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State sets up online resources for ECOT students, parents

(January 19, 2018) — In the wake of a Thursday night vote in which ECOT’s sponsor voted to shut down the online school, the Ohio Department of Education is offering assistance to affected students and their families.

“The Ohio Department of Education is prepared to support students and families in identifying new educational opportunities to meet their needs,” state Superintendent Paolo DeMaria said in a press release. “Districts and schools have already taken actions to streamline and accelerate their enrollment processes.”

Families can visit the Ohio Department of Education’s website and use their “Find a School” tool to learn about schools available to them. Schools available include schools in their home district, private schools, charter schools including online schools, and schools in neighboring districts that allow open enrollment.

Students also have the option to participate in a career technical program or home schooling. Students who need special education services will also have options, according to the press release.

Columbus City Schools also was informing ECOT students and parents of its offerings as they search for new schools.

Additionally, resources will be available to the school’s laid-off teachers who are seeking a new job.

“Ohio’s public school boards are welcoming former ECOT students back into their schools,” said Richard Lewis, Ohio School Boards Association executive director. “OSBA is supporting those boards with any assistance they need to help those students transition back into the public school system.”

“Ohio’s public schools have always offered the best educational opportunities,” Lewis said. “They provide a rigorous and engaging curriculum that aligns with students’ future goals and prepares them for a wide range of college and career paths. Thousands of former ECOT students can take advantage of these opportunities.”

Ohio Gov. John Kasich said at a press conference on Thursday he instructed the Department of Education to be ready to take in all 12,000 students.

“I have told our people (at the Department of Education) that it is up to them to manage this situation … that they are prepared to be able to absorb these students,” Kasich said.

The school of nearly 12,000 students and 1,000 teachers was shuttered due to financial issues.