Pennsylvania’s Schools Will Re-Open This Fall, Governor Wolf Says
In an age of uncertainty, many are wondering what the 2020-2021 school year will look like. In Pennsylvania, it’ll look different, but schools are expected to reopen their doors this fall, Governor Tom Wolf said on Friday.
During Friday’s daily coronavirus press conference, Wolf revealed that state officials are working on a plan to reopen schools across the state this fall.
“We are going to be opening schools, whether it’s August or September, that depends on the local school district,” he said. "We’re working, now, school will look different, you’ll probably have more online learning and maybe less classroom learning, there might be fewer students in each classroom on average, that kind of thing, so it probably will look different."
As a followup, reporters asked the governor on Friday how confident he was about the reopening of schools, as concerns continue to spread about a possible second wave of the virus later this year.
"That’s our plan. I mean, something might happen...yes," Wolf said when speaking to the hopes of reopening schools. "There’s an opt-out clause here that if a comet strikes, you know. But we’re doing everything we can to make sure schools are open on time in the fall,” Wolf said.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education is working on guidelines for how school districts across the state can safely reopen. Those could be released as early as next week. It’s likely that many schools will spend much of the summer making plans to accommodate those guidelines.
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One of the hotly debated guidelines centers around masks being required for students in the classroom. It seems likely that students will be wearing masks in the classroom across our region.
Back in late April, Philadelphia’s Superintendent of schools, William R. Hite Jr., said that the city's district was planning as if they would need masks for young people when schools do reopen.
Meanwhile, New Jersey's Governor Phil Murphy says a decision about the reopening of schools in the Garden State will come by mid-June.