Masks in schools: Who wants kids to mask up this fall in Ohio

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(WJW) – Will your child be required to wear a mask when they return to school this fall?

They will be required to wear a mask on a bus or any public transit, per the Centers for Disease Control, regardless of vaccination status.

That includes school buses.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) said all students over age 2, along with staff, should wear masks in school, whether they have been vaccinated for coronavirus.

Schools and colleges in Northeast Ohio are now announcing plans for their students when they return to the classroom.

All districts say these plans are subject to change.

This list is being updated as new policy guidelines are announced from each district. Check back for updates.

AKRON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

The district plans to require masks for students, employees and visitors at the start of the 2021-2022 school year for most indoor spaces, including school busses and vans. The district said the guidelines were subject to change and would be reevaluated every month.

AVON LAKE CITY SCHOOLS

When Avon Lake students return on Aug. 24, the decision to wear a mask will be made by individual families.

“What we’re going to be putting out in the next couple of weeks is masks are optional. We are going to recommend them highly for certain people, and we are going to leave that up to parents and staff to talk about when we need masks, when we don’t,” said Bob Scott, superintendent.

BRECKSVILLE-BROADVIEW HEIGHTS CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

While masks won’t be required in schools during the upcoming school year, people are encouraged to do so:

“Despite the Governor’s signing of House Bill 244 as noted above, the BBHCSD will strongly recommend that all individuals not vaccinated wear a mask for everyone’s health, wellness, and safety,” said Superintendent Joelle Magyar in a statement.

However, masks will be required on school buses.

BRUNSWICK CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

According to their 2021-2022 ‘Plan for safe return to in-person instruction & continuity of services plan,’ The wearing of facial coverings (masks) for students, staff, and the public is voluntary but is recommended for those who have elevated health risks or have not been vaccinated.  If state or local health orders change during a time of elevated communicable disease community spread, the superintendent may require the correct use of facial coverings in accordance with Board Policy 8450.01.

The district will maintain 3-foot social distancing guidelines.

CANTON CITY SCHOOLS

Staff and students are required to wear masks at school. The district says the policy will be evaluated on a month-to-month basis. The district will maintain 3-foot social distancing.

CASE WESTERN UNIVERSITY:

Case Western Reserve University announced as COVID-19 transmission rates in Cuyahoga County continue to increase, masks will be required indoors and outdoors regardless of vaccination status. This will go into effect starting Aug. 4.

CHARDON LOCAL SCHOOLS

As of July 2021, Chardon Local Schools plans to return to in-person instruction full-time for the 2021-2022 school year. According to their website, based on the provisions of the law, and until such time that legislation or orders from the Governor/Ohio Department of Health direct us otherwise, the Chardon Schools will not be requiring mandatory vaccination for students and staff. Health officials recommend – but do not require – that unvaccinated individuals wear a mask. In Chardon Schools, wearing a mask will be a personal
choice (optional) for students and staff based on the individual comfort level in the school setting.

CLEVELAND METROPOLITAN SCHOOL DISTRICT

Cleveland Metropolitan School District Superintendent and CEO Eric Gordon announced masks will be required indoors for students, staff, and guests whether they are vaccinated for the first 5 weeks of the 2021-2022 school year.

They will be holding classes 5 days a week but maintain virtual options for parents who want to opt-out of in-person learning.

CMSD has not said when it will decide what happens with the rest of the school year in regard to masks.

CMSD will keep 3-foot social distancing and use touchless thermometers.

CUYAHOGA FALLS CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

As of July 19, 2021 The district plans to open for in-person instruction five days a week. As for masks: the wearing of facial coverings (masks) for students, staff, and the public is voluntary, but is recommended for those who have elevated health risks or have not been vaccinated. If state or local health orders change during a time of elevated communicable disease community spread, the superintendent may require the correct use of facial coverings

The district will utilize a 3-foot social distancing protocol.

ELYRIA CITY SCHOOLS

Elyria City Schools are planning for students to return on in-person education five days a week.

Masks are optional, and the district says they are in close contact with the health department for guidance moving forward.

EUCLID CITY SCHOOLS

Face coverings are optional for the upcoming year, according to the district’s website. Temperature monitoring systems will scan everyone entering the buildings.

GARFIELD HEIGHTS CITY SCHOOLS

For the first five weeks of school, the Garfield Heights City Schools is requiring masks for all students and employees who work in school buildings at all levels. The decision to mask will be ongoing as the school year continues.

Kent State University:

Kent State University revised its guidance regarding masks on campus. Beginning August 4, Kent State is strongly recommending face coverings be worn indoors for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

LORAIN CITY SCHOOLS

According to their website as of June 2, 2021, Lorain City Schools will not require masks for vaccinated staff and students.

The district will return to in-person instruction five days a week.

The superintendent says a meeting with the health department could soon change this policy.

OBERLIN COLLEGE

 Effective Monday, August 2, the college is requiring that both vaccinated and unvaccinated people wear a mask indoors unless you are in your residence or office with the door closed. We will continue to monitor the risk and adjust policies based on public health guidance.

Ohio State University 

Ohio State is requiring everyone to report their vaccination status by Thursday, Aug. 5.

“That data is going to influence many decisions we make this fall and possibly this spring,” said Ben Johnson, spokesperson. Ohio State said students living on-campus will have to take an at-home COVID-19 test at least seven days before returning. Then, they will have to take another test when they get there. OSU’s plans come in the wake of new CDC guidance that recommends even fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors in areas where COVID-19 is on the rise.

PAINESVILLE CITY LOCAL SCHOOLS

As of July 28, the district’s return-to-school plan includes that all bus/van riders are masked, regardless of vaccination status, according to the superintendent. Masks are optional at all other times, based on guidance from the Lake County General Health District.

The superintendent said this continues to be monitored closely and guidance could change.

PARMA CITY SCHOOLS

Parma City Schools says masks are encouraged but will be optional.

RIVERSIDE LOCAL SCHOOLS

As of June 2, 2021, the district’s website states: students and staff are not required to wear face masks for the 2021-2022 school year.

They ask everyone to continue at-home health assessments.

The district will not be offering a virtual learning program. If a family is concerned with a return to in-person learning and desires a virtual option for health reasons, the Educational Service Center of the Western Reserve is managing and staffing a Virtual Learning Academy.

ROCKY RIVER CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

According to their website, effective June 12, 2021, RRCSD will suspend Board Policy 8454 and masks will be optional for all individuals. The district will continue with safety protocols in buildings, including air filtration, hand washing, cleaning, and sanitizing. The school district is eliminating the remote learning option.  More information about 2021-2022 will be shared in the future as details are finalized.

SHAKER HEIGHTS CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

The Shaker Heights City Schools District announced it will begin the 2021-2022 school year with a universal mask requirement indoors.

Masking will not be required outdoors.

The mandate goes into effect on August 4.

STREETSBORO CITY SCHOOLS

Superintendent Mike Daulbaugh said that the mask policy for the district is suspended at this time and is optional for students and staff. However, the district could update the policy based on future health orders or big changes in positive COVID-19 cases.

STRONGSVILLE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

According to the district’s website, wearing a facial covering has also been documented to be a key factor in slowing the spread of COVID.  Based on the removal of all state health orders, Board Policy 8450.01 and AG 8450.01 have been updated to reflect that facial coverings may be worn at the discretion of the individual on school property or school busses.  

The district will implement 3-foot social distancing guidelines.

Virtual learning will also be optional for parents.

TWINSBURG CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

As of June 2021, their website states students younger than 12 will be required to wear masks, with the exception of preschool.

However, the district recommends preschool students wear masks as well. Staff responsible for students under 12 will be required to wear masks. Anyone who is not vaccinated will also be required to wear masks.

The district has remeasured classrooms for social distancing guidelines.

UNIVERSITY OF AKRON

The University of Akron is requiring all members of the campus community (faculty, contract professionals, staff and students) to report their vaccination status by Aug. 20. All members of the campus community who are unvaccinated or do not upload their vaccination status into Med+Proctor will be subject to up-to-weekly testing, beginning the week of Aug. 16.

Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask/face covering in indoor public areas (not private offices and residences) across all campuses effective Aug. 9.

WILLOUGHBY-EASTLAKE CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT

At the July 2021 board meeting parents were informed that at this time, mask-wearing is optional for all students and staff in the district.

WOOSTER CITY SCHOOLS

The school board voted to begin the school year with mandatory masking for K-12. The decision will be revisited at the next board meeting on August 24.

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