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Ohio closes schools through the end of academic year

Ohio closes schools through the end of academic year
© Getty Images

K-12 schools in Ohio will remain closed for the remainder of the school year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced Monday.

DeWine had previously ordered public, private and charter schools in the state closed from March 16 to April 3, later extending the order through May 1.

“The virus continues, we have flattened the curve, but it remains dangerous,” DeWine said in a press briefing on Monday, adding that distance learning programs already in place will continue for the remainder of the year.

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The governor said no decision has yet been made about fall classes, adding, “We are simply not in a position yet to make that decision.” DeWine said numerous school superintendents have discussed the possibility of a “blended” system in which some districts combined distance and in-person learning, but said individual districts will have different needs.

"We are going to allow a great deal of flexibility, as we should," DeWine said.

Regarding events such as end-of-year honors, graduation ceremonies and proms, DeWine said, "We're not telling the schools how to do this, but the gathering of a significant number of people is a dangerous situation.”

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"It's a real shame. I can't express how sorry I am about that,” he added.

DeWine said day care facilities in the state will also remain closed but said state officials are still working on a solution for parents who may be slowly returning to work and lack child care options.

"We have not made a decision on daycares yet. For the same reason we don't want schools meeting in person — it's the same concern for daycares. It's a number of kids together who then go back home — it's a perfect recipe for spread. We're not ready yet to open up more daycares yet," DeWine’s office tweeted.