PA Schools Closed for Remainder of Academic Year
Governor Wolf takes further steps to stop the spread of COVID-19
On Thursday, April 9, Governor Tom Wolf announced that Pennsylvania's schools would remain closed for the rest of the academic year –as defined by the local school calendar – in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This decision affects:
• PA K-12 public schools
• Brick and mortar cyber charter schools
• Private and parochial schools
• Career and technical centers
• Intermediate units
• Department of Education learning program classes such as Pre-K Counts, Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program (HSSAP), and Preschool Early Intervention
Colleges and universities are only permitted to open once the ban on non-life-sustaining businesses is lifted.
In an address Wolf, said, "while this was a critical step for us to take to protect as many people as possible, it was not an easy decision to make."
Wolf cited the work parents are doing in educating their children at home, as well as school staff members and volunteers responsible for distributing meals to children – something that will continue throughout the school year, according to Wolf. The Department of Education strongly encourages education to continue, and has offered up free resources in order to increase accessibility in both digital and non-digital platforms.
PA Secretary of Education, Pablo Rivera, was quoted as saying that "While the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic and its mitigation efforts have created uncertainty in our schools and communities, today's action to close schools for the remainder of the academic year provides school communities with predictability and understanding of the conditions under which they'll be operating and serving students." He continued that "as schools and communities adapt to the prolonged school closure, PDE will continue to work with our state, educational, and business and nonprofit partners to meet the needs of students."
Rivera has also, under 2020's Act 13, waived student teaching requirements and adjusted the requirements of employee evaluations.
According to this order, schools would be able to resume summer classes when their academic calendar ends. This would, of course, be affected by any future orders.