ADAMS TOWNSHIP — The Clinton-Massie Schools superintendent said it is a disappointment to hear the Ohio Department of Health prohibit, in most cases, face shields at schools as a way to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Before last Saturday, Aug. 15 the face shield was not prohibited in the school setting, said Supt. Matt Baker at the Monday school board session, and the school district had purchased a lot of face shields as an option to face masks.
He said some Clinton-Massie teachers felt like a face shield was going to be a good fit for them.
On Saturday the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), citing the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prohibited the schoolwide use of face shields as a substitute for masks and cloth face coverings that cover the nose, mouth, and chin with little to no gap, unlike a face shield.
According to the CDC, currently there is not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of face shields to control respiratory droplets from the wearer.
An Ohio Department of Health news release noted individuals’ medical conditions or a need for lip reading are exceptions to its new order.
At one point, Baker said the face shield order involves an option being taken away.
Clinton-Massie Board of Education member Mike Gorman asked whether a doctor will need to sign a medical waiver to satisfy the medical-condition exception.
After Baker indicated ‘yes’, Gorman said the district has students who don’t have the means to go to a doctor “just to get a signature ….”
Clinton-Massie District School Nurse and Wellness Coordinator Cindy Stenger said in her opinion she anticipates some pushback in Ohio on the face shield order.
Prior to a board vote Monday on adopting an official district policy on use of face coverings, board President Jeremy Lamb said his guess is that educators should probably expect policy changes as research progresses on different face coverings and different types of fabric and which are more effective.
In an administrative report to the board, Support Staff Supervisor Stephen Ford spoke about coronavirus prevention plans.
The main focus at this point is going to be disinfection, “so even if a classroom doesn’t get swept, it’s going to be disinfected before we leave that night,” he said by way of showing priority in daily work.
School buses will be sanitized at least twice a day, said Ford.
And some bus drivers, if time permits, will sanitize the bus between each route, he added.
Treasurer Carrie Bir said that on Aug. 12 the district applied for the Broadband Ohio Connectivity Grant.
“We asked for the full $250,000 to be able to extend our Wi-Fi network to cover all of our campus, allow for mobile Wi-Fi systems to be put out in the community, and purchase iPads that run on a cellular network.”
Among personnel items, the board approved hiring Christopher Downing as a high school guidance counselor, and Bennie Carroll as interim high school athletic director.
Food Service Director Tracy Mathews stated they are in need of substitutes for the cafeteria.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.