Although the risk of death from COVID-19 for children is “exceedingly low,” spread of the virus would likely be exacerbated with students and staff traveling between school buildings and home.
“Not only do we have to be concerned about the risk to students but also, obviously, teachers and, ultimately, the risk to the community,” DeWine said.
Ohio’s response to the pandemic is a “work in progress.”
“I wish I could signal to every parent out there that we know exactly what’s going to happen in August when kids go back to school, but we don’t,” DeWine said. “We’re working on it.”
DeWine has indicated that a mix of in-person and remote education may be necessary, and that the best approach may vary in communities across the state.
“As these decisions are made, we’re going to allow a great deal of flexibility,” he said.Announcing BCHF's 2020 online School Leadership Summit
ODE offers guidance for charter schools Against the backdrop of the DeWine Administration’s extension of school building closures through the end of the 2019-2020 school year, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) released guidance in response to questions posed by various charter school stakeholders, clarifying that charter schools may continue to enroll new students and acknowledging that current circumstances make it more difficult to verify where applicants live.
“A school still is required to obtain proof of residency, however, given the current health crisis, flexibility can be exercised,” the document states. “The student should be enrolled and every attempt to verify residency should be made by the school. That could include the submission of a signed statement from either the parent(s) or student if 18 years of age through submission of a photo or electronic copy.”
The guidance also addresses the impact of legislation (H.B. 197) recently passed by the Legislature in response to the pandemic on Ohio’s charter school automatic closure laws which waives state testing for the current school year.
“For the purposes of determinations regarding closure after the 2020-2021 school year … the department will review a school’s performance during the 2017-2018, 2018-2019 and 2020-2021 school years,” the document states.
ODE also offered assurance that charter school funding would not be impacted by the inability of schools to administer state-mandated tests.
Guidance issued on grading, promotion and attendance
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has issued guidance allowing districts and schools to use “traditional letter grades, opt for a pass/fail/incomplete approach or utilize a standards-based/mastery approach to report learning.”
Districts and schools that opt not to use letter grades should weigh the potential impact on college admissions, NCAA eligibility and other considerations.
“Teachers should play the primary role in making grading decisions regarding student performance,” the document states. “Teachers should consider the totality of the student’s performance on the course or grade-level curriculum as it was delivered during the entire school year, including prior to the ordered school-building closure as well as during the closure period.”
Decisions made regarding grade promotion should focus on the best interests of the student and be consistent with board-approved policies.
In a separate guidance document released on attendance, ODE emphasized that there have been no changes to requirements on how many hours of education students must receive during a school year: 920 for charters; 455 for half-day kindergarten; 910 for full-day kindergarten through sixth-grade; and, 1,001 hours for seventh through 12th grade.
Preventing abuse, neglect during school building closure
Since Ohio’s school buildings have been closed, reports of child abuse and neglect have declined by nearly 50 percent statewide. As a result, the Ohio Department of Education and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services have collaborated to increase awareness of the need for continued assessment of families and children for safety and to promote implementation of local safety practices.
The goal of the work is to ensure student safety by empowering educators and school personnel to support families, assess student safety needs and follow mandatory reporting requirements.
In remote learning environments, it may be more difficult to assess safety and detect signs of child abuse and neglect. There also may be less structured support and guidance for making a report. However, educators and other school personnel are still mandated reporters.
Access a variety of relevant resources – including questions to help assess needs and safety within the home – online at: Student SafetyEnglish learner, auxiliary services resources available
ODE has also created a webpage to address questions surrounding auxiliary services. Information on the site focuses on how to provide services and how to allocate auxiliary services funds. Access the information online at: Auxiliary Services
Teacher licensure impacted by pandemic
The ordered school-building closure and other measures taken in response to the coronavirus health crisis impact the educator licensure process for both current and prospective educators. Impacts include the closure of many background check locations and licensure examination testing sites and challenges to completing professional development requirements.
However, the ongoing pandemic has not disrupted the Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE) ability to receive and process licensure applications and renewals. ODE’s Office of Educator Licensure is still processing applications within five business days and is ready to assist educators, schools and districts with licensure-related inquires and needs.
ODE is providing flexibility regarding the licensure renewal deadline. The deadline for all licenses set to expire July 1, 2020 will now be September 1, 2020. Learn more online at: ODE
Court recognizes Constitutional right to literacy
The Education Law Association (ELA) recently reported in its ELA Weekly publication that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has overturned a decision by a U.S. District Court in Michigan that dismissed a lawsuit brought against the State of Michigan by students from two district schools and two charter schools in Detroit.
Students at several of Detroit’s worst-performing public schools were subject to poor conditions within their classrooms, missing or unqualified teachers, physically dangerous facilities, and inadequate books and materials.
In 2016, the plaintiffs filed suit against state officials, claiming that these conditions deprive them of a basic minimum education that provides a chance at foundational literacy, in violation of the due process and equal protection clauses, and sought recognition of a fundamental right to a basic education.
The Sixth Circuit reversed part of a lower court’s decision, reinstating claims that students were denied a basic minimum education and deprived of access to literacy.
New School or Replication of a High Performing Charter School
Buckeye Community Hope Foundation is currently accepting applications for New or Replicating high quality community schools to open in the 2021-2022 school year.
We believe every student in Ohio should have the opportunity to attend a high quality public school. All application requirements are posted below. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Schorr at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (614) 942-2002.
We will host an information webinar on Friday, May 15, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. via Zoom. This webinar will provide additional tips for completing your application and common mistakes we see in applications that are ultimately denied. Please join us at the link below.
Full Application due October 1, 2020
Interested in changing sponsors?
Below are the links to the Sponsorship Transfer Application. If at any time you have questions, please contact Jennifer Schorr email@example.com
Workshops and Events
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