Considerations for Reopening Pennsylvania Schools
COVID-19 has profoundly affected educational institutions across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as it has in the rest of the country and around the world. Since March 2020, school buildings statewide have been closed. Although many schools have worked hard to provide instruction remotely, it is likely that schoolchildren all over the state are missing out on a substantial amount of learning, with educational losses and other hardships that are likely to be greater for some of the same populations that are disproportionately harmed by the disease itself, creating a serious equity challenge.
As educational institutions plan for re-opening in Fall 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) needs to provide guidance to assist schools in developing policies and procedures for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring the safety of their students and staff. In May, PDE approached their partners at the U.S. Department of Education’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) to provide analytic support for their guidance.