Week in Review > Week in Review 03-04-2022

Posted by on March 04th, 2022


The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Friday that it was easing mask guidance, ending the recommendation for universal school masking but recommending masks be worn in communities at a high level of risk. The CDC classifies low, medium and high risk based on community spread and strain for hospitals; data updated Thursday showed 15 Ohio counties were at a high level. They include Champaign, Clark, Gallia, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Logan, Meigs, Morgan, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Van Wert and Washington counties. The CDC also listed 20 Ohio counties at a low level, including Carroll, Columbiana, Erie, Fairfield, Hancock, Hocking, Holmes, Huron, Lorain, Medina, Miami, Portage, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, Vinton and Wayne. The remaining 53 counties are at the medium level. A full map of Ohio counties by CDC risk level is available at https://tinyurl.com/y2n29fkx .

While January marked a historic level of new cases, February’s case numbers were on par with the previous year — 72,995 in February 2022 and 71,630 in February 2021. It was the lowest number of cases since July 2021, which had 14,096 through its first 28 days. August had 78,655, for comparison, and subsequent months all had at least 100,000 cases. At its end, February also had a total of 4,993 hospitalizations and 508 ICU admissions reported by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), along with 3,509 deaths reported over eight update days. From Jan. 1-28, there were 10,476 hospitalizations, 930 ICU admissions and 3,624 deaths. In total, there have been 2.65 million cases, 112,363 hospitalizations, 13,229 ICU admissions and 36,580 deaths reported by ODH during the pandemic.


Officials from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) and State Board of Education (SBOE) gave a legally required overview of proposed rules to implement the 5-star report card system Tuesday to the education committees of the House and Senate. Chris Woolard, interim chief program officer for ODE and previously the lead accountability official at the department, gave the bulk of the presentation, introduced by Interim Superintendent Stephanie Siddens, SBOE President Charlotte McGuire and Paul LaRue, chair of the board’s Performance and Impact Committee, which last month voted to recommend rules to put the 5-star system into effect. Under HB82 (Jones-Cross), which implemented the new system, the SBOE is required to adopt rules for the report card by the end of this month, and before such adoption must present proposed rules to the General Assembly committees on education.

A select group of educators met Tuesday to start developing recommendations for the SBOE as it considers what criteria teachers must meet to be qualified to provide the expanded financial literacy lessons called for in SB1 (Wilson-McColley). Signed by the governor in October, SB1 requires that, beginning with freshman entering this fall, all high school students must complete a half-unit of financial literacy instruction, either as an elective or in lieu of a half credit of math. Students at chartered private schools are exempt if they attend without the assistance of a state scholarship program. Starting in the 2024-2025 academic year, teachers will need a special license validation in financial literacy in order to provide this instruction, unless they are already licensed to teach social studies, family and consumer sciences or business education.

Steve Dackin, a one-time finalist to become state superintendent and the board’s point person on the search for a new one, has resigned as vice president of SBOE to make another bid for the top job at ODE. Dackin’s application materials were among those submitted ahead of a Tuesday, March 1 deadline and provided to Hannah News, along with dozens of others.

The public comment period is now open for revisions to the model curriculum for computer science, ODE announced Wednesday. Interested parties have through the end of the day on Friday, March 18 to complete a public comment survey on changes on the model curriculum. The survey is available at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KRKGP28. 

Posted by on March 04th, 2022

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