HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine and Education Secretary Pedro Rivera announced on Thursday guidance to allow Pre-K through grade 12 to reopen for in-person learning.

Guidance requires school districts, charter schools and career or technical centers to create a health and safety plan that needs to be approved by the school’s governing body. The plans should be made available on each school’s website before students and staff return. This allows each school to determine if classes resume at school buildings, remotely, or a combination of both.

Recommendations for schools 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.”


For more information on Pennsylvania’s education policies and programs, click here.