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​EITT Guidance and FAQ related to COVID-19 Closures


The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have declared COVID-19 a "public health emergency of international concern." The United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary has declared that COVID-19 creates a public health emergency; and on March 6, 2020, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania proclaimed the existence of a disaster emergency through the Commonwealth pursuant to 35 Pa. C.S. § 7301(c) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Two years later, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has determined that the COVID-19 pandemic and its residual effects continue to constitute an "emergency" within the meaning of Section 520.1 of the Pennsylvania Public School Code (School Code).

A local education agency (LEA) that elects to implement temporary provisions in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic must ensure the provision of a minimum of 180 days of instruction, including a minimum of 900 hours of instruction at the elementary level and 990 hours of instruction at the secondary level through a combination of in-person and remote instruction, consistent with the requirements outlined in Section 520.1 and this guidance.

Note: Charter schools must provide 180 instructional days OR 900 / 990 hours. Part-time career and technical centers, must provide at minimum 180 days AND 360 hours of minimum instruction to each student.

Emergency Instructional Time Template (24 P.S. § 520.1)

Section 520.1 of the School Code (School Code) provides the following:

(a) Whenever an emergency shall arise which the board of school directors of any school district in the performance of its duties could not during the prescribed length of school days, number of days per week, anticipate or foresee, and which emergency shall result in any such school district being unable to provide for the attendance of all pupils or usual hours of classes, it shall be found as a fact by the school directors of any school district and so recorded on the minutes of a regular or special meeting of such board and certified to the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and such board of school directors, subject to the approval of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, shall have power to put into operation in such school district any one or more of the temporary provisions hereinafter provided for, but in no event shall such temporary provisions remain in effect for a period of more than four years after they are first put into effect.

(b) Subject to the foregoing provisions, any board of school directors may:

(1) Keep the schools of the district in session such days and number of days per week as they shall deem necessary or desirable, but the provisions of this act requiring a minimum of one hundred eighty (180) session days as a school year shall not be affected thereby.

(2) Reduce the length of time of daily instruction for various courses and classes.

(c) Any school district, by invoking the powers herein granted, shall not thereby forfeit its right to reimbursement by the Commonwealth or other State-aid as otherwise provided for by this act.

Instructional Days/Hours During the 2022-23 School Year

As we approach the end of the 2021-22 school year, PDE recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic and its residual effects may require LEAs to utilize remote instruction in certain circumstances. his document clarifies how remote instruction may satisfy minimum instructional time requirements during the 2022-23 school year.

PDE will follow the same practice implemented during the 2020-21 and 2021-22 school years, which is to consider the COVID-19 global pandemic an emergency as contemplated by Section 520.1 of the School Code. The Emergency Instructional Time Template (EITT) (PDF) has been updated and is now available. PDE will begin accepting those templates on July 1, 2022.

Emergency Instructional Time Template 2022-23 School Year

PDE-approval of a LEA's plan as set forth in the EITT will be for the 2022-23 school year only as approvals of this nature are made on a year-to-year basis. The decision to enact temporary provisions under Section 520.1 of the School Code remains a local one and LEAs should consult their solicitor in this regard.

Any LEA that enacts temporary provisions must submit the following to the Secretary of Education (Secretary) for approval:

  1. A completed EITT;
  2. Board meeting minutes demonstrating approval of the temporary provisions, and
  3. The temporary provisions adopted, including the LEA's proposed weekly schedule; this should be a sample of the weekly academic schedule (Monday through Friday).

Such information must be submitted at beginning July 1, 2022, and before May 1, 2023.

Upon receipt, the Secretary will review to ensure board approval and that the school entity's plan accounts for at least 180 days and 900/990 hours of instruction.

The implementation of instructional programs that may count towards the instructional time requirements is a local decision to be made by each LEA. When making decisions related to the provision of instructional time, all LEAs must be cognizant of issues such as: the provision of planned instruction needed to attain the relevant academic standards set forth in Chapter 4 of the Pennsylvania Code; implementing systems of tracking attendance and instructional time, especially related to students engaging in remote instruction; the provision of FAPE; and equity in access to instruction for all students.

Additionally, Chapter 11 of the Pennsylvania Code (22 Pa. Code § 11.2) states that "instruction time for students shall be time in the school day devoted to instruction and instructional activities provided as an integral part of the school program under the direction of certified school employees" (emphasis added). Although instruction may be provided in synchronous or asynchronous formats, to count as instruction­—whether in the classroom or remotely—students' instructional activities must be under the direction of a certified school employee, unless otherwise permitted.

Any LEA that includes time spent in a remote learning environment toward instructional time requirements must implement a system that accurately tracks out of school instructional time similar to attendance in the school building.

A charter school must work with its authorizer if it is planning to implement some type of alternative schedule or type of instruction.


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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Related to COVID-19 Closures

 Content Editor

  Act 80*
Emergency Instructional Time Template
Emergency School Closures**
Flexible Instructional Day Program
Law 24 P.S. §15-1504
This provision is applicable to school districts, intermediate units, and career and technical centers.
24 P.S. § 5-520.1  24 P.S. § 7-751
This emergency provision is applicable to all public school districts, charter schools, career and technical centers, and intermediate units where the intermediate unit is housed in a facility owned by a public school district.
24 P.S. §15-1506
Deadline Submitted prior to the date of the Act 80 activity (however, Act 80 approvals will be considered for approval if submitted before July 31 following the end of the school year).
Retroactive for the entire 2022-23 school year. Submit before May 1, 2023.

 Submitting as soon as the emergency occurred. Submitting a completed application before June 1, 2022 (to begin implementing a FID program in the 2022-23 school year).
# Of Days  There is no limit on the number of Act 80 exceptions that may be requested, as long as minimal instructional hour requirements are met.
Unlimited, as long as minimal instructional time requirements are met.  Not to exceed three (3) days per school year.
Not to exceed five (5) days per school year – effective for three (3) school years.
Examples of Uses
  • Administration of the Professional Development Assistance Program assessment.
  • Curriculum planning and development.
  • Dismissal at the start of the school year of a partial group of kindergarten students while an orientation program is being conducted for another part of the group of current kindergarten students.
  • Evaluation of graduation projects.
  • In-service programs dealing with new subjects or activities having an impact on the educational program.
  • Parent-teacher meeting.
  • Strategic planning.
  • Alternative scheduling to meet the needs of students and staff in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Another temporary circumstance rendering any portion of a school building unfit or unsafe for use, related to the pandemic.
  • Quarantine of students and staff.
  • The scheduling of a limited number of school buses (due to driver's shortage).
  • Emergencies under Section 751 are limited to situations or events that have actually occurred rendering the school facility's affected area or system closed or unusable.

  • Damage to a school building.
  • Disease epidemic.
  • Hazardous Weather Condition (including snowstorms).
  • Enforcement emergency.
  • The inoperability of school buses or other equipment necessary to the public-school entity's operation.
  • A temporary circumstance rendering any portion of a school building unfit or unsafe for use.

* Act 80 For more information contact PDE at
** Emergency School Closures – For more information contact PDE at

Contact Us

Please contact the School Services Office for assistance/answers to questions:

References and/or Resources

Extended School Year Eligibility
Emergency Instructional Time Template
Emergency School Closure
Flexible Instructional Day Program
Half-Day Sessions
Instructional Time and Act 80 Exceptions

Bureau/Office Contact

Pennsylvania Department of Education
School Services Office
333 Market Street, 7th floor
Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333
Phone: 717.783.3750
TDD: 717.783.8445
Fax: 717.214.4389