YORK – School districts, intermediate units, career and technical schools, charter schools and private schools are now able to apply for a new tool to address unplanned closures, according to Senator Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York).
Phillips-Hill authored Act 64 of 2019 to provide the option for public and private schools to apply through the Pennsylvania Department of Education to have the ability to use up five to flexible instructional days throughout the school year.
Flexible instructional days may be used in the event of an unplanned closure due to inclement weather, infrastructure problems or threats levied against the school and its students. Under the program, schools will have to cover various curriculum, including English, math, social studies and science.
While technology may be a top option for school districts, Phillips-Hill said students who lack access to a computer or internet may have their learning needs met through other methods that do not involve technology.
The Department of Education is now accepting applications for interested schools.
“We want to give as many tools to our local schools to decide what works best for their students, teachers, parents and administrators,” Phillips-Hill said. “This new tool has been very popular when tested as a pilot program with a select number of schools across the Commonwealth.”
School districts interested in the program should visit the Department of Education’s website for more information at www.education.pa.gov.
“This may not be a solution for every district, but thanks to the stakeholders who worked with me throughout this process, this new law provides great flexibility to ensure our next generation has the option for continuity of learning when schools are forced to close for a myriad of reasons,” she added.
If approved to use the new tool, school districts will need to reapply every three years.
You can listen to Phillips-Hill’s comments about the program’s rollout here.