As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, the education system around the country was forced to adjust to unprecedented circumstances. Students were sent home indefinitely to continue their education online as best they possibly could. After almost three months of school closures and parts of Pennsylvania beginning to reopen, Governor Tom Wolf begins to look towards the future of how and when schools can open for in-person classes again.
In his first press conference since the middle of March, Governor Tom Wolf covered a variety of topics, including the matter of reopening schools. He stated that it is “no question” that schools will open for in-person classes in the fall. Discussing his plan for reopening, he stated, “We are going to be opening schools, whether it’s in August or September.” However, he continued on to say that “schools may look different” when they do open.
While there is no concrete plan regarding how different schools will be operating come fall, teachers, parents, and students may expect to see fewer kids in a classroom and more robust remote instruction. Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said the state of Pennsylvania is looking for rapid tests, such as a nasal swab, that could have results in 15 or 20 minutes so that they can be administered by individuals who are not health professionals. Rapid-response testing could be extremely helpful for schools looking to reopen in a safe manner.
More guidelines regarding the future of Pennsylvania schools and student learning is expected to be released by the state Department of Education in the coming weeks.
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