1. At his March 12 press conference, Governor DeWine used the phrase “extended spring break” in his announcement. What exactly does that mean?

Shortly after making the announcement, Governor DeWine further clarified that he ordered schools to be closed to students.1 Here is his full March 12 press release. On April, 20, 2020, the Governor extended the school-building closure through the end of the school year.

On Saturday, March 14, 2020, Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, issued an order providing additional clarification. It explains: 

  • “All school buildings that provide any kindergarten through grade twelve instruction in the State of Ohio are to be closed to students. 
  •  …this closure does not include administrators, teachers, staff, vendors or contractors of a school. The administration of each school shall determine the appropriate level of access to the school during the closure. 
  • This order does not apply to and/or excludes activities or events at schools for voting, food services, housing of students at boarding schools, health services, charitable work, or any activity approved by the local health department.” 

Governor DeWine’s actions are taken as part of the state’s strategy to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. Minimizing the operation of places where large numbers of people congregate can contribute to this desired outcome. The Governor continues to promote healthy practices such as handwashing and encouraging social distancing to slow or limit the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus disease from person to person. 

It is in this spirit that we urge school leaders to consider the following three principles when making local-level decisions regarding use of school buildings during this time: 

  1. Is use of the building essential? 
  2. Can the activity be done virtually? 
  3. If there is no other choice, then can the activity be done safely? This means that individuals are separated by distance and not congregating in close proximity and that the health of participants is protected. Consulting the local health department is advisable and encouraged. 

Additional clarifications follow: 

Continuing Educational Services 

  • On March 12, Governor DeWine said, “During this extended period of closure, schools should work to provide education through alternative means.” This statement indicates that schools should try to make a good faith effort within available capabilities to support continued learning outside of school. 
  • This could be done in a variety of ways including remote and/or online learning opportunities, depending on available options at the local level. It is understood that there are students and geographic areas that may not have access to technology-based options. 
  • Ultimately, the intent is that local school leaders, boards of education, governing authorities, and union leadership work in partnership to maintain continuity of educational services as much as practicable during this unprecedented health crisis. 
  • Administrators should be appropriately flexible in accommodating circumstances that may arise, including staff members who encounter child-care needs and challenges within their own families as a result of this crisis. Telework options should be explored whenever feasible. 
  • Schools should feel free to use blizzard bags for this purpose even beyond the normal three days. 
  • Schools that may not have included use of online learning as part of their plan to make up hours may, at this time, revise those plans to include online learning during the closure period. 
  • We recognize that attempting to track student attendance under such circumstances would be extremely complicated. Consequently, students will be deemed to be in attendance during the non-spring-break periods included in the ordered school-building closure. The Ohio Department of Education will provide additional guidance for coding student attendance in EMIS during the ordered school-building closure period. 

Supporting Needs of the Whole Child 

  • Ohio’s schools provide important whole child supports including behavioral and mental health services, healthcare services, supports for students with disabilities and meals to many qualifying students. Ideally, these services should continue as much as practicable and delivered remotely or in ways that minimize creating gatherings. Consider the three principles identified above when making local decisions about school building use and congregating students. 
  • To help maintain meal services, on March 12, 2020, the U.S. Department of Agriculture granted Ohio a waiver enabling Summer Food Service Program and National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option sponsors “to provide meals during an unanticipated school closure due to the novel coronavirus at both school and non-school sites and in a non-congregate setting.” This waiver allows for the distribution of meals while maintaining social distancing. 

Supporting School Staff and Personnel 

  • School leaders are strongly encouraged to work closely with their local boards, governing authorities and union leadership to determine certified and classified staffing needs during this time. With regard to hourly employees, Governor DeWine’s intent is not to cause unnecessary disruptions to people’s lives. Hourly employees should continue to partner with their schools to support students and be paid consistent with Collective Bargaining Agreements or employee contracts. Employees should be flexible in the manner in which they contribute to the continuity of operations.
  • On March 30, 2020, Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton issued an amended order for the closure of all K-12 school buildings in Ohio. It specifies that the “closure does not include administrators, teachers, staff, vendors or contractors of a school. The administration of each school shall determine the appropriate level of access to the school during the closure, while promoting healthy practices such as handwashing, disinfecting surfaces, and encouraging social distancing. Telework options should be explored and encouraged whenever feasible.”  

As Governor DeWine stated at his March 12 press conference, “Now is the time to pull together.”

This answer was updated 4/23/2020
1 Throughout this FAQ the word “closure” is used to reflect the concept of “closed to students.” 

 
1. Should schools provide related services that are written in the IEPs of students with disabilities if the schools are offering some form of instruction to all students during this ordered closure period?
Yes. During this time of ordered school-building closure, schools are a making good faith effort to provide educational services to students. Therefore, similar efforts must be made to provide specialized services to students with disabilities during this time as well. Schools will need to consult with parents and caregivers to determine the needs of each individual student and identify the most appropriate means for meeting those needs during the closure period while continuing to maintain the health and safety of the student and service provider. For more information, see Considerations for Serving Ohio’s Students with Disabilities During Ohio’s Ordered School-Building Closure.

 
1. What is coronavirus?
According to the Ohio Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) is a respiratory virus strain that has only spread in people since December 2019. The CDC continues to consider the health risk from coronavirus to be low among the general public in the U.S. However, the virus continues to be an issue of concern internationally, and there is potential for increased person-to-person transmission to occur in this country.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, symptoms of coronavirus in people who have been exposed can include fever, cough and shortness of breath. The symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure. Coronavirus can be deadly, yet some confirmed patients have experienced only mild symptoms.

 
Are nonpublic schools still permitted to provide services during this time?
Nonpublic schools are subject to the school-building closure order of March 17, 2020, and the extension of that order. As such, students should not be in these schools. At the same time, schools should be working to provide education and special education services through alternative means. Schools are able to invoice for general education services (tuition) only when special education services have been provided.  

 
Can Auxiliary Services funds be used to buy materials and equipment for use in future years?
Yes. Additionally, because FY20 was the first year of Ohio’s biennial budget, there is no requirement to return any unspent Auxiliary Services funds at the end of the current fiscal year. Any unspent funds at the end of this school year automatically will carry over into next year. As a reminder, textbooks, materials and equipment, which are not consumable and are reusable in future years, must be inventoried. This will allow the Ohio Department of Education to review expenditures.

 
Can my business provide services during the ordered school-building closure period?
Since business providers are not “schools” as that term has been defined, they are not subject to the “School Closure” order of March 17, 2020 or the order as amended. As much as possible, businesses that provide services as part of the Autism and Jon Peterson Scholarship Programs should provide remote learning opportunities or services that do not require face-to-face interactions. Consulting with local health departments is advisable and encouraged. Businesses also should contact licensing agencies as applicable to determine any further restrictions and/or recommendations. 

 
Can services be provided to scholarship students through electronic delivery or telehealth communication?

Governor DeWine signed an Executive Order on March 19, 2020, adopting an emergency rule expanding telehealth services for Medicaid providers. On March 27, 2020, he signed House Bill 197, which includes a provision1 specifying that a licensed person may provide services within the scope of practice authorized by the person’s license by electronic delivery method or telehealth communication to any student participating in the Autism or Jon Peterson Scholarship Programs who was receiving those services, regardless of the method of delivery, prior to the ordered school-building closure period.  

This provision applies to licenses issued by the following licensing boards:  

  • Ohio Speech and Hearing Professionals Board; 

  • Ohio Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Athletic Trainers Board; 

  • State Board of Psychology of Ohio; 

  • Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board of Ohio; 

  • Intervention specialists licensed by the Ohio Department of Education. 


​Licensing boards should not take disciplinary actions because services were delivered in such a manner. Any telehealth services provided must be agreed to in writing by the provider and parent and include associated measurable goals and objectives. 

1 Section 16 of H.B. 197 of the 133rd General Assembly.



 
How can local school district foster care liaisons continue supports to students in foster care during Ohio’s ordered school-building closure?
  • Ensure contact information foster families and caregivers is up to date on districtwide email listservs and call lists.
  • Communicate and check in with students, families and caregivers by phone, email or other methods.
  • Ensure students in foster care know how to engage in remote learning provided by the district. Connect them with information and resources to communicate with teachers or counselors and help them know where to access schoolwork.
  • Students in foster care may receive social, emotional and/or behavioral health supports in the school setting that they cannot access due to the ordered school-building closure. Reference How to Support Your Child’s Health and Well-being during Ohio’s ordered school-building closure and Telehealth Guidelines for Service Providers for more information and additional resources.
  • Ask students and caregivers what they need to feel healthy and safe. Help connect them with other community resources, including housing, food or necessary items if appropriate. See the Student Safety During Coronavirus Ordered School-Building Closure webpage for more information on keeping students safe.
  • Strengthen connections with caseworkers. Reach out to caseworkers virtually to ensure there are comprehensive services and plans in place for foster youth (for example, lodging, food and supportive services). Collaborate with caseworkers to meet the individual needs of foster youth. Locate child welfare county agency contacts here.


 
How should sponsors handle measuring progress toward academic indicators required in the contract between schools and sponsors?
Each sponsor should discuss how it will evaluate each school’s performance for the 2019-2020 school year considering the decision to eliminate the administration of state assessments. Other academic data collected by the school may be an appropriate substitute. The determination of progress toward meeting academic indicators within the contract is a responsibility reserved for the sponsor of each community school.

 
If a community school wishes to enroll a new student, one of the requirements is to have certain documentation to verify residency. What options are there during the ordered school-building closure?
A school still is required to obtain proof of residency, however, given the current health crisis, flexibility can be exercised. The student should be enrolled and every attempt to verify residency should be made by the school. That could include the submission of a signed statement from either the parent(s) or student if over 18- years of age through submission of a photo or electronic copy. (If the school accepts the signed statement, steps should be taken to obtain a signed affidavit when it is safe to do so.)

If a student or legal guardian does come to a physical location to interact with school staff, appropriate social distancing should be followed.

Updated 5/21/20



 
Under what circumstances should a community school withdraw a student during the ordered school-building closure?
The 72-hour rule applies when a student is absent “without legitimate excuse” for 72 consecutive hours. The superintendent/administrator of the community school normally has discretion on when a student is marked with an excused or unexcused absence. Community schools should track attendance for students during the ordered school-building closure and use discretion when determining if a student’s absence is excused. The Department encourages this discretion and believes absences related to COVID-19 may be considered excused absences during the period of the order.

For e-schools, attendance should be tracked in the same manner it was prior to the ordered school-building closure. Engagement in learning opportunities, or the reasons impacting a student’s participation in learning opportunities, should be considered when determining if an absence is excused or unexcused as a student progresses toward the 72-hour limit. E-schools and community schools utilizing blended learning will continue to be funded based on documented learning opportunities.

In the event a community school makes the decision to withdraw a student, it is important for the community school to reach out to the resident district and all options to re-enroll the student are explored to continue education during the ordered school-building closure.

 
What is the impact of the elimination of state assessments for 2019-2020 on community schools that have met the closure criteria in Ohio Revised Code 3314.35 or 3314.351, particularly those that have met it for two consecutive years?
Based on legislative flexibility, community schools will not be subject to penalties based on the 2019-2020 school year since state assessments were not administered (specifically, Ohio Revised Code sections 3314.35(4)(c) or 3314.351(A), which would require a school to close for meeting criteria for three consecutive years). For the purposes of determinations regarding closure after the 2020-2021 school year pursuant to Ohio Revised Code sections 3314.35 or 3314.351, the Department will review a school’s performance during the 2017-2018, 2018-2019 and 2020-2021 school years.

 
Who should be contacted in each local school district regarding services for students in foster care?
Each local school district and community school in the state of Ohio has a foster care liaison. To find the foster care liaison in a district, visit the Foster Care webpage and scroll to the Foster Care Points of Contact section at the bottom. For additional information or contact information, email fostercare@education.ohio.gov.

 
2. Are schools required to provide related services via telehealth during ordered school building closures?
No. Schools that are providing education during school building closures are required to make a good faith effort to provide the IEP-required related services to the extent possible through remote learning opportunities, which may include, but are not limited to, delivering related services via telehealth. Telehealth may include phone calls, two-way video communications, the exchange of written electronic messages and other forms of virtual communication. The decision as to whether to provide related services via telehealth is an IEP team decision. The IEP team may determine the telehealth service delivery model is not appropriate for some students or some students may not have access to the internet.

 
2. Does the ordered school-building closure apply to internet- or computer-based community schools and e-schools identified in Ohio Revised Code 3314.013?

No. The Governor’s ordered school-building closure applies to school buildings only. Internet- or computer-based schools should continue operations in their normal fashion according to their regular calendar. 

This answer was added 3/15/2020



 
2. What guidance is the Ohio Department of Education providing to school and district leaders about how to plan for the coronavirus?
Ohio’s priority is to support the success of the whole child, which includes being attentive to students’ health and wellness. Locally, this means that school leaders make decisions that prioritize the health and safety of students.
 
With that priority focus in place, the Ohio Department of Education urges school and district leaders to consider the following practical action steps:
 
  1. Stay current on the latest coronavirus information.
 
Make it your business to understand the latest coronavirus developments. The status of coronavirus is changing rapidly. Following are key resources you might want to check daily:
 
For the latest Ohio-specific developments, please visit the Ohio Department of Health’s coronavirus disease 2019 resources webpage.
 
For the latest from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, please visit the CDC coronavirus disease 2019 webpage.  
 
Access additional resources regarding coronavirus and schools from the U.S. Department of Education.  
 
Resources regarding coronavirus from the National School Boards Association also are available.
 
  1. Review and update your school safety plans.
 
The Ohio Department of Education encourages school staff and administrators to use this opportunity to review their school safety plans. Each school building in Ohio is required to submit a safety plan that outlines procedures for emergency situations. As a best practice, safety plans also should incorporate hazards such as widespread flu and pandemic disease outbreaks.
 
Districts and schools should review carefully the “Response” section (section V), “Hazards/Threats” subsection (subsection C), “Medical: Pandemic” component of each building plan. Review of the “Recovery” section (section VI) also may be helpful, especially the “Continuity of Operations Plan” component.* As part of the emergency management plan, schools should have established procedures for determining when to close a school; how to communicate information to families, students, staff and the community about the closing; and procedures for decontaminating facilities if necessary.  
 
Schools and districts should make all decisions in the best interest of the health and safety of students and the community.
 
*Section designations refer to the “Sample Safety Plan” template provided by the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
 
  1. Refresh your relationship with your local health department and county emergency management agency (EMA).
 
As you review and update your safety plan, you might also check in with your local health department and county emergency management agency. It is always best practice to coordinate closely with your local, on-the-ground health and first responder experts.
 
To find your local health department, click here.
 
You can work with your county EMS team to ensure your response plan is up-to-date and enables an effective local response to coronavirus. For information about Ohio’s EMS, click here.
 
  1. Ensure your key contact information is up to date and your local communication channels are ready to go.
 
As a component to your school safety plan, you can make sure your contact information for staff and students’ families is up to date.
 
Additionally, ensure your administrator contact information is current in OH|ID at the Ohio Department of Education.
 
Find more information about school safety plans on the Ohio School Safety Center’s webpage.

 
Are providers’ employees permitted to continue providing regularly scheduled services in students’ homes?

Generally, providers are encouraged to serve students remotely as much as possible while complying with the “Stay at Home” order. In those cases where home-based services would be considered “essential,” then such services could continue to be provided. In these cases, employees should take the utmost precaution to protect the health and safety of students, their families, themselves and the community, including through maintaining social distancing, appropriate sanitization and other precautionary measures. Providers should consider the following three questions when thinking through how best to provide special education services to students with disabilities:  

  1. Is the activity essential?  

  1. Can the activity be done virtually?  

  1. If there is no other choice, then can the activity be done safely consistent with the “Stay at Home” order? This means individuals are separated by distance, not congregating in close proximity and the health of participants (students, educators and others) is protected.  

Consulting the local health department is advisable and encouraged. 



 
Can schools provide in-person services in alternative locations?

Schools should consider the following three questions as they think through how best to provide special education services to students with disabilities:  

  1. Is the activity essential?  

  1. Can the activity be done virtually?  

  1. If there is no other choice, then can the activity be done safely and consistent with the “Stay at Home” order? This means individuals are separated by distance, not congregating in close proximity and the health of participants (students, educators and others) is protected.  

     Consulting the local health department is advisable and encouraged. 



 
How can local schools and districts update the contact information (name, position, email, phone number) of the local school district’s foster care liaison?
The Ohio Educational Directory System (OEDS) is the data system that all school districts in Ohio use to provide the contact information for staff members in their districts. A district’s foster care liaison contact information should be kept up to date in OEDS. Instructions for doing so can be found here.

 
How can students in foster care receive free school meals?
  • All students in foster care are categorically eligible for free school meals. Many school districts in Ohio are serving meals daily to all children ages 18 and under in their communities. To find the school meal site closest to the student or family, visit this link.
  • Congregate care facilities for students in foster care that would like to pick up school meals for multiple students should follow the parent and guardian meal pick-up policy in the ‘Resources’ section of the Supporting Whole Child Nutrition webpage.


 
Should Auxiliary Services continue during the school-building closure period?

During the ordered school-building closure, school buildings are closed to students, but schools are making a good-faith effort to provide educational services. Therefore, the same efforts should be made to provide specialized services, such as Auxiliary Services, to nonpublic students during this time. Schools should consider the exact nature and duration of the services provided during this period on a case-by-case basis.

If the same or similar services that are being provided with Auxiliary Services funds are continuing to be provided to public district students during the time of ordered school-building closure, those same programs authorized through Auxiliary Services also should be provided.



 
Will community schools be penalized within the funding formula for not administering assessments during the 2019-2020 school year pursuant to Ohio Revised Code section 3314.08(L)(3)?
The Department will not reduce funding to any community school for not administering assessments.

 
Will sponsor evaluations be conducted in the same manner at the completion of the 2019-2020 school year as they have previously?
HB 197 eliminated the academic portion of the sponsor evaluation for the 2019-2020 school year. The Office of Accountability will publish an information sheet related to the impact of the ordered school-building closure on sponsor evaluations.

 
3. Does the ordered school-building closure apply to community schools that use a blended learning model?

Yes. The Governor’s order would apply to the site-based portion of a blended learning model used by a community school. The school should, as much as practicable, use the online delivery component of the blended model to continue to provide educational opportunities for students. 

This answer was added 3/15/2020



 
3. If the IEP team determines service delivery by telehealth is appropriate, must the IEP be amended to reflect this?
No. The IEP document does not need to be amended for a change of placement because all students are receiving education through remote learning. This is considered an alternate mode of learning, not a change of placement. However, if the IEP team changes the services, then an IEP team meeting must be convened, which may be done by telephone. Any proposed or determined changes to the services, not mode of delivery, must be documented in a Prior Written Notice (PR-01) and sent to the family along with the amended IEP.

 
3. Will the Ohio Department of Education tell schools and districts they must close when certain criteria are met?
No. Individual school districts are empowered to work closely with their local departments of health to assess and understand the risk to their student populations and the community and make decisions accordingly. The Ohio Department of Education emphasizes that districts always should keep the safety and health of students and the community at the forefront of all decision-making.

 
Can Auxiliary Services funds be used to purchase mobile devices (laptops) for use by students at home?

Yes. Parents of the student may be loaned computer hardware and related equipment, including desktop computers and workstations; laptop computers, computer tablets and other mobile handheld devices; operating systems and accessories; software; and any equipment designed to make classroom features accessible to a student who is physically unable to attend classroom activities due to hospitalization or other circumstances. Related to the purchase of computer hardware, auxiliary services funds also may be used to purchase instructional materials such as digital texts, instructional software, downloadable instructional applications (apps), learning management software and related technolog



 
How can foster families and caseworkers ensure students in foster care who have individualized education programs (IEPs) or Section 504 plans are receiving educational services during Ohio’s ordered school-building closures?
Please refer to the Considerations for Students with Disabilities During Ohio’s Ordered School Building Closure resource from the Department. If you have specific questions, reach out to your student’s intervention specialist or classroom teacher to discuss the teaching approach from the school during the ordered school-building closure.

 
What is the impact of the elimination of state assessments for 2019-2020 on the withdrawal of computer-based school students not taking tests pursuant to Ohio Revised Code section 3314.26?
No student will be placed on the two-year non-tested list prescribed under Ohio Revised Code section 3314.26 for not participating in testing during the 2019-2020 school year. However, students who may not have tested in 2018-2019 still will be considered as having missed one year of testing. Therefore, if the student is not tested in the 2020-2021 school year, the student would be added to the non-tested list.

 
Where can a district foster care liaison obtain an up-to-date list of students in foster care in his or her respective district?

The Education Management Information System (EMIS) will have information on students in foster care in your district. Contact your local school district’s Education Management Information System (EMIS) coordinator for more information. Local foster care liaisons also should work closely with their county children services agencies during the ordered school-building closure to stay up to date on students entering foster care and students whose placements change.



 
4. How can my district ensure student and family privacy is protected when using telehealth?

In considering telehealth options, it is important to review important resources that explain the Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) laws and how they may apply to telehealth services, as well as the COVID-19 compliance updates to ensure student and family privacy is protected.

HIPAA may apply to children who receive services from health care providers (including related service providers with professional board licenses). For more information, see HIPAA Compliance and COVID-19 Coronavirus and HIPAA Telehealth.

 

FERPA protects the privacy of a student’s education records and applies to all public and private educational institutions who receive federal funds for programs, including the IDEA. For more information, see Protecting Student Privacy – FERPA and the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).



 
4. How does the ordered school-building closure affect minimum instructional hours required by state law?

The Governor’s expressed intent is for schools to continue to provide educational services and learning opportunities to students through alternative means during this ordered school-building closure period. To that end, recently enacted House Bill 197 provides schools the ability to use remote learning hours toward minimum instructional hours requirements. The Governor and the Ohio Department of Education are committed to providing necessary flexibility to schools to minimize any additional financial burden for schools.

This answer was added 3/31/2020



 
4. If schools are closed for several weeks, are there plans in place to ensure students continue to learn?
Each school building in Ohio is required to submit a safety plan that outlines procedures for emergency situations. As a best practice, safety plans should incorporate guidelines for addressing hazards such as widespread flu and pandemic disease outbreaks, as well as plans for continuity of operations in the case of long-term closures. For more information on school schedules, click here.

 
How can I get more information?
For answers to questions not addressed in this guidance, please contact the Department by sending an email to fostercare@education.ohio.gov.

 
Should staff who are not providing services during the school-building closure period be paid with Auxiliary Services funds?
Nonpublic schools and districts should honor and maintain existing contracts and purchase orders. Employees paid through Auxiliary Services should be treated in the same manner as other employees doing the same or similar work. Districts should continue to communicate and work collaboratively with their nonpublic school colleagues.

If the contract or purchase order only pays for services rendered or an hourly rate after services have been provided and no services are provided (in person or remotely), then no payment would be made. Schools are encouraged to explore all options, including new flexibilities for related services personnel to provide services electronically or via telehealth communication

 
What is the impact of the elimination of state assessments on the highperforming community school list created pursuant to Ohio Revised Code section 3313.413?
The Department will carry forward the high-performing community school list published on the Department’s website for the 2019-2020 school year into next year and will not publish a new list until the 2021-2022 school year based on the 2020- 2021 school year.

 
Where can best practices for engaging with families and caregivers of youth in foster care be found?
Family and caregiver engagement is essential to every local school and district’s COVID-19 response. It is important to consider additional outreach to foster families, caregivers and kinship providers who may need support implementing remote learning and creating structure and routine in the home during Ohio’s ordered school-building closure.

 
5. Do telehealth services require additional parental consent?
No. There are no federal or state requirements for additional consent to provide services via telehealth. For more information, providers may wish to check with the schools or districts they work with, along with their professional licensure boards.

 
5. How does the ordered school-building closure affect funding for traditional school districts and joint vocational school districts?

Foundation funding for traditional schools and joint vocational school districts is not affected by the ordered school-building closure. Funding remains unchanged and will continue through FY20 and FY21 at levels equal to FY19 foundation funding. 

This answer was added 3/15/2020



 
5. Will the amount of required instructional time for the school year be reduced if schools are closed for an extended period of time?
The most important question for schools and districts to consider is, “What do we need to do to keep the students and community safe?” Any concerns about instructional time can and will be addressed, if necessary, after student health and safety has been assured. For more information on school schedules, click here.

 
Can Auxiliary Services funds be used to purchase internet connectivity service for use by students at home?
Yes. The purchase of internet connectivity is allowable for students in order to support access to instructional materials. This would include the purchase of mobile hotspots or payment for internet service. Many internet service providers are offering free service for a limited time to students. Contact local internet service providers to identify and participate in such offers. Connectivity can be a benefit to the instruction of students during this period.

 
How can schools support students in foster care who are seniors in high school or older youth?
  • Make sure foster families, caregivers and caseworkers know the local school district’s policy for graduation and promotion for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
  • High school administrators, counselors or teachers should consider additional outreach to students in foster care during this time to ensure they can continue to complete coursework necessary for graduation and promotion. Visit the Department’s webpage on Graduation Requirements in Light of Coronavirus-Related School-Building Closure for more frequently asked questions and information.
  • Ohio will continue to cover the cost of keeping youths in foster care who are set to age out of the system until the COVID-19 pandemic ends. See Governor DeWine’s April 25 announcement.
  • Ensure key staff are knowledgeable about transitional resources for foster youth. Consider connecting students with Ohio BRIDGES or Young Adult Services through the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services for housing support, employment opportunities and postsecondary education access. · For more information on services and supports for transition-age youth, visit this resource page from the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs.


 
How will the Department identify community schools eligible to receive the designation as a Community School of Quality and eligible to receive funding from the Quality Community School Support Fund?
The Department will use data from 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 to identify community schools to receive the designation of a Community School of Quality under Section 265.335(B)(1) of HB 166 of the 133rd General Assembly for funding in the 2020- 2021 school year. Future Community School of Quality determinations and funding will depend on future appropriations.

 
6. Do IEP related services delivered via telehealth count as IEP minutes delivered?

Yes. Service providers must keep accurate records of attendance or participation of students and continue to document and analyze data as they would do at school. This should include the dates of services, number of minutes of services delivered and a brief description of the services delivered. Progress reporting will be required just as it is when services are delivered in person.



 
6. How does the ordered school-building closure affect funding for community schools and STEM schools?

Given that schools are being asked to make a good faith effort to provide educational services within available capabilities, and that under these circumstances students are deemed to be in attendance, there is no need to make any adjustments to the manner in which community schools and STEM schools are paid. Additional guidance will be provided at a later time should circumstances change. 

This answer was added 3/15/2020



 
6. What if schools must close during state testing? How will that be handled?
The most important question for schools to consider is, “What do we need to do to keep our students and communities safe?” Any concerns about the administration of state assessments can and will be addressed, if necessary, after student health and safety have been assured. At this point, the spring test administration remains on schedule. The Department will communicate any updates if those plans change.

 
For students entering foster care or changing foster care placements, typically a ‘best interest determination’ conversation should happen between the county children services agency and local school district. How does this happen during Ohio’s ordered school building closure period?

During Ohio’s ordered school-building closure, it may be in a child’s best interest to ensure he or she can stay connected to the school the child attended prior to the closure. Doing so can provide consistency in communication with trusted adults, like teachers and counselors, during the ordered school-building closure. Many students in foster care have experienced trauma and removing them from personal connections may compound this effect. Students also may have better access to remote learning resources and other supports essential for their educational progress.

However, if a change in foster care placement is significant in distance, conducting a best interest determination via phone or virtual platform between the caseworker and personnel from the local school district may be needed. Schools, districts and county children services agencies should use their locally developed, best interest determination procedures and knowledge of each student’s individual situation to determine the educational setting most appropriate for each child during this time.



 
What is the impact of the elimination of state assessments for the 2019-2020 school year on the challenged district list that establishes where a new startup community school can open as defined in Ohio Revised Code section 3314.02 and required pursuant to Ohio Revised Code section 3314.353?
The Department will carry forward the challenged district list published on the Department’s website for the 2019-2020 school year into next year and will not publish a new list until the 2021-2022 school year based on the 2020-2021 school year.

 
7. How should community schools handle the 72-hour auto-withdrawal requirement?

The 72-hour rule applies when a student is absent “without legitimate excuse.” The Governor called for schools to close to students, but he advocated for the continued provision of educational services. 

We recognize that attempting to track student attendance under such circumstances is very challenging. Consequently, students will be deemed to be in attendance during the non-spring-break periods included in the ordered school-building closure period. Please refer to the Automatic Withdrawal of Students on the Community Schools and Sponsors COVID-19 resource page for more information.

This answer was updated 5/14/2020



 
7. What if we cannot provide all the minutes of service required by the IEP using telehealth?
IEP teams will need to determine if a student qualifies for compensatory services.

 
7. Will school staff be monitoring students for signs of coronavirus?
Teachers and school staff should follow best practices as outlined by the Ohio Department of Health for preventing the spread of illness. School nurses also have received additional guidance regarding coronavirus from the Ohio Department of Health.
 

 
How can local schools and districts ensure they uphold the immediate enrollment provision for students in foster care?
A school or district should follow its process for enrolling students in foster care during Ohio’s ordered school-building closure. Under section 1111(g)(1)(E) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, students in foster care have a right to immediate enrollment when they are placed into care or experience a change in foster care placement and a determination is made that it is not in the student’s best interest to remain in the school of origin.

 
8. Must Ohio Department of Education-licensed preschool programs be closed?

No, as of June 9, 2020, all preschool programs licensed by the Ohio Department of Education had the option to reopen. This includes programs that operate in schools as well as those operated in other facilities (including, but not limited to, programs operated by Educational Service Centers). More information, including links to rules for reopening, is provided here.



This answer was updated 7/9/2020



 
8. Will Medicaid reimburse for health services provided via telehealth to Medicaid-enrolled students?
Yes, the Ohio Department of Medicaid promulgated an emergency rule to expand and enhance telehealth options, relaxing regulations for students with disabilities and general education students receiving Medicaid reimbursable services normally provided in the school. For more information, see the Ohio Department of Medicaid’s COVID-19 Medicaid Emergency Actions webpage and the telehealth during the state of emergency rule and its appendix.

 
8. Are there instructional materials for teachers and school staff on how to reduce risk for themselves, their students and others?
Yes, the Ohio Department of Education, along with the Ohio Department of Health in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control, has communicated information to schools and school nurses about best practices to reduce the spread of illness. These practices should be promoted, encouraged and followed to provide the safest, healthiest atmosphere for students and staff alike. Again, schools should work closely with local departments of health as well as students and families to make sure anyone with symptoms stays home and receives appropriate treatment and testing.

For the latest developments, please visit the Ohio Department of Health’s coronavirus disease 2019 resources webpage.

 
9. Must Ohio Department of Education-licensed school-age child care programs be closed?

No, as of June 9, 2020, all school-age child care programs licensed by the Ohio Department of Education had the option to reopen. More information, including links to rules for reopening, is provided here.



This answer was updated 7/9/2020



 
9. Will the Medicaid School Program reimburse for related services provided via telehealth to students with IEPs enrolled in Medicaid?
Yes. The Ohio Department of Medicaid’s telehealth during the state of emergency rule applies to Medicaid School Program (MSP) practitioners as described Ohio Administrative Code 5160-35. For more information, see the Ohio Department of Medicaid’s COVID-19 Medicaid Emergency Actions webpage.

 
9. Should schools consider disinfecting facilities as a preventative measure?
Schools and local departments of health should work together to provide the safest and healthiest atmosphere for students and staff alike. In the sample school safety plan provided by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, schools are encouraged to have plans in place for disinfecting facilities if needed.
 
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers guidance on cleaners, sanitizers and disinfectants for use in childcare settings.
 
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control provides resources for cleaning and disinfecting facilities.

 

 
10. Must HIPAA-compliant platforms be used to deliver telehealth related services?
Not at this time. To help expand the use of telehealth during the national emergency, the Office of Civil Rights temporarily will allow the use of “‘non-public facing’ remote communication products” to deliver services. Non-public facing remote communication products include, for example, platforms such as Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts video, Whatsapp video chat or Skype. Such products also include commonly used texting applications, such as Signal, Jabber, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Whatsapp or iMessage. The Ohio Department of Education does not endorse any one platform. For more information, see the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights FAQs on Telehealth and HIPAA during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency document and HIPAA Telehealth.

 
10. Who will determine when it is safe to reopen schools if schools must close because coronavirus reaches a community, but new infections decline?
Should any Ohio schools or districts close as a result of concerns about the spread of coronavirus, the local school districts will make the determination about when to reopen, working in consultation with local departments of health and with input from state and federal health experts.

 
11. Does providing IEP related services via telehealth to a group of students in the same session violate FERPA confidentiality requirements since the transmission is going into homes?

No. FERPA protects the privacy of a student’s personally identifiable information in their education records and applies to all public and private educational institutions that receive federal funds for programs, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Because FERPA applies to educational records, service providers must take care not to discuss a student’s educational records or allow such records to be visible in a way that other students, parents or other persons could view them. However, providing services to students in groups via telehealth would not be a violation of FERPA unless a student’s education records were discussed or viewed.

Service providers must take care to provide services from a secure location that will not be interrupted by others walking into the room and maintain confidentiality using secure remote access to electronic documentation and records. See FERPA and Virtual Learning Related Resources March 2020.



 
12. Do schools need to lock up playgrounds?
No. Schools do not need to chain or lock up playgrounds, but be advised, that public access playgrounds may increase the spread of COVID-19.

This answer was updated 7/9/2020
 

 

 
12. Must I follow the rules of my professional licensure board concerning telehealth?

Yes. The Ohio Department of Education requires related service providers and mental and behavioral health providers to follow the requirements of their respective Ohio board licenses.

The Ohio Department of Education Operating Standards (administrative regulations for special education) and Ohio Administrative Code 3301-51-09(H)(2) state that related services personnel must have qualifications under the Ohio Department of Education that are “consistent with state-approved or state-recognized certification, licensing, registration…” and that the Ohio Department of Education must “ensure that related services personnel who deliver services in their discipline or profession” meet the requirements and have not had certification or licensure requirements waived…”

School psychologists who are licensed by the Ohio Department of Education and not necessarily by the State Psychology Board may provide services to students using telehealth options. The consultations that Ohio Department of Education-licensed school psychologists perform are vital in maintaining the continuity of services for Ohio’s students with disabilities or those suspected of having disabilities.

Given the coronavirus health crisis, telehealth rules may continue to be amended. The Ohio Department of Education will provide additional updates in the case of changing requirements.

Governor DeWine signed an executive order to allow for the amendment of Ohio Administrative Code 4757-5-13 by the Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. The amendment relaxes current administrative rules regarding behavioral health providers’ abilities to render services through telehealth during the coronavirus health crisis, allowing patients to more easily access needed services.

For specific questions regarding up-to-date telehealth rules, providers should reach out to their respective professional licensure boards directly.



 
13. Can occupational therapy assistants, school psychologist interns, etc. provide services via telehealth?
Yes, subject to the allowances and requirements of the respective professional licensure boards. The Ohio Department of Education requires related service personnel and mental and behavioral health providers to follow the requirements of their respective professional licensure boards. The same requirements apply to services delivered via telehealth that would apply to services delivered in person. For specific questions regarding up-to-date telehealth rules, providers should reach out to their respective professional licensure boards directly.

 
13. What options are available to provide remote learning—especially if internet or devices are not available?

Options will vary depending on circumstances, and in some cases, there may be no viable options for online instruction. Cell phone service or internet service are the usual requirements for e-learning. We have confidence in the creativity and flexibility of our educators to work together and with community partners to provide what makes the most sense in these situations. At the very least, identifying local resources, encouraging reading and writing practices during the ordered school-building closure period, and other enrichment activities can be conveyed to students if no other options available. Schools may establish “pick up and drop off” points as may be appropriate for access to instructional materials, being careful not to create conditions that result in students congregating together at one time. We encourage schools to partner with Educational Service Centers (ESCs) and Information Technology Centers to seek solutions regarding remote learning. 

This answer was added 3/15/2020



 
14. Can mental and behavioral health services normally provided in the school be delivered via telehealth for all students, not just students identified as having disabilities under IDEA, during the ordered school-building closure?
Yes. The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services amended a rule to expand and enhance telehealth options. The rule relaxes regulations so more Ohioans, including students, can access mental and behavioral health services safely in their homes. The rule affects Ohio Department of Education-licensed providers and other mental and behavioral health care providers who may normally serve students in the school building or community. For more information, see Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services’ coronavirus information webpage and the interactive videoconferencing rule.

 
14. How will the ordered school-building closure affect testing?

The Governor and the Ohio General Assembly enacted House Bill 197 to address several issues raised by the coronavirus pandemic. This legislation removed state testing requirements for Ohio students for the Spring of 2020. In addition, the Ohio Department of Education has received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for all federally mandated student testing for the Spring of 2020.

This answer was added 3/31/2020



 
15. What is the status of the Alternate Assessment for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities (AASCD), Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment (OELPA) and the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGT)?

The Governor and the Ohio General Assembly enacted House Bill 197 to address several issues raised by the coronavirus pandemic. This legislation removed state testing requirements for Ohio students for the Spring of 2020. In addition, the Ohio Department of Education has received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for all federally mandated student testing for the Spring of 2020.

This answer was added 3/31/2020



 
16. Will state testing be available during the ordered school-building closure?

No. State testing will not take place during Ohio’s ordered school-building closure. The Student Testing Site, Test Administrator (TA) Interface and the Data Entry Interface will not be accessible starting March 17.

This answer was added 3/31/2020



 
17. What does the ordered school-building closure mean for Ohio School Report Cards?

The Governor and the Ohio General Assembly enacted House Bill 197 to address several issues raised by the coronavirus pandemic. This legislation states that the Ohio Department of Education will not produce Ohio School Report Cards for the 2019-2020 school year. Instead, the Ohio Department of Education will publish only the information that was available prior to the ordered school-building closure.

Additionally, the Ohio Department of Education is committed to working with the U.S. Department of Education to seek relief from requirements for state accountability systems.



This answer was added 3/31/2020



 
18. What about career technical education centers? Will students and teachers be able to access the buildings?

During the ordered school-building closure, career technical education centers will not be open to students. However, the closure does not include administrators, teachers, staff, vendors or contractors of a school. Per the order from the Ohio Department of Health, “The administration of each school shall determine the appropriate level of access to the school during the closure.” 

This answer was added 3/15/2020



 
19. Are students still permitted to work as part of apprenticeships, internships, etc. that are supervised by the school?

In some cases, it might be appropriate if the student’s work-based learning experience is safe and is attentive to social distancing (i.e., the student interacts with very few other people). It may also matter if the student is actually an employee of the business. Ultimately, this is a local decision that should be made in partnership with the student, parents and/or caregivers, school leadership and the employer.

This answer was amended 5/21/2020



 
20. Career technical education centers also provide adult education through their Ohio Technical Centers. Is it permissible for career technical education centers to allow adult students on site for instruction?

The ordered school-building closure does not apply to Ohio Technical Centers which serve adults. As such, schools should make their own determinations about the continuing operations of these programs. Schools may want to consider distance learning options to the extent practicable. Schools should also be attentive to the Governor’s emphasis on social distancing and avoiding large gatherings. 

This answer was added 3/15/2020



 
22. Should schools provide related services and intervention to students with disabilities if they are offering some form of instruction during this ordered school-building closure period?

Yes. The school should make a good faith effort to provide such services. If instruction is offered to all students, including alternate delivery models like online learning or distance learning, then districts are required to provide students with disabilities special education services. If, however, a student with a disability cannot access the alternate delivery models being offered to general education students, then the district should consult with parents and/or caregivers to determine the needs of the student and identify the most appropriate means for meeting those needs during the ordered school-building closure period. In the interest of community health, districts should take steps to identify the most appropriate location for delivering those services, such as a daycare, home or other location. Compensatory services might need to be considered. 

This answer was added 3/15/2020



 
23. Should ESCs or districts send itinerant staff to provide specialized services in daycare (and in a child’s home if applicable)?

If necessary and safe to do so, yes. The ESC should evaluate the health risk to students and educators by the continuation of these services versus the temporary suspension of such services. The district should consult with the parent to determine the best and safest location to offer services. Those services could take place in the home or another location mutually agreeable to the family and district with due consideration to the health of educators and students. Compensatory services may need to be considered.

This answer was added 3/31/2020



 
24. Can ESCs keep open their central offices?

Yes. All precautions should be taken to minimize health risks of central office staff, including consideration of telework options and social distancing practices.

This answer was added 3/31/2020



 
25. Can medically fragile students be provided services through home instruction?

The school should consult with parents and/or caregivers to determine the needs of a medically fragile student specific to the ordered school-building closure. Together, they should identify the services that will best meet those needs and how those services will be delivered with due consideration to the health and safety of students, families and service providers.

This answer was added 3/31/2020



 
26. Will timelines be altered related to Evaluation Team Reports or Individualized Education Program plan development? Can IEP meetings occur virtually?

The district should act in good faith to support the needs of students with disabilities during this challenging time being attentive to the health and safety of students, educators and other service providers. The Ohio Department of Education’s goal is to provide maximum flexibility regarding regulatory compliance requirements in the context of this emergency. The Ohio Department of Education is pursuing clear guidance from the U.S. Department of Education Office for Special Education Programs relative to such flexibility. The district should notate exceptional circumstances as appropriate. 

This answer was added 3/15/2020



 
27. What about teacher evaluations?

The ordered school-building closure affects educator evaluation systems. Specifically, this impacts decisions around completion of 2019-2020 educator evaluations and implementation of the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System (OTES) 2.0. The Ohio Department of Education has provided information about updates to this system here.

This answer was added 3/31/2020



 
28. What should I do if I am unable to complete my college or university’s clinical experience requirement (student teaching, field experience, or internship) as a result of Ohio’s ordered school-building closure?
The Ohio Department of Higher Education and Ohio Department of Education are working with Educator Preparation Programs to create more flexible pathways for students to complete their clinical experience requirement.  Please contact your college or university and work with your Educator Preparation Program to determine your pathway for completion.

This answer was added 3/19/2020

 
29. What about graduation?

The Governor and the Ohio General Assembly enacted House Bill 197 to address issues raised by the coronavirus pandemic. This legislation states that Ohio students who were on track to graduate at the time of the ordered school-building closure will be permitted to graduate on time in the Spring of 2020.

This answer was added 3/31/2020



 
30. How does this ordered school-building closure affect 21st Century Community Learning Center programs?
A variety of activities that are part of 21st Century Community Learning Centers programs can continue. Activities must be in support of program goals and directly related to program effectiveness and student achievement. A list of appropriate activities can be found on the 21st Century Community Learning Center site along with additional questions and answers about the program.

This answer was added 3/20/2020

 
31. What considerations should schools and districts make when determining which employees should report to a school building during the ordered school-building closure?
The Governor has strongly encouraged the use of remote work assignments whenever possible, and only requires employees onsite who cannot perform their job duties remotely. (Even for these employees, no one who is ill or may have a health condition that makes them particularly susceptible to illness should be required to report to work. Sick leave requests should be honored).

This answer was added 3/20/2020

 
32. May a contracted or mandated provider of education services (for example, district, educational service center or community school) continue to provide educational services to school-age children residing in the following settings: a) A residential group home or other residential group arrangement (including those that may be court placed); b) A local or county juvenile detention facility?

The ordered school-building closure does not mean residential facilities that are caring for school-age children nor juvenile detention facilities must close. These facilities are serving students primarily for other reasons (not primarily educational) and are not schools per se. At the same time, in the interest of slowing any spread of disease, extreme caution should be exercised to preserve and protect the health and safety of students and staff in these facilities, as well as educators and the community. Education providers and facility operators should evaluate these situations considering the following three principles:

1. Is the nature of the activity essential?

2. Can the activity be done virtually?

3. If there is no other choice, then can the activity be done safely? This means individuals are separated by distance and not congregating in close proximity and the health of participants is protected.

Consulting the local health department is advisable and encouraged.

(Note that juvenile and adult correctional facilities were separately ordered to restrict access to their facilities to “personnel who are absolutely necessary for the operation of such facilities.”)

Just as with other students, a good-faith effort to provide continuity of service to students in these facilities would align with the governor’s stated intent that “schools should work to provide education through alternate means.” Consequently, education providers should collaborate with facility operators to identify alternate means to provide educational services to the extent practicable. This could include a blizzard bag approach, distance learning options, closed-circuit TV or mail. As much as possible, sending educators to be physically present with students in such settings should be avoided.

This answer was added 3/23/2020



 
34. How can students go about obtaining a work permit under Ohio’s Minor Labor Laws if schools are closed?

According to the Ohio Department of Commerce, if a minor has all necessary paperwork completed and is unable to get the permit processed due to school closure, the completed paperwork may itself stand in the place of the physically printed permit. Employers should keep the paperwork on file, just like they would the permit. The formal permit should be processed as soon as the school is reopened.

As a reminder, hour restrictions outlined in Ohio Revised Code Section 4109 are still in place for any week that was not a pre-planned school holiday (i.e., spring break) and the prohibited/hazardous occupation restrictions are still active. 

To download a copy of the Parent or Guardian Consent Form for Minor Work Permit, click here .

For questions, call the Division of Industrial Compliance's Bureau of Wage and Hour Administration at 614-644-2239 or email webmaster@wagehour.com.state.oh.us.

This answer was added 3/26/2020



 
35. How does the ordered school-building closure impact participation in the College Credit Plus program?

At the recommendation of Chancellor Randy Gardner and Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria, previously existing statutes, rules, and guidance relating to the College Credit Plus (CCP) program have been updated in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and subsequent school-building closures. These updates attempt to provide as much flexibility as possible for students while continuing to implement the CCP program. We recommend reviewing posted informational documents as there are important changes to the program. Visit the following College Credit Plus web pages for the latest updates and information:

http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Ohio-Education-Options/College-Credit-Plus

https://www.ohiohighered.org/collegecreditplus



 
36. Should schools and districts consider shortening the school year or ending school early?
No. When Governor DeWine ordered school buildings to close temporarily, it was with the expectation that a good faith effort would be made to continue providing education services to students through the end of the district’s school year as scheduled. This is the understanding under which the vast majority of school districts are operating. They are planning on observing their originally adopted calendars and ending the school year (either virtually or in house depending on guidance from state and local departments of health) pursuant to their original timelines. Schools and districts should not be considering shortening the school year. 
 
Students benefit from efforts to provide continuity of learning knowing their teachers and school staff are connecting with them and supporting them through this challenging time. Staff also benefit from the continuity of purpose in their efforts and their abilities to connect professionally with colleagues to support the needs of the whole child. The ability for educators to continue to work until the end of the adopted calendar also can contribute to the development of plans for recovery efforts that might be necessary to ensure a strong start to the 2020-2021 school year. Although remote learning is not the same as in-school learning, and varies greatly across Ohio’s diverse landscape, sustaining educational activities emphasizes the importance to students of acquiring and strengthening knowledge and skills as a regular part of daily life.

This answer was updated 4/23/2020

 
37. How does H.B. 197 affect the requirements for the academic assessment report for the 2019-2020 school year from a parent of a home-school student making a subsequent notification as required by rule 3301-34-04 of the Ohio Administrative Code?
 

For Districts and Superintendents: Section 17(L) of H.B.197 prohibits a school district from requiring the parent of a home-school student to submit the results of a “standardized achievement assessment” as a condition for continuing to provide home education to a student. This prohibition reflects the reality that assessments (e.g., nationally normed, standardized achievement tests, Ohio state tests) could not be administered in the spring of 2020 due to public health orders issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Consistent with the legislation, and irrespective of a parent’s previous assessment reporting choices, if a parent indicates that he or she is unable to submit either the “results of a nationally normed, standardized achievement test” (OAC 3301-34-04(B)(1)) or an “alternative academic assessment of the child's proficiency mutually agreed upon by the parent and the superintendent” (OAC 3301-34-04(B)(3)), the superintendent should not require an academic assessment report from a parent and should issue a letter of excuse as long as all other information submitted to the superintendent is determined to be in compliance with regulatory requirements.

For parents who choose to demonstrate a home-school student’s achievement through a written narrative (OAC 3301-34-04(B)(2)), a superintendent should evaluate the written narrative by taking into consideration the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the student’s academic progress for the 2019-2020 school year. In accordance with the authority in section 17(I) of H.B. 197, the Superintendent of Public Instruction has extended the deadline in Ohio Administrative Code section 3301-34-04 to submit the written narrative for the 2019-2020 school year. The extended deadline to submit the written narrative is December 1, 2020. A superintendent should issue a letter of excuse that specifies the narrative will be provided by December 1, 2020.

(This information will be updated if additional changes are made to home school subsequent notification requirements by either the State Board of Education or the Ohio General Assembly.)

 

For Parents: Section 17(L) of recently enacted H.B.197 makes a short-term change to reporting requirements for parents of home-schooled students for 2019-2020. Typically, parents must submit to the local superintendent, at the time of subsequent notification, an academic assessment report for the child for the previous school year. The report can be in one of three formats: the results of a nationally normed, standardized test; a written narrative indicating that a portfolio of samples of the child’s work has been reviewed by a specified individual and that the child’s academic progress meets the child’s abilities; or an alternative academic assessment of proficiency mutually agreed upon by the parent and the superintendent.

Section 17(L) of H.B. 197 exempts the requirement to provide the results of a “standardized achievement assessment” to the resident district as a condition of the district continuing to allow the student to be home schooled in the 2020-2021 school year. This exemption applies to the first and third of the three options (OAC 3301-34-04(B)(1) or (B)(3)). Parents should express to the superintendent of their school district of residence that they are exempted from the requirement due to the inability to have students tested.

Parents who choose to utilize the written narrative option (OAC 3301-34-04(B)(2)) may use remote or virtual methods to obtain the written narrative so as to avoid any risk to the health or safety of students or others involved in the process. Additionally, the deadline to submit the written narrative has been extended pursuant to authority granted to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (H.B. 197, Section 17(I)) until December 1, 2020. District superintendents have been instructed to issue a modified letter of excuse that indicates the narrative will be provided by December 1, 2020. Upon the receipt of the narrative, and if the narrative complies with regulatory requirements, the superintendent may issue a permanent letter of excuse for the current school year.

(This information will be updated if additional changes are made to home school subsequent notification requirements by either the State Board of Education or the Ohio General Assembly.)


This answer was added 5/8/2020



 
1. If students were unable to take the required end-of-course tests due to the ordered school-building closure, are they still eligible to graduate in the 2019-2020 school year under this new flexibility?
Yes. Students enrolled in 12th grade or on track to graduate in the 2019-2020 school year will not be required to complete any more end-of-course tests for graduation as long as it is determined the students have successfully completed their curriculum requirements or, if appropriate, the goals outlined in their individualized education programs.

 
1. The educator’s evaluation components were completed before March 14, 2020. How does this evaluation apply?
Evaluations completed before the coronavirus-related school-building closure order may be used in the evaluation process. Districts are not prevented from using evaluations completed prior to March 14, 2020, in employment decisions. 

 
1. Will third grade students still need to meet the promotion criteria for the Third Grade Reading Guarantee in 2019-2020 to advance to fourth grade?
Newly enacted Ohio law (House Bill 197 of the 133rd General Assembly, Section 17(C)) temporarily removes the requirement that students meet the Third Grade Reading Guarantee promotion threshold for the 2019-2020 school year to advance to fourth grade. Specifically, no school district, community school or STEM school and no chartered nonpublic school that is required to administer assessments to scholarship students should retain a student in the third grade following the 2019-2020 school year based solely on the student’s academic performance in reading. However, if the student’s principal and reading teacher agree the student’s reading skills demonstrate the student is reading below grade level and is not academically prepared to be promoted to fourth grade, the student may be retained.

 
17. When must a district update the local teacher evaluation policy to conform to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System 2.0 Framework?
Regardless of a district’s timeframe to implement the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System 2.0, Ohio Revised Code Section 3319.111 requires the board of education of each school district to update the teacher evaluation policy to conform to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System 2.0 Framework by July 1, 2020. However, to allow adequate time for consultation with teachers when updating these policies, the superintendent of public instruction has extended the date for local board policy adoption to Sept. 1, 2020. 

 
3. Are staff still required to monitor and update Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plans for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year?
How districts monitor progress pursuant to Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plans currently is a local decision. To the extent possible, districts should continue updating and monitoring Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plans and supporting students with these plans for the 2019-2020 school year.

 
7. Are teachers required to meet the Third Grade Reading Guarantee teacher qualifications for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year?
Yes. Teachers of third grade students with Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plans and retained third grade students must continue to meet the teacher qualifications (see page 17-19) required in law.

 
9. Are there any free, online resources for parents and caregivers to use with their children during this remote learning time?
A parent or caregiver should first contact the child’s district for online learning resource recommendations targeting the child’s specific instructional needs. The district will be best suited to match resources to a student’s specific reading deficiencies based on district assessments and progress monitoring.

The Ohio Department of Education has published a Remote Learning Resource Guide. This guide includes a list of available resources for parents and caregivers. This list is not comprehensive, and the Department does not endorse these products. The Department is making the list available to support student engagement in learning during the ordered school-building closure.

 
9. What is the definition of a completed evaluation?

To be considered complete, evaluators using Ohio Teacher Evaluation System 1.0 must have all required components of the evaluation completed. The following components are standard for a complete evaluation, but additional requirements set forth in law or contained in a collective bargaining agreement may be necessary for some evaluations. 

Full Evaluation Cycle required components include: 

  • Professional Growth Plan or Improvement Plan; 

  • Two formal observations; 

  • At least two walkthroughs; 

  • Student growth measures for OTES 1.0; 

  • Final Summative Conference. 
     

Less Frequent Evaluation Cycle required components include: 

  • Professional Growth Plan or Improvement Plan; 

  • One observation; 

  • One conference; 

  • Student growth measures for OTES 1.0. 



 
How will students receive Career-Technical Assurance Guide (CTAG) credit if they were planning to retake a previously attempted WebXam?
For the 2019-2020 school year, students will not have the opportunity to retake any previously attempted WebXams. To ensure these students have the same opportunity to earn CTAG credit, districts may report student grades from the aligned career-technical education course in lieu of the traditional WebXam assessment for any student leaving school with a diploma in the 2019-2020 school year, regardless of when that assessment was taken. The grade reported must be the grade earned in the course aligned to the end-of-course test the student planned to retake.  

 
10. What can a parent or caregiver do if he or she disagrees with the school’s decision to retain the child in the third grade?
Under the newly enacted temporary legislation, retention decisions for third grade students are made locally. Any disagreement about retention decisions must be discussed with the child’s principal and reading teacher.

 
10. What flexibility is afforded to districts that choose to complete the remaining components of the evaluation after March 14, 2020?
The manner in which all remaining required components are completed is a local decision. Completing remaining components may be done virtually. This decision may be made in collaboration with teachers and their bargaining organizations. 

 
18. When must districts implement Ohio Teacher Evaluation System 2.0?
Districts required to implement the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System 2.0 in the 2020-2021 school year now have the discretion to determine their readiness to implement in the 2020-2021 school year or delay for one year until 2021-2022. It is recommended this decision be made in collaboration with teachers and their bargaining organizations.  

 
2. Are students retained by the school’s principal and reading teacher eligible for mid-year promotion in the 2020-2021 school year?
Yes. A student whose principal and reading teacher determine the student should be retained is eligible for mid-year promotion in the 2020-2021 school year if the student meets the requirements of the district’s mid-year promotion policy. If a retained third grade student demonstrates he or she is reading at or above grade level, as defined by the district’s local policy, the student should be given the opportunity for mid-year promotion. Promoting students to fourth grade as soon as they demonstrate readiness maximizes the students’ opportunities to benefit from fourth grade instruction. The Department encourages districts to continue to monitor student progress in 4th grade to ensure mid-year promoted students continue to stay on track.

 
2. If students in the class of 2020 were unable to complete their alternative pathways to graduation due to the ordered school-building closure, are they still eligible to graduate under this new flexibility?
Yes. Students enrolled in 12th grade or deemed on track to graduate before Sept. 30, 2020, who were pursuing additional requirements or pathways to a diploma are no longer required to complete those additional requirements as outlined in Option 1 and Option 2 found here. These students need only successfully complete the curriculum requirements or, if appropriate, the goals outlined in their individualized education programs.

 
2. The educator’s evaluation components were completed after March 14, 2020. How does this evaluation apply?
Evaluations completed after the coronavirus-related school-building closure may be used in the evaluation process. Local district boards may collaborate with any bargaining organizations representing employees when determining if evaluations completed after the order will be used in employment decisions.  

 
4. Are districts required to provide retained third grade students at least 90 minutes of daily reading instruction, provide intensive intervention and offer services from a provider outside of the district for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year?
Ohio law requires that retained third grade students are provided at least 90 minutes of daily reading instruction. Under the Third Grade Reading Guarantee requirement to offer services from a provider outside of the district, a district may provide an opportunity for students to receive intensive intervention services remotely by a third party. Practicality and capacity may limit the extent to which the 90 minutes per day requirement can be completely met. Districts should make a good faith effort to support students within the district’s capacity while maintaining safety.

 
8. How can a Third Grade Reading Guarantee teacher meet Praxis® testing qualifications with many testing sites closed due to the coronavirus health crisis?

Education Testing Services, the Praxis 5203’s vendor, will be introducing a solution to allow candidates to take a Praxis® exam at home or another secure location while test centers are closed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Education Testing Services anticipates this solution will be available mid-May 2020.



 
Which students can use the alternative WebXam retake policy?
Students who are leaving school with a diploma in the 2019-2020 school year are eligible to participate. Students not graduating in the 2019-2020 school year will have the opportunity to retake the WebXam in the subsequent school year.  

 
11. Will value-added data be used in Ohio Teacher Evaluation System 1.0 completed teacher evaluations for 2019-2020?
Yes. Value-added data that was generated from state assessments administered in the 2018-2019 school year and was reported in the fall of 2019 will be used in completed evaluations for the 2019-2020 school year. Because state assessments will not be administered in the spring of 2020, there will not be sufficient data to generate value-added for the 2020-2021 school year. Therefore, value-added data will not be available for use in 2020-2021 educator evaluations.   

 
19. If a district is implementing the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System 2.0 in 2020-2021, does that mean all teachers will move to a full evaluation cycle next year?

If a district completed the 2019-2020 evaluations and submitted them through eTPES or OhioES as required, those educators will continue their evaluation cycles as anticipated; 

OR 

If a district did not complete evaluations per the COVID-19 exemption in 2019-2020, those educators will maintain their evaluation cycle status from the BEGINNING of the 2019-2020 school year at the start of the 2020-2021 year. 



 
3. If a district elects to complete evaluations after March 14, 2020, does this mean it must be a districtwide decision or can this be on a case-by-case basis?
Local districts have discretion to complete evaluations on a case-by-case basis. However, given the flexibility provided to districts and the ability to work with bargaining organizations, districts may make broader, systemic determinations. For instance, a district may decide to only complete evaluations for teachers who are eligible for continuing contract status. Alternatively, the district may decide to only complete evaluations that were in progress and had reached a certain point. Districts should strive to be fair and consistent when making these local decisions. Districts should be mindful that teachers who do not receive evaluations are afforded the rights established under Ohio Revised Code Section 3319.11. Likewise, districts also should be mindful that administrators who do not receive evaluations are afforded rights under Ohio Revised Code Section 3319.02

 
3. What options are available to students who were pursuing industry-recognized credentials but are unable to do so because of the ordered school-building closure?
As long as students were enrolled in 12th grade in the 2019-2020 school year or were on track to graduate in the 2019-2020 school year and have successfully completed the curriculum requirements or, if appropriate, the goals outlined in their individualized education programs, they are eligible to graduate under the new flexibility. Districts and schools are encouraged to offer opportunities for students to complete the requirements to earn industry-recognized credentials as soon as it is deemed safe to reopen school buildings, even though students already may have been awarded a diploma.

 
5. Are districts required to develop Reading Improvement and Monitoring Plans if a transfer student is given the reading diagnostic assessment and is found to be “not on-track?”
For the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, this will be a local decision based on districts’ capacities to provide intervention or supplemental instruction for such students during Ohio’s ordered school-building closure.

 
Can districts use the alternative WebXam retake policy in the future?
No. At this time, reporting a technical assessment based on the course grade earned is a one-time flexibility option for the 2019-2020 school year. All students using this option should be reported with the assessment in the 2019-2020 school year reporting windows. 

 
12. How will a district calculate an educator’s student growth measures in Ohio Teacher Evaluation System 1.0 if the district chooses to complete 2019-2020 evaluations after March 14, 2020?
Vendor assessments and Student Learning Objectives may be completed virtually if the district deems it is possible or practicable to do so. Districts are encouraged to collaborate with teachers and their bargaining organizations in making this determination. Because of the remote learning environment in place, districts should consider the reliability of this data due to student access to connectivity and the potential lack of consistency in administration procedures. Districts also may explore the use of shared attribution.  

 
20. Can an individual who possesses a current Ohio Teacher Evaluation System 1.0 evaluator credential evaluate teachers if the district moves to the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System 2.0 in the fall?
No. Evaluators must be credentialed under the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System that is being implemented by the district for the 2020-2021 school year. Please see the OTES 2.0 Training and Credentialing FAQs.

 
4. Are transfer students eligible to graduate under this flexibility?
Transfer students are eligible to graduate under the new flexibility if they were enrolled in 12th grade in the 2019-2020 school year or were on track to graduate in the 2019-2020 school year and have successfully completed the curriculum requirements or, if appropriate, the goals outlined in their individualized education programs.

 
4. If an educator’s evaluation was not completed in 2019-2020, will this impact the individual’s contract status with the district?
This is a local determination. The district should work with its legal counsel and may collaborate with bargaining organizations to determine contract status. A teacher for whom an evaluation was not completed during the 2019-2020 school year is afforded rights established under Ohio Revised Code Section 3319.11. Likewise, districts also should be mindful that administrators who do not receive completed evaluations are afforded rights under Ohio Revised Code Section 3319.02

 
6. Will districts need to offer summer programming for students who are considered "not on-track?"
The decision to offer summer programs is made locally. Districts are encouraged to explore summer programming options as long as they are conducted consistent with safety and health guidelines. Summer intervention programs may include online platforms selected by the district, take-home summer packets and virtual tutoring sessions. The Ohio Department of Education currently is working with state support teams to develop information districts may use for summer instruction.

 
How are student course grades reported in WebXam?
To report student course grades in the WebXam system, follow the instructions in the Course Grade Reporting document

 
13. The district understands that value-added from 2018-2019 must be used if 2019-2020 evaluations are completed. However, can other student growth measures, such as Student Learning Objectives and vendor assessments, be exempted or waived due to the coronavirus health crisis if all other required components of the evaluation process are completed?
No. House Bill 197 does not give the Department discretion to waive specific required components of the evaluation process, such as student growth measures. Districts that choose to complete evaluations for teachers without the required student growth measures (excluding value-added) must be aware those teachers will be on a full evaluation in 2020-2021. The COVID-19 exemption only allows for a district to determine if it wants to exempt an entire evaluation. 

 
21. How will evaluator credential training be completed for districts implementing the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System 2.0 in the 2020-2021 school year?
Ohio’s educational service centers (ESCs) have been trained and stand ready to deliver the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System 2.0 credential training. These face-to-face trainings will be scheduled and led by ESCs as soon as it is deemed safe to do so. In the interim, the Department is exploring other training options. Further information is forthcoming.    

 
5. How will schools and districts monitor and track student learning activities during the ordered school-building closure?
This is a local decision. Schools and districts should develop processes for monitoring and tracking student work that meet their local needs. Resources have been made available on the Ohio Department of Education website to support teachers and administrators in facilitating remote learning.

 
5. If a district elects not to complete an educator’s evaluation for the 2019-2020 school year due to the coronavirus health crisis, what will happen to the educator’s rating and evaluation cycle?
A “COVID-19” option has been added under the “Exemption” tab within Ohio Teacher and Principal Evaluation Systems (eTPES) and Ohio Evaluation System (OhioES). Evaluators can select this exemption option for any 2019-2020 evaluations that were not completed due to this reason. In this situation, the educator will maintain the rating and evaluation cycle that were in place at the start of the 2019-2020 school year when school begins in the fall of 2020. For example, an accomplished teacher in year two of a less frequent evaluation cycle during 2019-2020 would again be accomplished in year two of a less frequent evaluation cycle in the fall of 2020 IF the COVID-19 option was used to close the evaluation. 

 
Where can districts find more information on EMIS reporting?
Further information on EMIS reporting is available on the EMIS Manual homepage.  

 
14. If a district using Ohio Teacher Evaluation System 1.0 chooses to complete evaluations, can the district choose to exempt some or all teachers from student growth measures for the 2019-2020 school year?

It depends. Any teachers receiving 2018-2019 value-added data in the fall of 2019 must use it for the purpose of evaluation. For those teachers without value-added data, there is an option within eTPES to exempt a teacher on a full evaluation cycle from student growth measures. Some possible reasons for exemption can be found here (p. 151). If districts choose to complete evaluations without student growth measures, excluding value-added, these evaluations will be completed based on performance only. As a result, the educator will be placed on a full evaluation cycle in 2020-2021.  

Because teachers on a less frequent evaluation cycle are required to have student growth measures, the option to exempt student growth measures does not exist. If a district elects to exempt student growth measures for teachers on a less frequent evaluation cycle, those teachers must first be placed back on a full evaluation cycle within eTPES. The full evaluation cycle has additional requirements pertaining to observations and walkthroughs but unlocks the option to exempt student growth measures. Districts also may explore the same student growth measure options as those teachers on a full evaluation cycle.  

Regardless of a teacher’s rating in 2019-2020, if the evaluation is completed without student growth measures, the teacher will be placed on a full evaluation cycle in the fall of 2020.  



 
6. How should schools and districts calculate final course grades and grade-point averages (GPAs) for students during the ordered school-building closure?
Final course grades and GPAs are determined locally. Schools and districts should ensure local decisions are fair and consistent among students. Schools can use pass/fail or pass/incomplete grading options if determined to be appropriate. For more information on how schools should approach grading during the ordered school-building closure, please see information posted here.

 
6. If a district does not complete evaluations this year and uses the COVID-19 exemption, what happens to the evaluation evidence collected up to this point?
It is important to remember the purpose of the evaluation process is to foster educator professional growth. The evidence collected during the 2019-2020 evaluation process will not be used for evaluation purposes if evaluations are exempt due to the COVID-19 option. However, the evidence collected from observations and professional conversations should continue to be used for teacher self-reflection and can provide direction for Professional Growth Plans or Improvement Plans created for the 2020-2021 school year.  

 
Are students enrolled in, or using the retake provision for, Education Principles (350010) required to complete the portfolio component to earn CTAG credit (CTEDU007/OED007 - Introduction to Education)?
No. For the 2019-2020 school year, students are not required to complete the portfolio to earn the aligned CTAG credit for the Education Principles (350010) course. The WebXam score, or course grade reported in lieu of the WebXam score, will make up 100 percent of the end of course examination score.  

 
15. Under the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System 1.0, can data from 2018-2019 Student Learning Objectives or vendor assessments be applied to an educator’s 2019-2020 evaluation to complete the student growth measures portion of the evaluation?
No. Student Learning Objectives and vendor assessment data must be from the current school year. 

 
7. Are the deadlines for the Educator Evaluation Systems for 2019-2020 being extended?

Yes, for teachers. Subject to each specific collective bargaining agreement, if the employee is a teacher, the district will have until May 22 (typically May 1) to complete the teacher evaluation and must provide a written report of the results of the evaluation to the teacher by May 29 (typically May 10). 

Evaluation deadlines for administrators remain unchanged. 



 
7. What are the potential implications for students if schools choose to offer pass/fail/incomplete grades?

When making a local decision as to whether to offer pass/fail/incomplete grades, schools should consider how pass/fail/incomplete grades may affect students in the following ways:


For more information on how schools should approach grading during the ordered school-building closure, please see information posted here.



 
Can students still participate in work-based learning experiences during Ohio’s ordered school-building closure?
Continuing work-based learning experiences during Ohio’s ordered school-building closure is a local decision. Districts should collaborate with parents and/or caregivers and employers to determine the appropriateness of work-based learning experiences. If students are able to continue participating in the work-based learning experience safely, it may be determined students can continue working. The instructor or other school-based coordinator of the experience is expected to continue supporting and supervising students and may use remote technology such as phone calls and online visits to do so. 

 
16. An individual’s Ohio Teacher Evaluation System 1.0 evaluator credential will expire before 2019-2020 evaluations can be completed. How should the evaluator proceed?
If the credential is displaying as valid in eTPES or OhioES, the evaluator may complete evaluations. The online Ohio Teacher Evaluation System 1.0 credential platform for the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching remains open and can be accessed by clicking the link.  

 
8. In cases where the student attends a career center and an associated school (home school), who determines whether a student has earned a diploma?

Under the emergency legislation, the decision to award a diploma is based on successful completion of curriculum requirements or, if appropriate, the goals outlined in a student’s individualized education program. Determining whether curriculum requirements have been completed involves determining whether credit has been granted for individual courses. Decisions on whether to grant credit for a course should be made by the educating entity that is conducting the course.

The principal of the school in the district that grants the diploma, in consultation with teachers and counselors, including teachers of career-technical education courses, makes the determination whether a student has successfully completed the curriculum. The district of residence should make the final decision but should review and document that decision with all relevant educators and administrators.



 
8. Will the OhioES and eTPES platforms remain open for evaluation data entry this spring?
Yes. Both systems, OhioES and eTPES, will remain open until June 15 to enter and finalize evaluation data. 

 
Will students using work experience or work-based learning hours as a pathway to graduation be affected by the ordered school-building closure?
For current freshman, sophomore or junior students, any work-based learning hours obtained during Ohio’s ordered school-building closure still will count toward future graduation pathways if all existing requirements for these experiences are met. Learn more here about work-based learning and graduation requirements for the classes of 2021, 2022, 2023 and beyond. Please click here to review ongoing legislative updates regarding the graduation requirements for the class of 2020. 

 
9. If a career center uses letter grades and the home district uses pass/fail/incomplete grades due to the ordered school-building closure, or vice versa, how should those grades be reconciled?
The reporting of grades is a local decision. It is best if districts coordinate grading approaches with career centers. For more information on how schools should approach grading during the ordered school-building closure, please see information posted here.

 
What resources are available for supervising, evaluating and otherwise overseeing work-based learning experiences remotely?

The Work-Based Learning Toolkit on the Ohio Department of Education’s website provides a number of editable templates and other resources for overseeing work-based learning experiences. Additionally, for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, all school districts in Ohio have access to a FREE CTE Manager account. CTE Manager is an online platform for designing, monitoring and evaluating work-based learning experiences. For more information on starting a free account, visit the CTE Manager website

It is important to consider those students who may need additional support when planning for remote work-based learning supervision. The National Technical Assistance Center on Transition recently hosted a webinar focused on Providing Transition-Focused Activities Online and At Home, which included resources for continuing work-based learning. The Association for People Supporting Employment First held a webinar specific to Strategies for Providing Remote Employment Supports. Additionally, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities continues to provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities counselors can virtually open new cases on behalf of students and make additional accommodations to assist students in exploring, finding and maintaining jobs. Schools can work with Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities counselors to arrange these services for new students. 



 
10. Does the graduation flexibility extend to students in the graduation cohorts of 2017 and prior who still need to pass the Ohio Graduation Tests (OGTs) in order to meet their graduation requirements?
Under the emergency legislation, the temporary flexibility is available to students who were enrolled in the 12th grade in the 2019-2020 school year or were on track to graduate in the 2019-2020 school year, as determined by the school district or other public or chartered nonpublic school in which the students were enrolled. Whether this flexibility applies to a particular student is a local decision about whether the student is eligible as either enrolled in 12th grade or on track to graduate. This determination can be made on a case-by-case basis but should be consistently applied to similarly situated students.

 
How can students explore new work-based learning opportunities during Ohio’s ordered school-building closure?
While some businesses and industries are adjusting work activities in response to COVID-19 and may have less availability for placement, many essential businesses and industries are looking to fill immediate needs in the workforce. Districts should reach out and connect with local grocery stores, pharmacies, warehouses, shipping and delivery services, etc., to develop timely partnerships that meet the safety and educational needs of students. Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities also is posting a weekly Urgent Jobs List from employers statewide in immediate need of employees. When looking to develop partnerships with businesses for the future, consider the many resources available through SuccessBound Ohio, including guidance on effectively leveraging local Business Advisory Councils. 

 
11. Is there flexibility in meeting the requirements for an honors diplomas during the ordered school-building closure?
No. House Bill 197 did not grant flexibility to the requirements for honors diplomas. However, schools and districts are encouraged to collaborate with students and families to identify creative means tailored to the current circumstances that enable students to complete the field experience and portfolio requirements for honors diplomas.

 
12. If eligible students were planning to use the Physical Education Waiver on a spring sport or activity to complete the physical education credit requirement, can students still earn credit?
The decision of whether to award credit is a local decision. After reviewing the student’s progress toward completing the requirements of the waiver, the principal, in consultation with teachers and counselors, may allow students to use the waiver. If students use the waiver, they still will need to complete the additional half credit of elective coursework required by Ohio Revised Code section 3313.603 (L).

 
13. Is it still a requirement to complete a Summary of Performance and Prior Written Notice for students ending special education services due to graduation during the ordered school-building closure period?
Yes. Districts and schools still must complete a Summary of Performance and provide Prior Written Notice. The Summary of Performance can be completed virtually at this time if it cannot be completed in person.