SHARON, Pa. (WYTV) – With schools across Pennsylvania already closed for nearly a month now, Governor Tom Wolf decided to extend his orders Thursday morning through the end of the year.
So, students will keep learning at home and will not return to school for the rest of the academic year.
School districts now have to ensure their students are being educated at home for a longer period of time.
“While this was a critical step for us to take to protect as many people as possible, it was not an easy decision to make,” he said.
But, given the spread of COVID-19 across the commonwealth — the state has three times more COVID-19 cases than Ohio — Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera was much blunter.
“There’s no way schools would be able to prepare to accept students this academic year,” Rivera said.
One local superintendent admits the news isn’t a surprise.
“We were hopeful that we could open for the end of the year, at least to conduct graduation ceremonies and that type of thing. But at this point, we’re just following the directives and going from there,” said Michael Calla, superintendent of Sharon City Schools.
The last time students were actually in classrooms in Sharon was March 12.
Now, all districts in Pennsylvania must put together their own “Continuity of Education” plans for the state to approve, explaining what’s being taught and how the lessons are being provided to students at home. It can either be online, through the mail or a combination of both.
For now, Calla said administrators are working to complete the current academic year.
He expects there could be new challenges ahead when and if schools open in the fall.
“You know, you can keep everyone a certain distance apart but it’s difficult. It would be difficult to keep everybody at the current levels that they’re talking about,” Calla said.