Today Governor Tom Wolf announced that schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 academy year. Schools have been closed since Wolf made an initial order in response to the Coronavirus pandemic on March 12th.
“We must continue our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus during this national crisis,” Governor Wolf said. “This was not an easy decision but closing schools until the end of the academic year is in the best interest of our students, school employees and families.”
The directive applies to all public schools (kindergarten through 12th grade), brick and mortar and cyber charter schools, private and parochial schools, career and technical centers and intermediate units. All Department of Education early learning program classrooms, including those for Pre-K Counts, Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program and Preschool Early Intervention, will also remain closed.
In regards to colleges and universities, they may not resume in-person instruction or reopen their physical campuses until the governor permits them to open or lifts the closure of non-life-sustaining businesses.
In the announcement, it is stressed that teaching should continue. It states:
Although schools are closed, teaching and learning may continue: schools are strongly encouraged to provide continuity of education for all students in the most appropriate and accessible ways possible. PDE has secured resources intended to help all schools that want to use them – including those not currently offering online platforms, those requiring additional technology support, and those that may rely on traditional methods, such as paper lessons, to continue educating students. There is no cost to schools or students for these resources.
Under the state’s directive, schools could begin summer programming on the day after their academic year ends.
Photo: Commonwealth of PA