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Richland County School Districts Release Plans for School Reopening

The Richland County School District Superintendents, in collaboration with Richland County Public Health and the Shelby Health Department, have developed a reopening plan that has identified common practices that will guide the districts in decisions related to the start of school. Information from Governor Mike DeWine’s office, the Ohio Department of Education, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Ohio Department of Health is helping guide districts in their plans to reopen school in the fall of 2020. 

The goal is to have all students in school for five (5) days per week as long as Richland County is designated at a Yellow (Level 1) or Orange (Level 2) risk level per the Ohio Public Health Advisory System that can be viewed at: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/public-health-advisory-system/.

Under designation of a Red (Level 3) risk level, Richland County School Districts may confer with Richland County Public Health or the Shelby City Health Department to determine if the indicators that caused the increase in risk level impact their school district and if there is a need to implement alternate schedules or remote/online learning. If Richland County is designated a Purple (Level 4) risk level, Richland County School Districts will implement remote/online learning. 

"The 2020-21 School Re-opening Guidance being released by the school systems of Richland County and Richland Public Health is the result of countless hours of virtual and in-person meetings, as well as independent time of review and revision,” said Richland Public Health Commissioner Sarah Humphrey. “The development of this plan was completed with the true intent of providing the most effective learning environment for students while maintaining the health and safety of students, staff, and families. The learning environment during this COVID-19 pandemic will require flexibility, and understanding by the entire community as it may continue to evolve. School and public health professionals have built a strong, collaborative relationship and will continue to work together to meet the needs of students as the school year progresses, regardless of the format."

“I would like to commend the Richland County Superintendents along with our local health departments for coming together to develop a common plan to get kids back to school,” said Mid-Ohio ESC Superintendent Kevin D. Kimmel. “We know that the best place for students to grow both academically and socially/emotionally is in the classrooms with our dedicated teachers, administrators and support staff but we must do this in a way to protect the health and safety of all of our students and staff. All of our districts have worked tirelessly over the past several months to provide remote/online learning options for families. Much was learned in the spring when schools were forced to close, and districts will be in a better position to meet the educational needs of the students if schools need to transition to a remote/online instruction.”

More detailed practices are in the attached reopening plan. This plan is subject to change based on state, regional, and/or local factors related to the pandemic. Districts will be communicating additional district and building specific information which will vary by district. Anyone with questions may call their local school district’s offices. 

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