Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Thursday would not specify whether K-12 schools will close for the rest of the spring semester.
“Is it possible we don’t get back to school this academic year? Absolutely,” DeWine said in a tweet Thursday. “But we just don’t know yet.”
Ohio schools are wrapping up their second week of closures, after an order from the Ohio Department of Health. The earliest that K-12 schools could reopen pending that order is April 6.
Schools have taken a variety of approaches in the meantime, with many offering online education, including feedback from teachers via email or Google platforms. Others sent home paper packets of assignments, again with the ability to email teachers with questions.
“Our teachers, administrators, parents - they’re doing amazing work with distance learning,” DeWine said.
Responses to DeWine’s tweet ran the gamut, with some urging the governor to keep schools closed to prevent the spread of disease and others calling for him to reopen schools, saying parents needed to be able to go to work to support their family.
Several commenters suggested DeWine at least set a deadline for a decision on the rest of the semester, to help schools, parents and students plan. Others said online learning was not going well, either for technical, communication or school effort reasons.
On Wednesday, the state legislature approved multiple school changes for this year, including the cancellation of state testing, plus greater flexibility for both online learning and graduation options for high school seniors.
Some analysts said those changes opened the door for the state to close school buildings for the rest of the year, but DeWine didn’t jump on that opportunity Thursday.
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