For Ohio: Ohio State Prepares for a Transition Back to On-Campus Operations

By Kevin Harrish on April 20, 2020 at 4:05 pm
For Ohio!

We're living in uncertain times during the COVID-19 outbreak, but Ohio is gonna get through it together – and have some fun along the way.

At some point, things are going to return to normal. Maybe it's optimistic, but Ohio State is already preparing for that day.

We don't know when it's going to happen, but Ohio State's prepping for a transition back to on-campus operations, assembling a post-pandemic operations task force to direct the whole process.

“The fight against COVID-19 remains a real and immediate threat to all of us. Ohio State is actively engaged in this fight and in moving forward into a safer future,” said President Michael V. Drake. “We established this task force to engage in rigorous planning and to accelerate our return once it is safe to do so.”

Drake has charged the post-pandemic task force as a plan-ahead team to address an eventual return to appropriate campus operations and business continuity, though a time table is still uncertain. 

“While our collective efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 have shown encouraging results, we are still in the midst of the pandemic,” said task force chair Gail Marsh, senior vice president and chief strategy officer. “We’ll work closely with our own safe campus advisers and with the governor and his team to make return decisions.”


“All university units have begun transition planning while still responding to the crisis at hand,” Drake said. “The task force will align planning across the wide spectrum of functions and operations necessary to the university’s return to on-campus operations.”

That day can't come soon enough. I bet 65,000 students have never been more eager to go to class. At this point, they'd probably kill for an 8 a.m.

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No Internet, No Problem

A pivot to online learning is a slight annoyance to most, but it's a gigantic problem to those without home Internet.

But Princeton City Schools is doing what it can to make sure everyone can connect and do their schoolwork, even if it means driving a hotspot-enabled bus to them.

But the bus, which the district purchased in 2017 via a literacy grant, has helped fill the gap. And more and more Princeton students are logging on for virtual learning. In the first week of the statewide school closure, just one in five elementary students worked on math in i-Ready. Four weeks later, more than half had done so.

On Tuesday, the first day of the school bus WiFi program, several families drove or walked to Heritage Hill Elementary, where the colorful bus parked for about 90 minutes, beaming WiFi in an approximately 150-foot radius.


"We don't have access to WiFi at home right now. This is kind of our only option at this point," said their mother, Angel Hammonds, from the driver's seat. Hammonds does have a hotspot through her phone, but the family's data plan doesn't cover all that's needed for schoolwork.


To further strengthen the community's access, Princeton officials have also delivered about 180 WiFi devices, for individual or communal use, at a cost of about $60,000. The devices have gone to individual families but also to shared spaces at apartment complexes or mobile home parks.

"The cost of not delivering these devices – the loss of education, equity and connectivity – is simply not quantifiable," said Tricia Roddy, a Princeton spokesperson.

Nothing's been particularly easy during this time, but it's been great to see everyone work together to creatively solve these problems.

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One of the best Buckeye receivers to ever do it, let's look back on some Michael Jenkins highlights, shall we?

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