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Friday, July 17, 2020

PA Department of Education Issues Guidance on School Reopening

Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine and Education Secretary Pedro Rivera today jointly announced updated guidance to help Pre-K to 12 schools prepare to reopen and safely educate students for in-person learning. Each school entity will determine if classes resume in person at school buildings, remotely or a combination of both options.

The guidance represents endorsed best public health practices related to social distancing, face coverings, hand hygiene, and cleaning and disinfecting in school settings. It also outlines how to accommodate individuals with disabilities or chronic conditions, procedures for monitoring symptoms, and responding to confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 in the school community.

The best practice recommendations for schools outlined by the departments of Health and Education include:

  • Masks must be worn by students and staff at school and on the bus as required by the order signed by Sec. of Health Dr. Levine on July 1, with some exceptions. Masks can be removed to eat or drink.
  • Students or caregivers should do a daily symptom screening before leaving for school.
  • Students, teachers and other staff are strongly encouraged to follow social distancing throughout the day with 6 feet of separation between desks and other seating.
  • If possible, hold classes in gyms, auditoriums, other large spaces or outdoors, where physical distancing can be maintained.
  • Student seating should be facing in the same direction.
  • Limit student interactions by staggering class times, creating one-way walking patterns in hallways, and, when feasible, keeping students in a classroom and rotating teachers instead.
  • For breakfast and lunch, consider serving individually packaged meals in classrooms and avoid across-the-table seating. If meals are served in a cafeteria, sit students at least 6 feet apart.
  • Limit the number of students on playgrounds at one time and encourage social distancing.
  • Encourage the use of virtual gatherings, events, and extracurricular activities.

The guidance released today provides a list of best practices for schools to consider before the start of in-person classes.

The guidance for school sports is unchanged. Coaches, athletes, and spectators must wear masks unless they can maintain 6 feet of separation outdoors. Athletes can remove masks during a workout or competition.

Today’s guidance builds on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s preliminary guidance issued June 3 outlining steps schools must take before they may resume in-person instruction.

The preliminary guidance requires school districts, charter schools, regional charter schools, cyber charter schools, career and technical centers and intermediate units to develop a health and safety plan. The plans must be approved by the school’s governing body and made available on the school’s public website before bringing students and staff back to campus. Nonpublic schools are strongly encouraged to create plans tailored to their unique needs and post them on their websites.

5 comments :

Anonymous said...

this is frickin stupid. there is no way possible this could ever be done. just continue with on line class. until the corona is over. ps: levine and wolf are idiots.

Anonymous said...

Kids need school, rural areas should not be grouped into same restrictions as city schools. Use common sense dont keep isolating children ,children that are outcast tend to be school shooters. Every year children return to school and every year they bring diseases home with them. This virus will not go away people will just become comfortable with it like HIV, Flu, common coronavirus (common cold)when then panic dies down or people feel a sense of security with a vaccine. Kid are going to suffer if not in school, they need it, not all parents are able to assist or make sure online learning is achieved.

Anonymous said...

Why not just divide the grades and make a morning and an afternoon session.then all the kids can go to school and still have enough room to "socially distance"

Anonymous said...

Why not just divide the grades and make a morning and an afternoon session.then all the kids can go to school and still have enough room to "socially distance"

Anonymous said...

Children are very resilient and will do just fine if parents don't feed them a bunch of crap about how stupid they think this all is...... parents should explain to their children that we are doing all of this, because we care for one another and want to keep each other safe.