TOLEDO, Ohio — Toledo Public Schools issued its mask policy for students returning to classrooms this upcoming school year, and children in grades 8 and lower will be required to wear face coverings in school, the district announced on Friday.
All students using public transportation also must wear a mask on school vehicles.
The district also said that students will be returning to school on a five-day-a-week schedule for in-person instruction.
"While we are planning to return to school in as normal of a setting as possible, we will continue to monitor COVID-19 infection rates in our area and make decisions about school and district operations based on information from the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department and other regulatory agencies," the district wrote.
Safety protocols are:
- Students in grades Pre-K-8 will be required to wear masks/face coverings while in school. "A majority of this age group is not currently eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine, so this simple preventative measure is one way to protect students and help prevent the spread of the virus," the district said.
- Students who utilize TPS transportation services will be required to wear a mask/face covering when riding the bus to and from school.
- Masks/face coverings are strongly recommended for high school students and staff members, especially those who have not yet been vaccinated or are not eligible yet for the vaccine. However, this is optional.
- Continue with daily health monitoring. If not feeling well or are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, students and staff are to stay home from school/work and contact a doctor.
- Continue to practice social distancing whenever possible, especially in classrooms, offices and other areas in schools or offices where large numbers of people congregate.
- Continue to reinforce COVID-19 safety guidelines. This includes daily cleaning and the sanitizing/disinfecting of hard surfaces and classrooms/offices; the district also asks that everyone continue with frequent hand washing or sanitizing and sneezing into a tissue or their sleeve.
Virtual Academy information:
Toledo Public Schools will again offer an online learning option for interested students for the 2021-22 school year. The deadline to register is Aug. 3 for the upcoming school year. The Virtual Academy is open to students in grades 1 through 12 and all students will be provided with Chromebooks and Internet service, if needed.
To complete the online registration form, visit tps.org and go to TPS News for a link. Students who attended last year's Virtual Academy MUST fill out an application to be considered for the 2021-2022 Virtual Academy; those students who attended the academy last year and wish to return to their home school can do so without filling out additional paperwork – your files have been transferred back to that school. Call 419-671-5100 with any questions or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All families will be contacted no later than Aug. 10 with a status update on their application.
"The health and well-being of our students and staff members continue to be the number one priority for Toledo Public Schools. While we are planning to return to school with appropriate safety protocols in place, it is important to note that our plans may change based on COVID-19 rates and recommendations from the health department," the district stated. "Our plans must also align with various agencies as they administer new laws/guidelines, such as the CDC's recent recommendation about masking and the passage of Ohio HB 244, which prohibits districts from discriminating against unvaccinated individuals."