility of “blended” instruction, with some in-class and some online learning, but said that would likely depend on the local school systems.
DeWine said the thought of students, particularly seniors, losing events like proms, graduation ceremonies, etc. was sad. However, he’s hopeful the local districts will find a way to make it up to these students.
“We’re not telling the schools how to do this, but again, the gathering of a significant number of people is a dangerous situation,“ he said.
He added, “It’s a real shame, I can’t express how sorry I am about that.”
The governor officially closed K-12 schools across the state in mid March initially for three weeks. That date was later extended to May 1.