COVID recovery, workforce preparation among key 2022 stories in Ohio education

The year 2022 was a hard one for educators and students, but there were highlights as well.

The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic that started nearly three years ago is still ongoing. Many teachers and parents are frustrated, and with an increase in students’ needs, there’s pressure from the state and federal governments to get students back on track.

Here are five of the top education stories from the Dayton region.

1. The region started the year with a worsening COVID-19 pandemic. It was so bad in January that many schools were forced to shut down, often for a week, because they did not have enough teachers or students to attend school. COVID cases forced several school districts back to remote learning.

ExploreCOVID cases forcing several school districts to remote learning

2. Dayton Public Schools opened its first international school this year, describing it as “PreK-6 neighborhood school and a PreK-12 school for newcomers to the United States.” In a vote in May, supporters from both the neighborhood and organizers supporting immigrant students persuaded the Dayton Public Schools Board of Education to approve the project.

ExploreSupporters erupt in cheers: Dayton school board votes to reopen school for Residence Park, English learner students

3. One of the defining issues for Ohio education in 2022 was the long, halting effort to find a long-term state superintendent, after Paolo DeMaria resigned in late 2021. A new superintendent was named in May but quickly resigned due to worries about a conflict of interest. Since then, the state board of education has argued for months about who should be the next state superintendent, as well as fighting “culture war” issues.

ExploreState school board has long debate, slow movement on superintendent search

4. Colleges and universities are working with Intel, the computer chip company that will be building an enormous semiconductor factory in Licking County. Because the company is expected to need so many workers, the colleges and universities are trying to train a large workforce before the chip plant opens. Intel and Ohio have been giving Ohio universities and colleges guidance and money to help them prepare. Central State University was one of the biggest winners in the area.

ExploreCentral State, Wright State among winners in Intel workforce grants

5. Defining teachers and students this year was the learning loss after COVID-19 and the ways COVID-19 and the shutdown in March 2020 affected both teachers and students’ mental health. Dayton Children’s also has noticed an uptick in student mental health issues and are working with schools to support students.

ExploreMany Dayton-area schools struggled to find staff this year: What that means for students

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