Though masks are optional for students, they remain mandatory on school buses, per orders from state health officials.
Surface cleaning in the district’s 10 schools and school buses will remain a priority, he said.
Masks for students who want them will be provided and hand sanitation stations will again be available in each school building.
Students are also encouraged to bring water bottles to school as water fountains will remain closed as they were through the entire last school year. Schools will provide water bottle filling stations for students.
Another pandemic rule will continue to apply when Middletown begins a staggered class opening based on the first letter of a student’s last name with its first day on Aug. 12.
“We encourage our families that if your children are sick, please keep them home. Our best chance of keeping everyone in the school buildings — and keeping us open — is to make sure we prevent illness and any potential COVID-19 spread coming in,” said Styles.
State health officials earlier this week said their guidance acknowledges that children are less likely to become severely ill from COVID-19, it noted children can still get sick, spread the virus to others and suffer severe health issues.
In addition to masks and vaccines, the guidance encourages districts to improve ventilation and bring in outdoor air as much as possible. Ohio Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff encouraged schools to hold lessons outdoors and take students outside to play when possible.
“COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that is highly transmissible by air,” the guidance read. “Improving ventilation is a critical intervention that can help slow the spread of the virus.”
Styles said more than 400 Middletown school families have signed up to avoid in-person classes and instead learn virtually from home.
For more information on Middletown Schools’ coming return to classes go to the district’s website.
School families in other districts – or whose children attend private schools – are urged to get similar information from their local district or school websites.