Pennsylvania schools will stay closed for the rest of the academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Tom Wolf issued the order Thursday and said that it was not “an easy decisión”
“We must continue our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus during this national crisis. 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.”
His announcement is added to other states that have also shut down schools for the year due to the increase in coronavirus cases.
The governor had previously said Pennsylvania schools would be closed indefinitely, an extended shutdown that began when Wolf on March 13 ordered schools closed for two weeks.
Schools have been working on the implementation of distance education systems. However, it has not been a homogeneous process. While some districts set up their educational programs in the first week of school closure, others have not completed the formal online education process. In Philadelphia, the district learning program is scheduled for the week of April 20.
According to the governor’s office, the teaching and learning processes should not be stopped by the current contingency. Schools are “strongly encouraged” to continue educating students “in “the most appropriate and accessible ways possible.”
The order applies to all public K-12 schools, brick and mortar and cyber charter schools, private and parochial schools, career and technical centers and intermediate units. Officials said all Department of Education early learning program classrooms, including Head Start and Pre-K Counts, would also remain closed.
The office also said that while schools must remain closed through the academic year, they could offer summer programming.