According to new data released from the Ohio Department of Education, third-grade proficiency rates dropped from fall 2019 to fall 2020 and were lower among students attending classes online.
Third-grade English and language arts proficiency rates in fall 2020 were eight percentage points lower than 2019 in districts primarily using a five-day in-person model and nine percentage points lower in districts primarily using a hybrid model. For students taking online classes, the drop was closer to 12 percentage points lower.
"It really emphasizes the importance of getting students back to school," said Paolo DeMaria, the state’s superintendent of public instruction.
He added that enrollment in prekindergarten to 12th grade decreased by 3% between fall 2019 and fall 2020.
The majority of the drop came from parents holding off sending their kids to preschool and kindergarten due to the pandemic, DeMaria said. He added older students may have stopped school to help their families who have been impacted from the pandemic.
By the end of the week, more than 1,300 schools in the state will have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during a Feb. 9 press conference.
The rollout to get the vaccine to K-12 school staff began Feb. 1. By the end of that week, DeWine said the vaccine had been distributed to 566 schools.
This is part of Phase 1B of Ohio’s vaccination plan and is part of the effort to get students back into the classroom by March 1.
If the state budget is approved, DeWine said the state would expand the investment in the Student Wellness and Success Programs and the wrap-around services they provide to $1.1 billion.
DeWine is also asking teachers and parents to discuss ways to help get students back on track, such as adding days to the school year. Schools will be able to use $2 billion in federal money over the next two years to complete this plan. Each school district must post its plan by April 1.
Ohio has had 925,350 total cases of COVID-19 and 11,793 total deaths, the Ohio Department of Health reported Feb. 9.
The number of reported cases increased by 3,207 from Feb. 8.
The state remains below the 21-day average of reported cases of 4,252.
The individuals who have tested positive range in age of less than a year to 111 years old; the median age is 42.
The total number of individuals who have been tested in Ohio is 9,407,146. The daily percent positivity of confirmed laboratory tests is 6.1%, with a seven-day moving average of 6%, according to data from Feb. 7.
The number of reported deaths in Ohio increased by 98 from Feb. 8. The median age of those who have died is 80.
The ODH reports 47,853 cumulative hospitalizations, and 6,869 individuals have been admitted to the ICU due to the coronavirus. The median age of those hospitalized is 68.
The number of COVID-19 hospitalizations reported in the last 24 hours is 181, with 22 ICU admissions. There are currently 1,974 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus – 528 are in the ICU, and 340 are on ventilators.
The ODH reports 834,389 individuals are presumed recovered – defined as cases with a symptom onset over 21 days prior who are not deceased.
Franklin County accounts for 107,627 of the cases, 3,407 hospitalizations and 714 deaths.
A total of 1,076,415 Ohioans have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 325,909 Ohioans completed both doses as of Feb. 9.
If you have questions regarding COVID-19, call 833-4ASKODH (833-427-5634) or visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.