Students in grades K-12 throughout Ottawa County and Ohio will not be going back to a school building for at least another month, said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on Monday. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, DeWine has extended school building closures until Friday, May 1.
“We will reevaluate this as we get closer to May 1,” said DeWine. “This should not be a surprise to anyone. I wanted to clarify that (on Monday) so everyone knows how to plan.”
Ottawa County students have been out of school since March 12. DeWine’s decision could effectively cancel graduations and proms for this year’s high school seniors.
The decision was made for the safety of students and their families, DeWine said.
“When you put a lot of kids in one classroom, you have many, many families represented. It makes no sense to have kids congregating in school every day if we are trying to slow the spread of the coronavirus,” he said.
Area schools have been providing carryout meals for students, and teachers are using online techniques to connect with students. A problem is that in some rural areas of Ottawa County, families may not have access to the internet and online learning, a problem that DeWine said will have to be addressed when the schools reopen.