Pennsylvania Schools Will Open in the Fall

Pennsylvania Schools Will Open in the Fall

How and when are still up on the air

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said Friday that there is “no question” that schools will be open for in-person learning this fall. What remains unclear is how and when that will happen.

Wolf held his first in-person news conference Friday since the coronavirus pandemic began back in March, and said that the state’s Department of Education will release guidelines about how the 2020-21 school year will look as this year’s winds to a close following months of virtual-only learning.

“We are going to be opening schools,” Wolf said. “Whether it’s August or September, that depends on the local school district.”

Questions remain; Will students have to wear masks to school? The governor responded with a direct answer, “No question.”

What will schools look like next year? Educators are not certain as they continue to battle with the idea of how next school year will look. According to CDC recommendations, desks are to be place six feet apart and all teachers should wear pasts, all of the time, and by students some of the time. It also may mean that students eat lunches in their individual classrooms, and the possibility of students splitting time between in school instruction and home schooling.

“You’ll probably have more online learning, and maybe less classroom learning,” Wolf said. “There might be fewer students in each classroom, on average, that kind of thing. So, it probably will look different, but the Department of Education is working on those guidelines and I think they should be out early next week."

Moving forward, the governor said there will be more capacity in our healthcare system, and the state will have the ability to do more testing. He also added, that returning to a stay at home order, and thus no in-person school, is not out of the question later this year if the conditions call for it.

“Thre’s an opt-out clause here that, if a comet strikes, you know, but we are doing everything we can to make sure schools are open on time in the fall,” Wolf said.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is the Publisher of Security Today magazine.


  • Making Safety and Security Intrinsic to School Design

    Public anxieties about school safety are escalating across the country. According to a 2023 Gallup report, 44% of parents fear for their child’s physical safety at school, a 10 percentage-point increase since 2019. Unfortunately, these fears are likely to increase if the incidence of school tragedies continues to mount. As a result, school leaders are now charged with two non-negotiable responsibilities. The first, as always, is to ensure kids have what they need to learn, grow, and thrive. Sadly, their second responsibility is to keep the children in their care safe from threats and physical danger. Read Now

  • Unlocking Peace of Mind

    In a perfect world, every school would have an unlimited budget to help secure their schools. In reality, schools must prioritize what budget they have while navigating the complexities surrounding school security and lockdown Read Now

  • Emerging Campus Access Control Solutions

    Emerging solutions in campus access control can mean different things. Usually, we expect the topic to focus on the very latest in door security products and solutions that have just been recently released or are about to be launched. After all, staying up on improvements to keep campuses safer is critical. Plus, it’s always interesting and exciting to learn what’s new and how innovations are going to better protect lives and assets and help the industry be even more successful. Read Now

  • Here’s How Instructional Audio Can Play a Key Role in School Safety

    Ensuring the safety of students and employees is critical in today’s educational environment. While the threat of a school shooting is in the back of everyone’s mind, the truth is there are many possible scenarios that could crop up at any time in classrooms, hallways, and other school spaces—from fights or altercations to a sick child or staff member who requires emergency attention. Read Now