Pennsylvania Schools Close for the Remainder of the School Year

Pennsylvania Schools Close for the Remainder of the School Year

After the question regarding the opening of schools during the Coronavirus pandemic had been looming for over a month, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced that the state’s schools will be closed for the rest of the school year. This decision applies to all schools, Kindergarten through grade 12, both public and private. It means more than 1.7 million students will not physically attend school in a classroom until next school year at the earliest. The decision to have a full shutdown was made in an effort to keep schools safe and stop the spread of the virus throughout the state. 

Governor’s Wolf’s announcement made Pennsylvania the 15th state to order the closure of school for the rest of the year. Speaking on the matter, he said, “We must continue our effort 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.”

During the closure, education is expected to continue with virtual instruction. This includes mandatory attendance and graded assignments. However, while it was a strong expectation of the Wolf administration, it was noted by Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera that his department does not have the “authority to mandate continuity of education by law.” 

In order to press the continuance of education, the state is requiring school districts to submit and post their education plans. The specific decisions regarding grading protocol, grade promotion, and student graduation will be made on the school district level.

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