DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – In less than a week, most schools that have been doing virtual learning will make the transition back to the classroom, now that most teachers have their first dose of the vaccine.
The vast majority of schools in Ohio are already doing some form of in-person or hybrid learning, with just nine districts, including Dayton Public Schools, still online.
Now that most staff have the vaccine, parents and the Ohio Education Association agree that schools can move to in-person. “They’ve missed out on so much it’s not fair to them,” DPS parent Lisa Taube said.
Ohio Education Association President Scott DiMauro said the state’s K-12 vaccination plan has been successful so far. “Things have gone really smoothly across the state in terms of making sure that everyone will have at least their first dose in that 1B category by the end of next week,” DiMauro said. Schools agreed to return to some form of in-person learning by March 1st in order to receive the vaccine.
However, DiMauro said districts will still face the challenge of meeting the CDC’s mask, social distancing and other safety guidelines. “We’re making strides, we’re seeing that light at the end of the tunnel, but we have to make sure that conditions really are safe in order to get back to some semblance of normalcy,” DiMauro said.
DPS parents said they’re comfortable with their children returning.
“I’ve had a look inside their classrooms and have had a look at how they’re doing it with the plexiglass dividers and stuff like that, I feel comfortable with what’s going on, I feel comfortable sending them back to school,” parent Chad Marsh said.
“Kids need to socialize, they need their friends, they need their teachers, and I think for the most part, they will take the precautions as needed, same as at home or when we go to the store,” Taube said.
DiMauro said in order for a safe return, districts also need federal and state aid to cover costs for COVID-19 safety measures and resources for student mental health.