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Ohio schools, teachers cope with uncertainty as mask guidelines continue to change

Schools and teachers are working to navigate a safe plan for kids as concerns over the delta variant continues to grow.

OHIO, USA — As students prepare to head back to class, schools and teachers are working to navigate a safe plan for kids as concerns over the delta variant of COVID-19 continues to grow.

“We want kids in school because it’s good for the kids,” said Debra Foulk, executive director of business affairs with the Akron Public School District. “It’s good for the family. It’s good for the support of a community. It’s good for the general public. We truly have gone through the whole gamut, but we truly want to make sure that we’re well prepared.”

The Akron Public School District has released COVID guidelines for incoming students which includes wearing masks indoors -- even if you’re vaccinated. Sports and activities are set to be back, but the district will have to keep an eye on COVID developments to help keep kids safe.

“We’ll be looking at our plans monthly, if not more often to make revisions as we see what’s necessary,” said Foulk.

Masks are also required at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. The district released its guidelines for the first five weeks of school – or “until updated CDC guidance is released with different recommendations,” according to CMSD’s website.

For teachers, the uncertainty means they’ll also have to readjust when needed with the priority placed on keeping kids safe and focusing on their education.

“I do believe that educators have stepped up to the plate and are doing an outstanding job of getting things done,” said Pat Shipe, President of the Akron Education Association. “You deal with what is presented to you and we deal with that all the time. We teach the children in front of us and so I think they’ll adapt to what comes down.”

For now, it’s the wait to get back to normal – or a new normal.

“I think we’re going to get there,” said Foulk. “I think if we’re diligent, we’re going to keep everyone safe and they’re going to have a good in-person experience which we look forward to seeing.”

Click here to view a list of schools that have released their guidelines for the upcoming year.

*Editor's Note: The video in the player above is from a previous report. 

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