All schools in Pennsylvania will remain closed through the remainder of the academic year. State officials made the announcement Thursday morning.
Though physical locations will stay closed, online learning can continue. State officials encourage academic institutions to teach students in the most effective way possible.
“We must continue our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus during this national crisis,” Wolf said. “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.”
Wolf made the decision after consulting with other state officials. PA Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera said it provides predictability for school districts.
Many schools may be making changes to their grading systems. In the Pennsbury School District, Superintendent Dr. William Gretzula said school officials took many factors into consideration.
“As a result of extensive conversations with curriculum leaders and the administrative team, we are shifting our focus from grading for quality to grading for work completion at all levels (K-12).”
PSD is also intending to make wider use of Google Meet to give a way for students and teachers to connect over video. The school district had avoided Zoom, a popular video conferencing app, due to potential abuses.
Each school district has some flexibility as to how it will approach the closures.
Neshaminy School District will be moving forward with “Phase III” of its plans to shift classes online. This will allow seniors to graduate on time and all other students to move up a grade level next year.
School sports programs will also remain shut down. With no plans yet to resume any activities, entire seasons could be completely cancelled.
This decision to close schools will not impact meal programs at schools, such as free breakfast and lunches in the Bensalem School District.