Ohio, Kentucky school districts scramble to adjust school plans amid state closures

Posted at 10:52 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 23:20:20-04

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“Let me announce that for the remainder of this school year, our young people will continue to go to school remotely,” Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said at his daily press conference in Columbus on Monday.

Similar statements were echoed in Frankfort as Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear also announced that students won’t return to school classrooms for the rest of the academic year. The decision came out of an abundance of caution in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many parents said the move was expected, even preferred with just over a month left in the school year. Now, districts are working to make sure everyone has access to remote learning, figuring out graduation, and planning for a fall semester that may also take place online.

“I think Governor DeWine made the right decision,” Lakota Schools Superintendent Matt Miller said. “I think we were anticipating this all along.”

Miller said he knows the announcement is a tough one to hear for local families, but his district has already expanded their remote learning capabilities.

“When it’s final, it still kind of hits you a little hard when you have seniors that are talking about graduating, when you have kids that just want to go back to school,” Miller said.

The announcement has school districts across the state rushing to adapt to make sure all students have the ability to learn.

“We were able to send learning packets home,” CPS Director of Vurriculum Emily Campbell said. “We have been hosting online lessons, but we needed to increase access across the city.”

Cincinnati Public Schools launched CPS-TV to broadcast content for students grades Pre-K to 12th grade throughout the day, starting next week on cable.

“Our job every single day is to make sure the students have what they need every single day,” CPS math Manager Dawn Williams said.

That means district employees on duty to offer support if needed. Miller said students won’t be penalized for falling behind as long as they’re trying to succeed as everyone works to adjust to the new system of learning.

“We’re operating under the pretense that their grade will remain the same or go up,” Miller said. “We don’t want it to negatively impact if it’s out of their control and out of their hands.”

CPS-TV will stream through cable television, Cincinnati Bell Channel 804 and Spectrum channel 15 within the city of Cincinnati. Preview lessons start at 7:30 a.m. with lessons officially starting the week of April 27.