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​Attestation Process

Attestation Ensuring Implementation of Mitigation Efforts for Public School Entities

This page was updated on February 5, 2021. Update is noted with an asterisk (*).

By Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, dated November 23, 2020, public PreK-12 school entities in counties with two consecutive weeks of substantial transmission must attest to complying to the following to continue offering any in-person instruction:

Public PreK-12 school entities include school districts, intermediate units, charter schools, cyber charter schools, and career and technical centers.

All public PreK-12 school entities in counties with substantial transmission for at least two consecutive weeks must submit the Attestation Form, even if the entity does not intend to offer any in-person instruction.

A public PreK-12 school entity in a county with two consecutive weeks of substantial transmission that does not return a completed and signed attestation may not provide any in-person instruction, but rather, may provide only fully remote instruction and must suspend all extracurricular activities, while the county is in the substantial range of community transmission. Extracurricular activities are activities sponsored or approved by the school entity's governing body, administration or athletic director, including, but not limited to, attendance at or participation in athletics, musical ensembles, school plays, student council, clubs, school dances, etc.)

Attestation Process

Public PreK-12 school entities located in substantial transmission counties for at least two consecutive weeks as of November 23, 2020, must complete the following attestation process by November 30, 2020.

  • Complete the Attestation Form.
  • Have the chief school administrator and president/chair of the governing body of the public school entity sign the form. (The form may be signed electronically.)
  • Submit the signed and completed form via email to RA-EDCONTINUITYOFED@pa.gov by 5 PM on November 30, 2020.
  • Attach the signed and completed form to the public school entity's Health and Safety Plan and post on the entity's publicly available website.

If a public school entity intends to provide any in-person instruction to PreK-12 students (even for small, targeted populations of students) from November 30, 2020, forward, such instruction may not occur until the attestation form has been signed by the chief school administrator/CEO and the president/chair of the governing body of the school entity and returned to PDE. Even if a school entity does not intend to provide any in-person instruction from November 30, 2020, forward, the certification must still be signed and submitted to PDE.

A public PreK-12 school entity in a county that enters the substantial transmission level after November 23, 2020, has three business days after being in substantial for two consecutive weeks to submit the signed and completed Attestation Form to PDE.

A public PreK-12 school entity in a county with Substantial transmission level that is providing fully remote learning when submitting the attestation form but then elects later to move to in-person instruction (even for small, targeted populations) must resubmit the attestation prior to providing in-person instruction.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Who does the Order apply to?

The Order applies to public PreK-12 school entities in "substantial" transmission counties for at least two consecutive weeks who wish to continue to provide in-person or blended instructional models. Public PreK-12 school entities include school districts, charter schools, cyber charter schools, intermediate units, and career and technical centers.

The order does not apply to postsecondary institutions or Adult CTE programs. 

Why does the Order only apply to public schools?

The Attestation form is part of the Health and Safety plan. Only public PreK-12 schools are required to submit Health and Safety Plans to PDE.

How long is the Order in effect?

The Order remains in effect until the Secretary of Health determines the order is no longer necessary to ensure the safety of students, staff and school communities.

Who must submit an Attestation Form?

All public school entities in counties with substantial transmission for at least two consecutive weeks must submit the Attestation Form, even if the entity does not intend to offer any in-person instruction.

What is the process for submitting the Attestation Form?

Public PreK-12 school entities located in substantial transmission counties for at least two consecutive weeks as of November 23, 2020, must complete the following attestation process by November 30, 2020.

  • Complete the Attestation Form.
  • Have the chief school administrator and president of the governing body of the school entity sign the form. (The form may be signed electronically.)
  • Email the signed and completed form to RA-EDCONTINUITYOFED@pa.gov by 5 PM on November 30, 2020.
  • Attach the signed and completed form to the public school entity's Health and Safety Plan and post on the entity's publicly available website.

When is the Attestation Form due?

The public PreK-12 school entity must submit the completed and signed Attestation Form to PDE at RA-EDCONTINUITYOFED@pa.gov by 5 PM on November 30, 2020. Public school entities must complete the attestation process in order to offer in-person instruction November 30, 2020, and beyond.

A public PreK-12 school entity in a county that enters the Substantial transmission level after November 23, 2020, has three business days after being in substantial for two consecutive weeks to submit the signed and completed Attestation Form to PDE.

What is the public school entity attesting to?

By Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, public PreK-12 school entities in counties with two consecutive weeks of substantial transmission must attest to complying to the following to continue offering any in-person instruction:

The Secretary of Health’s Order does not require public school entities to attest to any other PreK-12 guidance released by DOH and PDE or other parts of a school entity’s Health and Safety Plan.

If a public school entity intends to provide any in-person instruction to PreK-12 students (even for small, targeted populations of students) from November 30, 2020 forward, such instruction may not occur until the attestation form has been signed by the chief school administrator/CEO and the president/chair of the governing body of the school entity and returned to PDE.

What happens if a PreK-12 public school entity does not submit the form?

A public PreK-12 school entity that does not return a completed and signed attestation may not provide any in-person instruction, but rather, may provide only fully remote instruction and must suspend all extracurricular activities while the county is in the substantial range of community transmission. Extracurricular activities are activities sponsored or approved by the school entity's governing body, administration or athletic director, including, but not limited to, attendance at or participation in athletics, musical ensembles, school plays, student council, clubs, school dances, etc.

Under what circumstances would a school entity need to submit more than one attestation?

A public PreK-12 school entity in a county with Substantial transmission level that is providing fully remote learning when the submitting the attestation form but then elects later to move to in-person instruction (even for small, targeted populations) must complete the attestation process prior to providing in-person instruction.

*Our county has no longer been in the "substantial" level of COVID-19 transmission for at least two consecutive weeks. Does the attestation process still apply?

No. The attestation process is no longer applicable for a school entity once its county has no longer been in the "substantial" level of community transmission for two or more consecutive weeks. However, if at a later point its county is in the "substantial" level for two or more consecutive weeks again, the attestation process would apply again. Additionally, be aware that the face covering order is still in effect and required for all school entities regardless of level of community transmission.