Public Health & the Montgomery County Educational Service Center Set Course for Return to School

Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery and the Montgomery County Educational Service Center have set a framework for decision making that will facilitate local school districts’ and private schools’
in-person learning for the current school year.

Public Health supports in-person learning and extracurricular activities for a sustained designation of Risk Level 1 (Yellow) and 2 (Orange) and/or a continued decline in the total number of cases, dependent on schools implementing the following mitigation strategies:

Consistent and correct use of masks as outlined in the August 13, 2020 ODH Director’s Order

Compliance with social distancing (six feet) requirements

Cohorting into smaller groups than a traditional size classroom to the extent possible

Adherence to hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette

Cleaning and disinfection of environmental surfaces

Collaboration with Public Health on case identification, contact tracing, isolation

and quarantine

Compliance with the mandatory standards for sports participants in the September 25, 2020

ODH Director’s Order.

“The ability for students to safely return to in-person learning is dependent upon the level of community spread of COVID-19,” said Montgomery County Health Commissioner Jeff Cooper. “The guidance that we have jointly developed allows us to have pre-identified measurable levels that we can use for our decision making.”

In order for schools to safely return to full in-person learning it is necessary for us to see a sustained time period of Montgomery County being in either Level 1 or 2 in the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, and/or, a sustained decline in the number of cases in Montgomery County.

"Mad River Local Schools has worked collaboratively with Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County
to create an in-person learning model that can meet our student’s needs while providing a safe and healthy environment for learning. Our hybrid learning model has allowed us to effectively social distance at 6ft or greater in each of our classrooms and common areas which dramatically minimizes the opportunity of COVID spread within our buildings' said Chad Wyen, Superintendent for Mad River School district. "In addition, all staff and students are required to wear masks daily at school and practice good hygiene habits. We appreciate the support Public Health has provided Mad River and our district reopening plan aligns well with Public Health’s recently released Back to School Framework.

The safety of the learning environment is dependent of the actions of the students, faculty and staff.

"By following the Public Health guidelines, our goal is to not only get students back to face-to-face learning, but to KEEP them back." said Tony Thomas, Superintendent of Northmont City Schools.

As students return to the classroom in greater numbers, there will inevitably be more cases of COVID-19 in the schools. Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be excluded from in-person learning and extracurricular activities and asked to isolate at home. In addition, all close contacts of COVID-19 positive cases will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

“Our area school districts have worked diligently to put in place practical yet flexible plans to keep our kids and respective staffs safe,” said Shannon Cox, Superintendent of the Montgomery County Educational Service Center. "However, it is imperative that everyone follow the guidelines for those plans to work effectively."

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