In response to news of the COVID-19 virus and its appearance in Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine issued an Executive Order on March 9, declaring a state of emergency in Ohio. On March 11, Gov. DeWine issued this letter.
Subsequently, the career-technical education community issued the following statement in support of the DeWine Administration’s continued efforts to protect Ohioans:
The community of Ohio career technical educators appreciates and supports Governor Mike DeWine’s leadership in protecting the health and safety of all Ohioans, especially our school children. The organizations representing career-tech educators, including Ohio Association of Career Technical Education, Ohio Association of Career Technical Superintendents and the Ohio Association of Comprehensive and Compact Career-Technical Schools, are in regular contact with Administration staff and leadership from the Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Education. ODE representatives continue to provide various updates and guidance as available, including information on school operations and extracurricular activities impacted by COVID-19. The organizations will continue to monitor executive orders or proposed legislation and keep educators apprised and aware of the ever-evolving situation and activities impacted.
The Ohio Department of Health has also released critical information, and educators are encouraged to collaborate with their local department of health in order to determine an appropriate course of action at the local level.
Information from the Ohio Department of Health can be accessed here: https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/know-our-programs/Novel-Coronavirus
The Ohio Department of Education held a teleconference March 9 with guidance and updates for education stakeholder groups. ODE also created the following website where educators can get information:
Upcoming Career Technical Student Organization (CTSO) events (DECA and BPA) were cancelled due to the outbreak, and ODE staff is working with career-tech educators to find alternatives to the face-to-face competitions.
(See related article)
No decisions other than the cancellation of these two upcoming events taking place this weekend have been made yet, according to ODE, but a web page has been created for cancellation updates, accessible here:
Information for schools that act as polling locations is provided by ODE, click here.
“This is an unprecedented situation for Ohio’s education community, and Ohio ACTE leadership is grateful for the continued, robust collaboration with our colleagues at the Ohio Department of Education, including Career Tech Director Leah Amstutz and other ODE staff,” said Christine Gardner, Ohio ACTE Executive Director. “State Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria has also provided strong leadership, fostering communication among stakeholders to keep students safe, as well as determining alternatives that minimize disruption to student learning—including extracurricular activities and competitions,” she added.
Leaders in the career tech organizations will continue to monitor legislation, Executive Orders and other information to ensure the interests of career tech education—including its students and teachers—are considered in any relevant policy discussions.
Ohio ACTE will continue to provide updates on its website as they become available.