Pa. schools ordered closed until end of academic year

Staff Writer

All Pennsylvania schools will remain closed for the duration of the 2019-20 academic year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The closure impacts all public K-12 schools, brick and mortar and cyber charter schools, private and parochial schools, career and technical centers and intermediate units.
All Department of Education early learning program classrooms, including those for Pre-K Counts, Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program (HSSAP) and Preschool Early Intervention, will also remain closed.
On March 30 St. Marys Area School District, along with many other school districts across the state, implemented virtual learning with students accessing classes and materials online using computers and tablets.
SMASD plans to slowly introduce planned instruction after Easter.
“We are taking it slow. Therefore, between the planned instruction will be more review and enrichment,” said SMASD Superintendent Brian Toth.
SMASD plans on completing its school year virtually on May 29th.
Toth noted SMASD intends to conduct graduation and any other senior events they can provide once permitted to congregate by state officials.
The district will also provide summer school options for those who require it, just not in a face-to-face manner.
On March 16 all schools were ordered closed. Two days later the Elk County Catholic School System implemented Flexible Instruction Days (FIDs).
To date ECCSS has only missed two days of instruction due to the shutdown, one of which they will be making up next week. They plan to complete the full 180 school days without having to extend their school year calendar.
“We always knew that the schools might be closed for the year. We have been planning with that possibility in mind, and this announcement highlights the importance of our efforts. We cannot allow our children to sit idle from March through August. Our faculty and staff are committed to partnering with parents to ensure that students at all ECCSS schools continue to receive quality instruction no matter the circumstances,” said Sam MacDonald, Elk County Catholic School System president, in a message addressed to parents.

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