MUSKINGUM COUNTY, Ohio- As school districts across the state are being impacted by COVID-19, 40 superintendents in the area came together to write a letter to Governor Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, asking to approve a pilot program that’s designed to keep healthy children in the classrooms.
The Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center made the request on behalf of the 40 superintendents.
The state’s current guidelines require unvaccinated students and staff without symptoms to quarantine at home if they were not wearing masks or distanced when exposed to COVID-19. The letter included a plan for the pilot program that would benefit those in the rural area.
“Our area, as being very rural, felt that the challenges were greater here because transportation and access to online learning is more difficult. We came up with this pilot that we all agreed on,” MVESC Superintendent Lori Snyder-Lowe said.
The purpose behind this pilot program is to keep students in school. The superintendents believe students have missed so much academically and that they won’t get a lot of the experiences they missed back.
“Hundreds of our students in our region have been quarantined and they may be completely healthy students with no symptoms and negative for the virus, but they have had to miss school and activities because they have been quarantined. This proposal allows them to come back if they’re healthy, have no symptoms or positive tests. They can come back to school with a mask,” Lowe said.
The letter of request was sent to Governor DeWine on Friday and they are waiting on a response back.