The Education Department said Wednesday that elementary and high schools located in Pennsylvania’s most flexible restriction zones, that is green and yellow zones, can resume teaching in-person activities.
The department explained that in order to reopen the schools, the institutions have to operate under health and safety procedures that meet federal and state guidelines.
The agency announced that more than three hundred colleges and other post-secondary institutions can restart on Friday if they assure they can keep students and teachers safe.
Educational buildings had been closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, a distance learning program was implemented to complete the school year. Recent reductions in the impact of the COVID-19 have prompted to implement the gradual reopening of activities.
“We fully expect students to return to classrooms in some capacity,” said Education Secretary Pedro Rivera in a news release, describing the guidance as helping schools establish “a framework that best meets the unique needs of their students and communities.”
K-12 schools that want to implement in-person teaching have to develop plans adapted to each school’s particular conditions. Local health agencies must be consulted, and the plan must be submitted to the state Education Department.
Schools will have to identify a pandemic coordinator, ensure those at higher risk of infection are protected, testing, limit large gatherings, issue hygiene guidelines and address cleaning, face masks, social distancing.
The requirements do not apply to private schools, although officials are encouraging them to follow suit.
Colleges, universities, trade schools and other post-secondary institutions located in the yellow or green zones can reopen in-person instruction. The Education Department said those institutions must adhere to social-distancing guidelines and the federal and state standards for testing.