Gov. Mike DeWine Extends School Closures for Rest of the Academic Year

Students will continue distant learning to help stop the spread of COVID-19


Morgan Fowler

The high school has been empty since March 14 to slow the spread of COVID-19.

All Ohio K-12 school buildings will be closed the remainder of the school year by order of Governor Mike DeWine, and students will continue virtual learning. 

“The virus continues. We have flattened the curve, but it remains dangerous,” DeWine said during a press conference today.

According to The Journal, Ohio is the 33 state to cancel the remainder of the academic year for schools.

Students at the high school are not surprised by the governor’s announcement.

“I never really saw us going back to school this year, so it was kind of  just a matter of time before I knew that the next time we would step in the school building would be in the fall,” junior Jeff Sauerland said. 

Today’s announcement comes after DeWine’s initial closure of all K-12 schools for three weeks, beginning March 16. On March 30, DeWine extended the closure until May 1. These closures accompanies stay-at-home orders for all Ohioans, as well as the closings of restaurants, gyms and polling places. This came after a spike in coronavirus cases throughout the state. Now, cases have emassed to over 10,000.

Senior Sam Lehman was not surprised by the governor’s decision. “It’s almost been like a slow burn. I’m in these college group chats with people, and, like, there’s students from other states and countries saying, well my school already closed like a month ago.’ I kind of accepted it. So it wasn’t like a big shock for me,” Lehman said.

Lehman said that he hopes the pandemic will enlighten people. “I hope we better understand how when we push our society to its limits how frail and fragile some aspects of it are,” he said. 

High school principal Eric Juli was not shocked by the announcement of schools closing.

“I’m not surprised by the decision. I expected that this would be the decision. I also think it’s the right thing to do, and even saying all that, I’m just deeply sad about it,” Juli said.

This came after a spike in COVID-19 cases throughout the state. Now, cases have emassed to over 10,000.

“I don’t like that school is closed and I miss all my friends. It’s hard to go to school without having interaction with my teachers daily and having a bunch of homework just starting on Monday,” junior Athena Vadnal said. “It’s just really confusing online.”

A district email sent this afternoon at 3:42 p.m. this afternoon addressed the governor’s decision. “In the coming days, the District will share more information on how this announcement impacts commencement, summer programming, retrieving personal belongings from buildings, returning District property and more,” the email stated.

“Right now, our plan is to continue with what we’re doing,” Juli said. The district will continue virtual learning, using tools such as Google Classroom and Google Meets.

“I kind of am fine with it because I can work at my own pace. It’s kind of simple. You get videos for the classes and you can replay them if you don’t understand them. It’s easier to follow along,” sophomore Andrew Loney said.

Executive Director of Communications Scott Stephens is disappointed about the closures but proud of how the district is handling distant learning. 

“Our teachers have just turned a dime and done a remarkable job. An absolutely remarkable job. We’re very grateful and proud of them. Not surprised — they’re smart people, but we are very grateful that they have embraced this the way they have,” he said, “We think it’s so important to our students at this time to have the continuity of continuing their education with their teachers.”

Senior Dimitri Pelletier likes the switch to online school. “I’m definitely fine with it. I feel like I’ve adjusted to online school and don’t want to adjust back to regular school,” he said. 

Deanna Bowles, a sophomore, appreciates the support offered by teachers.

‘I think it’s appropriate with all of this craziness going on. Like you don’t know what’s going on in the students’ lives personally and at home and they might need more time to get all that work done,” she said.

Lehman said, “Honestly I’m disappointed and sad on some level, but at the end of the day if it keeps someone alive or means that someone can spend another day with their mom or their grandma, I think that’s a hell of a lot more important than me getting to have a lawn day.”

The Shakerite will continue to cover this story as it develops. Hilary Shakelton, Ethan Bloch, Anna Krouse, Olivia Peebles and Logan Cohen contributed to reporting.

Comment using your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL or Hotmail account