Desks and chairs in classrooms across Pennsylvania will remain empty for a little while longer.
Gov. Tom Wolf announced Thursday all Pennsylvania K-12 schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year in response to the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
All physical schools, both public and private, will remain closed as well as the state’s Department of Education learning programs, according to a press release. Wolf said he decided to close schools after consulting with Rachel Levine, the state’s secretary of health, and Pedro Rivera, secretary of education.
Although on-site activities have been canceled, families are able to pick up meals provided by local school districts from designated sites, according to Wolf.
Wolf encouraged school officials to continue teaching, noting resources available through the state. This includes resources for schools that do not have online teaching, schools that need technological support and schools that require traditional methods to teach students.
“While the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic and its mitigation efforts have created uncertainty in our schools and communities, today’s action to close schools for the remainder of the academic year provides school communities with predictability and understanding of the conditions under which they’ll be operating and serving students,” Rivera said in the press release.
For higher education learners, Wolf said colleges and universities may not resume in-person instruction or open physical locations until the closure of non-life-sustaining businesses is lifted, or when he permits.
The reopening of schools will depend on the public health guidance given by Wolf and Levine, according to Rivera.