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​August 10, 2020

Dear Colleague:

Over the past several weeks, staff from the Departments of Education and Health have heard from many of you regarding the need for additional public health-related guidance as we approach the 2020-21 school year. Also, since June, when PDE began issuing reopening guidance, we shared that as conditions related to the pandemic evolved, the state’s guidance would also evolve. In response to both circumstances, today, PDE and DOH are providing a tool to aid school leaders in making decisions about instructional models for the 2020-21 school year.   

While these health-based metrics can be used to inform reopening decisions, they will also be useful in decision-making as conditions change throughout the school year.   

Today’s tool includes recommendations based on public health conditions. They are not a mandate and schools that have already submitted Health and Safety Plans do not need to resubmit their plans so long as they comply with the masking order issued by DOH in July. The Wolf Administration maintains that as local leaders, you are best positioned to make instructional decisions that account for these metrics and additional local factors including local resources and community needs.

Any questions regarding this tool can be emailed to: RA-EDCONTINUITYOFED@pa.gov

I hope that you find this tool useful throughout the school year ahead. Thank you for continuing to serve your students and communities as we navigate this unprecedented challenge together.

-Pedro