Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf took to Twitter on Friday to dispel a rumor that claimed he would delay the start of the school year in an imminent announcement.
“I want to be clear: I am not closing school buildings or cancelling classes,” he said. “School governing boards and administrators will determine if school buildings reopen and if classes resume in person, remotely, or a combination of the two.
“The best way to find out about these local decisions is to contact your school’s governing board or administration,” he added.
The Department of Education told the state’s 500 school districts in June to begin crafting reopening plans that accommodated social distancing policies — a task many are still struggling to complete with just weeks left until the school year begins.
The administration’s hands-off approach has drawn criticism from school administrators, teachers and local officials alike who want more concrete recommendations about how to safely distance kids on school buses, in classrooms and during athletic activities.
Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine have preferred to remain flexible in their guidance in an effort to recognize the unique needs of each district, they said. Despite not making any statewide announcement Friday, however, the administration cautions that rising rates of COVID-19 infections could change their minds before school officially starts.