Week in Review > Week in Review – 08/14/2020Posted by Buckeye Association of School Administrators on August 14th, 2020
Monthly tax collections beat expectations by $184.6 million or 8.2 percent in July, with the delayed income tax filing deadline arriving last month and federal pandemic relief funds helping to boost sales taxes, according to the Office of Budget and Management (OBM).
The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) announced Friday the 2020 football season will be shortened to six games in the regular season with all teams making the playoffs. The announcement comes following a recommendation this week from Gov. Mike DeWine’s office to shorten the season due to concerns that COVID-19 may spike in early winter. OHSAA said that if high school football games are approved by DeWine, the season will begin the week of Monday, Aug. 24 and end Friday, Sept. 28. All teams will enter the playoffs beginning Friday, Oct. 9 and the state championship games will be played no later than Saturday, Nov. 21.
The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) announced Thursday the planned launch of a suite of online readiness assessments for schools to use at the start of the 2020-21 school year as an optional resource for schools seeking to benchmark student progress at the beginning of the new academic year. More information about the benchmark assessments is available at: https://tinyurl.com/yxva6exj.
The State Board of Education voted in a special meeting Monday to update its rules for preschools and child care programs to align with similar rules from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS). The board also discussed the issues local districts are facing as they prepare to begin classes amid the pandemic, and reviewed a preliminary overview of how many schools will return students to classrooms, teach remotely or use a combination of the two approaches.
Doctors from children’s hospitals shared their experiences with detecting and treating COVID-19 in children and recommendations for school safety precautions at Gov. Mike DeWine’s pandemic briefing Tuesday. The briefing featured remarks from Dr. John Barnard, chief of pediatrics for Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus; Dr. Patty Manning, chief of staff at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital; and Dr. Adam Mezoff, chief medical officer at Dayton Children’s Hospital. DeWine again expressed his confidence in local school leaders’ abilities to decide how best to start the school year and implement precautions, while emphasizing they can’t do so in a vacuum.
The imminent return to classrooms for some Ohio students merits a stay of an appellate ruling on arming school staff, a Southwest Ohio district argued to the Ohio Supreme Court recently. Madison Local Schools, which experienced a school shooting that prompted it to authorize employees to carry concealed weapons, wants the Supreme Court to stay a Twelfth District ruling that blocked its decision to allow staff to go armed at school. The Butler County district also asked the Supreme Court to expedite its consideration of the motion for a stay.
Keeping students at home for remote instruction — either through the fall or until COVID-19 cases drop significantly — was the top preference for educators surveyed by the Ohio Federation of Teachers (OFT). The union released results this week of the survey that polled its membership on back-to-school plans, their concerns about the virus and related questions.
Saying that parents and teachers are bracing for a tough fall ahead, Ohio Education Association (OEA) President Scott DiMauro and Policy Matters Ohio (PMO) Executive Director Hannah Halbert Tuesday called for bolstered school funding and a remote start to school in the fall, noting concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The statements came during an online news conference. Halbert drew attention to two pending federal proposals that would send money to schools nationwide, the House Democrats’ HEROES Act and the Senate Republicans’ HEALS Act, both coronavirus relief bills. She supported the House Democrats’ proposal, saying it would offer more money, and added that the HEALS Act would “bully” schools into reopening for in-person education, given the bill’s sending more funding to schools offering in-person classes.
As school athletics officials await state guidance on contact sports competitions, Columbus City Schools (CCS) said Thursday it is suspending sports and extracurricular activities starting Friday in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
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