Week in Review > Week in Review – 09/04/2020Posted by Vanessa Gabriele on September 04th, 2020
On Thursday, Gov. DeWine announced the signing of a new health order that outlines details for K-12 schools’ reporting of COVID-19 cases. Under the order, parents or guardians and school staff should notify a school of a positive test or a clinical diagnosis. Within 24 after receiving that notification, the school should notify other parents and guardians about that case in writing, providing as much information as possible without releasing protected health information. The school must also notify its local health department within 24 hours.
Gov. Mike DeWine named Paul LaRue, a veteran history teacher retired from Washington Court House Schools, as the newest member of the State Board of Education, filling one of two vacancies on the board. LaRue replaces Cindy Collins, a real estate agent with Gorsuch Realty and president of the Lancaster Board of Realtors, who resigned in the spring, citing “other obligations” in her resignation letter. Reginald Wilkinson, director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in the Taft administration, resigned earlier in August after his appointment to the Ohio State University Board of Trustees. He was appointed to the board in June 2019 to replace Kasich appointee David Brinegar.
Numerous allowances lawmakers made for schools in the previous academic year in light of the pandemic would be extended under SB358 which was introduced by Sens. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Nathan Manning (R-North Ridgeville). It would extend changes enacted earlier this year in HB197 (Merrin-Powell), a pandemic omnibus, and HB164 (Ginter), a student religious expression measure amended to include pandemic flexibility for schools. The bill was heard Wednesday in the Senate Education Committee where sponsors said it prohibits the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) from issuing state report cards through the 2021-22 school year, eliminates state-required standardized tests, and allows for teacher and principal evaluations to be completed without the use of student growth measures. The bill would additionally prohibit ODE from awarding first-time building performance-based EdChoice vouchers for the 2021-22 school year, and would prohibit creation of new academic distress commissions.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said Monday it will extend flexibility for distributing school meals amid the pandemic through year’s end but does not have enough money to extend them through the entire school year. USDA said the waiver extension, approved through December or until funding runs out, includes the following Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO) flexibilities:
– Allowing SFSP and SSO meals to be served in all areas and at no cost.
– Permitting meals to be served outside of the typically-required group settings and meal times.
– Waiving meal pattern requirements as necessary.
– Allowing parents and guardians to pick-up meals for their children.
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