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Ohio schools preparing for possible extended schooling into summer

Gov. DeWine wants schools to have a plan to help kids catch up on learning.

MENTOR, Ohio — In order to help students who've fallen behind in school due to the pandemic catch up, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine wants school systems to provide plans to help.

"That means days could be added to the beginning, or the end of a school year," DeWine said Wednesday. "A school may decide the school day should be longer or that summer classes will help their students."

Debra Foulk, executive director of businesses affairs for Akron Public Schools, says the district has already started that process.

"Yes, they have started those discussions," she said. "The plans are not finalized at this time because we are focused on getting students back into the classrooms in March and moving forward."

Crossroads Health Chief Clinical Officer for youth programming Amber Thomas says parents should know the thought of extending an already crazy school year can be stressful for kids and teens.

"Being faced with information that might not be the case sometimes can cause a sense of hopelessness, helplessness, or just anger, frustration," she explained.

To help, Thomas suggests listening to your kids' thoughts and feelings on more school over the summer, then taking action if summer school becomes a reality.

"We might need to think about how we're going to build in fun over the summer so that there are still things to look forward to," she added.

While different school systems will try to bridge academic gaps over the summer in different ways, Thomas says to try to be flexible with yourself and your child since you know them best.

"Is this going to cause more problems for my child or fewer problems?" she questioned. "Is it going to help them maybe have a better next year if they can get through the summer and get caught up?"

Thomas also says if extra schooling over the summer is an option and a parent feels like their kid is already at a breaking point, then it is okay to decline because your child may do better to catch up in the fall once they've had time for a mental break.


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