Draft Plan Offers Safety Measures for Reopening Schools

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – A recommendation plan for students to safely return to school in the fall was released in a letter by the superintendent of the Ohio Department of Education earlier this week. The letter suggests students and teachers wear masks and place desks six feet apart, among other safety protocols to prevent coronavirus outbreaks.

The plan is a draft and still in development. 

Dr. James Kravec, chief clinical director for Mercy Health-Youngstown and medical director for Mahoning County Public Health, offered his medical opinion on measures for reopening local schools in the health department’s  conference call Thursday. 

“As the plan said, social distancing is still important. As we know, we still will have the virus in the community. It’s certainly balancing between the need for in-person education, but to continue what is needed and what is recommended by ODH,” he said, :which is the appropriate distance, the appropriate use of face coverings, the importance of kids staying home when they’re sick, covering their cough, washing their hands regularly, sanitizing of surfaces very regularly. I think those are the things I would look for as schools reopen.”

In addition to the best practices already in use by many Ohioans, the plan also calls for student-health assessments.

“The planning guide also will discuss caring,  considerations for ensuring equity, social-emotional learning and behavioral health; teaching – approaches for professional development and effective remote learning; and learning – ideas for assessing students learning needs and meeting them where they are,” states the letter, signed by Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.