Cuyahoga County Schools to open first day of summer class, after new regulations

CLEVELAND — Cleveland Public Schools is planning to open its first day at school Monday after new guidelines from state officials prohibited students from wearing masks or using cellphones in the classroom, and schools must ensure that students and teachers are properly supervised and safe.

The state Department of Education said it was also ordering all public schools to provide extra protective gear, and the schools are also required to use a safe zone at certain times, including before classes start.

The state also issued a new regulation requiring all school staff to wear helmets and earmuffs during school hours.

The department said Monday that school board members will review the new rules on Tuesday. 

The changes were announced in a letter to schools sent Monday morning by the Education Department’s director of enforcement and compliance, Susan Hargreaves.

Hargreave wrote that schools have until July 11 to comply with the new regulations.

“The regulations and guidance we have issued have provided clear guidance and have allowed schools to take a cautious approach in developing and implementing policies and practices consistent with our goals and mission to provide the best education possible for all students,” Hargres said in the letter.

The new regulations include requirements for all school districts to follow, including that they adopt new policies and procedures to protect students and staff from the risk of exposure.

The regulations also ban children under 18 from wearing face coverings or masks in public schools.

The Education Department said that schools must be open 24 hours a day and seven days a week to ensure students and workers are safe and protected.

The guidelines also require all schools to ensure that staff are trained to work in an environment where they have the capacity to identify and intervene safely.

The education department also said schools must maintain a safe work environment.

Schools must have a “continuing effort to maintain a working and safe work-learning environment” in their buildings and in the surrounding area, according to the guidelines.