For Immediate Release
PSBA, Chief Communications Officer
MECHANICSBURG, PA (June 18, 2020) – As school districts draft plans to return students safely to their classrooms this fall, a new report offers a framework of insights drawn from the expertise of more than 150 representatives of several prominent Pennsylvania education associations.
The report is the culmination of work that began in early May when eight education associations came together to form a task force for the purpose of supporting school leaders, administrators and educators in their decision-making and plans for school reopening. The group identified resources and considerations focused on key operational areas, including facility/logistics, staffing and personnel, instruction, transportation, special education, extracurriculars/cocurricular activities, health and safety, communication, resources, and community needs.
Taking part in the effort are the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA), Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA), Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators (PASA), Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials (PASBO), Pennsylvania Association of Intermediate Units (PAIU), Pennsylvania Principals Association, Pennsylvania Association of Career and Technical Administrators (PACTA), and Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools (PARSS).
The report examines a variety of considerations decision-makers are facing, including:
• The staggering of school schedules to reduce the size of classrooms and open space gatherings,
• Enhanced cleaning procedures and equipment for buildings and buses,
• Implementation of additional policies and procedures related to personal protective equipment and masks,
• Air quality measurements and enhanced filtration,
• Meal preparation and serving procedures,
• After-school activity precautions to mitigate the potential spread of germs,
• Redesigning of facilities to enhance social distancing, and
• Procedures for student assemblies.
The report is structured in a way so that resources and practitioner insights can be drawn upon as each school entity works toward safe reopening.
Association leaders emphasized that everyone involved in public education wants what’s best for Pennsylvania’s students and that they endeavored to consider and incorporate a wide range of perspectives so that schools can plan for a multitude of solutions best-suited to their community’s needs and will.
The report will be distributed to stakeholders statewide, along with the Pennsylvania Department of Education.
The full report and recommendations can be viewed here: Pennsylvania School Reopening Task Force Report.