Local schools react to Gov. DeWine saying students won’t be held back because buildings are closed

Coronavirus
WILLOUGHBY, Ohio (WJW)- Gov. Mike DeWine says students will not have to repeat a grade because their school buildings are now closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
 
The governor said in a weekend Facebook appearance that learning from home “counts as school, counts as a school year.”
 
School districts have scrambled to change from in-class learning to learning done at home – much of it online.
 
Willoughby-Eastlake Superintendent Steve Thompson praises his teachers for being so adaptable.
    
Still, he notes there have been challenges making sure students are connected, as the district has passed out over 2,000 laptops – 100 of them just today.
 
And he adds the district is planning to do some baseline testing in the fall to see where students are at academically.
 
“The real test will be how well the students are learning the curriculum virtually,” he says.
   
Thompson says he expects more help will be needed in the younger grades, and that education in general will be using more “academic apps” to help fill gaps in learning in the future.
 
Meantime, some instructors have used the pandemic as a teachable moment.
 
Daneen Baller, a business teacher at Willoughby South, says her personal finance students are learning about how credit, loans, and credit cards work – and what people may need to do regarding each when they are out of work.
 
And her entrepreneurship class runs the store in the school that sells spirit wear.
 
“Their business was shut down (by the closing of the school building),” she says, “so how does that mirror real life?”
 
School in Ohio are officially closed until the end of the month, but many school districts are preparing for them to be closed for the rest of the school year.

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