Get the Facts

There are many myths surrounding COVID-19 and the District's decision to reopen schools for face-to-face instruction. We invite you to get the facts, which we will update regularly as we catch the spread of misinformation.

 

National, state and local health authorities continue to provide evidence that schools are rarely a source of virus spread and the benefits of in-person instruction outweigh the risks.

MYTH: It’s not safe to reopen schools until everyone is vaccinated.


FACT: Getting vaccinated will help everyone and ultimately return society — and schools — to normal once a majority of the population has some level of immunity to COVID-19. However, that process takes time, and keeping students out of school until that happens will be detrimental to their education. Young learners especially need to be in school in-person to learn basic skills like reading, phonics, and math that require a very hands-on approach. These fundamental skills must be taught to students in a specific manner that DPS educators are trained to do. When students of all ages are in school, they receive the attention they need and teachers ensure students are on-track and understand the curriculum. The CDC, Ohio Department of Health, and local health department have confirmed over and over again that schools are not a source of COVID-19 spread as long as all safety measures are followed. In fact, the Governor changed the quarantine guidelines for schools in late 2020 because it was determined that staff and students so rarely spread the virus when mask-wearing and a distance of at least 3 feet is consistently in place.




MYTH: Students should continue to learn from home until COVID-19 is eliminated.


FACT: Although there are both benefits and drawbacks to in-person and online learning in the COVID-era, most agree that the benefits of in-person learning largely outweigh the risks. Online learning has less oversight, more distractions, and students must be very self-motivated. On average, students tend to perform worse in online settings. Students have more success in an in-person environment because resources and teachers are available to them, their peers provide support, their day is structured and they know what is expected of them.
Read more about online vs. in-person learning.




MYTH: If there is high community spread, there will also be high spread in schools.


FACT: This is false. Schools are very rarely the source of virus spread when masks are worn and other safety measures are in place. Governor Mike DeWine recently announced changes to COVID-19 quarantine guidelines for schools because studies showed that as long as safety measures are in place in classrooms, the virus does not spread easily, even to those in close proximity to the infected person. "This evaluation confirms for us that Ohio's classrooms are a safe place for our students and that the commitment our schools have made to keeping kids safe in the classroom is working," Governor DeWine said.
When schools do have cases of COVID-19, it is most often because someone was exposed in the community or within their own household, not from being in school.




Latest Health Guidance / Information


Governor Mike DeWine
Click to learn more.
Recognizing that in-person classroom learning is critical for supporting the educational and social development of children and adolescents, Governor DeWine has set a goal of reopening K-12 schools to in-person learning by March 1, 2021. DeWine announced at the end of 2020 that Ohio is changing its guidance regarding quarantines following an in-classroom exposure in K-12 schools. Moving forward, students and teachers exposed to a COVID-positive person in school are no longer required to quarantine as long as the exposure occurred in a classroom or bus setting and all students/teachers were wearing masks and following other appropriate protocols. "This evaluation confirms for us that Ohio's classrooms are a safe place for our students and that the commitment our schools have made to keeping kids safe in the classroom is working," said Governor DeWine. Schools should continue to require quarantines for exposed students in situations where masking and distancing protocols were not followed. The updated quarantine guidance does not apply to after-school activities, including sports.
Ohio Department of Health
Click to learn more. Students and adults in K-12 schools may continue to attend in-person school, even if someone in a class contracts COVID-19, if the following conditions are met:

The school has documented COVID-19 prevention policies, including universal mask wearing, social distancing, handwashing, identification and management of students exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, and routine environmental cleaning and disinfection protocols.
  • The school has documented COVID-19 prevention policies, including universal mask wearing, social distancing, handwashing, identification and management of students exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, and routine environmental cleaning and disinfection protocols.
  • The exposure occurred within a classroom environment or while on required school transport (e.g., school bus).
  • The person with COVID-19 and any associated contacts were wearing face masks that covered their nose and mouth at all times.
  • If meals were consumed, a distance of at least 6 feet between students must have been maintained.
  • Social distancing was maintained.
In accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics, desks should be placed at a minimum 3 feet apart. Students should not attend in-person school if they are exposed to COVID-19 outside the classroom, including during sports and other extracurricular activities, regardless of masking. To minimize the risk of introducing COVID-19 into the classroom setting, students and their parents or guardians should be advised to restrict their activities outside of the classroom, including gatherings with individuals outside of their household and activities where face masks cannot be safely or effectively worn. Montgomery County Department of Health Click to learn more. The Montgomery County Department of Health is following guidance from the Ohio Department of Health. By the week of February 1, vaccines are expected to be distributed to K-12 school employees in Montgomery County. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Click to learn more.
How easily a virus spreads from person to person can vary. The virus that causes COVID-19 appears to spread more easily than influenza but not as easily as measles, which is among the most contagious viruses known to affect people. To protect yourself, wear a mask over your mouth and nose, social distance, wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer when you cannot wash your hands. Receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, along with these preventative measures, will offer the best protection against the virus. COVID-19 vaccines are now available throughout the U.S. These vaccines have been shown to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19. Based on what we know about vaccines for other diseases and early data from clinical trials, experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine may also help keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19. Getting vaccinated may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.




MYTH: It is pointless to return to school because not everyone will get the vaccine.


FACT: Vaccines are not mandated for staff or students because that is a choice an individual must make with his/her doctor based on specific medical circumstances and what is ultimately best for him/her. However, most people are excited to finally have a vaccine and the ability to take action to stop the virus in its tracks. DPS staff who opt to get the vaccine will receive both doses before the March 1st return date. Although students and families will be vaccinated later on, in accordance with Ohio’s vaccination plan, families can be confident that DPS staff members are taking steps toward protecting schools from the virus.




MYTH: Students should continue to learn from home until COVID-19 is eliminated.


FACT:
Although there are both benefits and drawbacks to in-person and online learning in the COVID-era, most agree that the benefits of in-person learning largely outweigh the risks. Online learning has less oversight, more distractions, and students must be very self-motivated. On average, students tend to perform worse in online settings. Students have more success in an in-person environment because resources and teachers are available to them, their peers provide support, their day is structured and they know what is expected of them. Read more about online vs. in-person learning in an Education Week article here.




MYTH: If there is high community spread, there will also be high spread in schools.


This is false. Schools are very rarely the source of virus spread when masks are worn and other safety measures are in place. Governor Mike DeWine made changes to COVID-19 quarantine guidelines for schools because studies have shown that as long as safety measures are in place in classrooms, the virus does not spread easily, even to those in close proximity to the infected person. "This evaluation confirms for us that Ohio's classrooms are a safe place for our students and that the commitment our schools have made to keeping kids safe in the classroom is working," Governor DeWine said. When schools do have cases of COVID-19, it is most often because someone was exposed in the community or within their own household, not from being in school.




MYTH: Students will infect one another in classrooms.


FACT:

Classrooms are rarely a source of virus spread. However, safety protocols will still be in place in all classes.

These measures include:

  • Limiting the use of high-touch surfaces such as door knobs and sanitizing those surfaces frequently.
  • Washing and sanitizing hands often.
  • Sanitizing desks and chairs after each class.
  • No shared classroom supplies.
  • Seating students a safe distance from one another.
  • Wearing face masks.


*Students will be at least 3 feet apart at all times. Six-foot distancing in schools is not required or mandated by the state.




MYTH: If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, DPS will not inform me.


FACT:
If a student has been exposed to COVID-19 and requires quarantine, principals will notify parents via phone call, along with a text message, email and/or letter as soon as possible. This process has been in place since students first returned for hybrid instruction in November. For the number of positive cases at each school, view the district’s weekly COVID-19 reports for staff and students at DPSRestart.com (click the "COVID-19" tab). The reports provide information about the COVID-19 cases in each school and district-wide total. The report is updated every 7 days. Due to federal privacy laws, the names of the staff/students affected cannot be shared.




MYTH: DPS does not follow COVID-19 safety measures and cannot safely reopen.


FACT:

Since staff first returned in May 2020, the district has followed all safety guidelines set forth by health authorities.

Here is a list of the latest health protocols followed by staff and students, which aligns with guidelines set forth by local health authorities:

  • Daily health screening
  • Mandatory mask-wearing
  • Social distancing enforced at all times
  • Plexiglass barriers in classrooms, cafeterias and offices where appropriate
  • Daily cleaning and sanitation of classrooms, restrooms, cafeterias, offices, etc.
  • High-touch surfaces, such as door knobs, handrails, light switches, sinks, soap dispensers, etc. are cleaned multiple times each day.
  • Frequent hand washing and hand sanitizing
  • No visitors permitted in any building
  • No shared school supplies
  • Desks and chairs sanitized after each class

The district is also well-prepared if students do return to in-person learning. At this time, the district has:

  • Distributed 4,445 bottles of hand sanitizer to schools.
  • Distributed 3,680 disposable masks, 13,201 reusable masks, and 14,401 face shields to schools and has more than 1,540 gallons of disinfectant on hand.
  • Distributed two disinfectant foggers and two electrostatic sprayers to each school, with an additional 20 sprayers on hand for replacements and emergencies.
  • Placed 6,370 signs in schools to encourage students and staff to follow all guidelines, to walk and stand 6 feet apart, to establish directional pathways on staircases and in hallways, and demonstrate proper handwashing. Signs are available in multiple languages.


*Please note: Due to changes in health recommendations from the CDC and local health authorities, DPS is no longer performing temperature checks each morning. It is important to note that not every patient with COVID-19 has a fever, and not every fever is related to COVID-19. We still ask students and staff to perform a symptom assessment before arriving each day. If symptoms of COVID-19 are present, staff and students must remain home and consult a doctor.




MYTH: DPS does not follow the COVID-19 quarantine rules.


FACT:
DPS has followed all quarantine guidelines since staff returned in May 2020 and works closely with the Montgomery County Department of Health for all contact tracing. Following the governor’s latest recommendations in December 2020:

  • Students do not need to quarantine if another student or staff member tests positive as long as masks were worn consistently and a safe distance was maintained. Studies have shown that the risk of virus transmission is very low in a classroom setting when safety measures are used, even to those in close proximity to the infected person.
  • Students exposed in their household must quarantine for 14 days.
  • Students exposed outside of their household must quarantine for 10 days. However, parents can choose to quarantine for the full 14 days.
  • Staff exposed in their household must quarantine for 14 days.
  • Staff exposed outside of the household must quarantine for 10 days (no COVID test).
  • Staff exposed outside of the household must quarantine for 7 days (with a negative COVID test; tested on day 5 or later).
*Please note: if a student has been exposed in their household or tests positive for COVID-19, all students living in that household must quarantine for 14 days. If a student tests positive for COVID-19, parents must report the case to the school immediately. School phone numbers can be found here.




MYTH: DPS has had widespread, uncontrolled COVID-19 cases in schools.


FACT:
This is simply false. All COVID-19 preventative measures and quarantine guidelines have been in place consistently and staff and students are not permitted to report to work or school if they are sick for any reason. DPS also has a consistently low percentage of students and staff with COVID-19. When students returned for hybrid instruction in November, virus spread remained very low. In fact, only 1.7% of staff (36 people out of 2,035) and 0.3% of students (21 students out of 6,205 who attended in-person) were diagnosed with COVID-19. Information about the current number of COVID-19 cases in schools is always available at DPSrestart.com. The information is updated weekly. Additionally, schools are very rarely the source of virus spread when masks are worn and other safety measures are in place. When individuals become infected, it is most often due to outside exposure from the community, not the classroom.




MYTH: The safety measures mentioned are not in place at my student’s school.


FACT:

Each school has a plan in place and has received more than enough supplies to maintain a safe environment. Schools are required to follow all COVID-19 safety protocols. If you have specific concerns about your school, please contact the principal to discuss the concern.




MYTH: Buses are not safe because students are too close together.


FACT:

DPS buses implement the same safety measures that classrooms do.
A barrier is in place to separate students from the driver, all surfaces are sanitized between rides, mask-wearing is mandatory and buses are loaded back to front so students do not cross one another’s path while entering or exiting the bus. Family members will sit near one another, and a seating chart will be created. When possible, windows and roof vents will be opened to allow for fresh air circulation.




MYTH: My student cannot wear a face mask all day.


FACT:

While masks must be worn a large majority of the time, mask breaks will be permitted by teachers as needed. Face shields can be worn when students are seated and appropriately distanced to allow for mask breaks.

We understand that wearing a mask may be difficult for those with sensory, cognitive, or behavioral issues and for young students who do not understand why they are being asked to wear a mask. Please be advised that teachers will work with these students. We also ask that parents please consider the CDC’s mask adaptations and alternatives in this instance.




MYTH: Students do not wear masks in the cafeteria to eat lunch, which makes it unsafe to return.


FACT: A combination of grab-and-go and hot meals will be provided to students to limit traffic flow. Students will also be seated at least 3 feet apart and will be separated by plexiglass barriers installed on cafeteria tables. Additional safety protocols may be in place for individual schools.




MYTH: Most schools are staying virtual OR Most schools are going back to in-person instruction.


FACT: Across the country, schools are embracing in-person, virtual and hybrid learning models. According to the Ohio Department of Education:

  • 350 Ohio school districts are operating with 5-day in-person return to classes.
  • 92 Ohio school districts are operating with a fully remote return to learning.
  • 67 Ohio school districts are operating with a hybrid or in-person and remote return to learning.
Many schools are holding in-person classes while offering an online option for those who prefer that route or who require it for health reasons. Source *Data compiled 01/11/21. Information is subject to frequent change and does not represent an official categorization by the Ohio Department of Education.




MYTH: DPS is forcing students to return.


FACT:

The district is not forcing students to return. Although the district believes in-person instruction is the best option for students and far outweighs the risks, the decision to remain remote is still available.




MYTH: Going back to school 5 days a week is not safe.


FACT:

Due to the strictly-followed COVID-19 guidelines, students and staff are safe in school regardless of how many days they are in the classroom.All classrooms will have at least 3 feet between students, plexiglass barriers when necessary, and mandatory mask-wearing. These guidelines are set forth by local and state health authorities. Remember, national, state and local health authorities continue to provide evidence that schools are rarely a source of virus spread and the benefits of in-person instruction outweigh the risks.





Non-English Speakers

To translate this website, please right click and select "translate to" and then select your preferred language from the drop-down menu.
 

Para traducir este sitio web, haga clic derecho y seleccione "traducir a" y luego seleccione su idioma preferido en el menú desplegable.
 

لترجمة هذا الموقع ، يرجى النقر بزر الماوس الأيمن واختيار "ترجمة إلى" ثم تحديد لغتك المفضلة من القائمة المنسدلة.
 

Ili kutafsiri wavuti hii, tafadhali bonyeza-kulia na uchague "Tafsiri kwa", kisha uchague lugha unayopendelea kutoka kwenye menyu ya kushuka.

Bu siteyi çevirmek için lütfen sağ tıklayın ve "Çevir" i seçin, ardından açılır menüden tercih ettiğiniz dili seçin.
 

Pour traduire ce site, veuillez cliquer avec le bouton droit et sélectionner "Traduire en", puis sélectionnez votre langue préférée dans le menu déroulant.

Чтобы перевести этот сайт, щелкните правой кнопкой мыши и выберите «Перевести на», затем выберите нужный язык в раскрывающемся меню.

All information may also be found on DaytonPublic.com

©2020 Dayton Public Schools