Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Pennsylvania, Missouri are the latest to cancel classes for the rest of 2019-20

April 9, 2020
The threat of the coronavirus makes a return to school facilities too risky

Pennsylvania and Missouri are the latest state to announce that its schools will remain closed for the rest of the academic year.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered Pennsylvania schools to stay closed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We must continue our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus during this national crisis,” Wolf says. “This was not an easy decision but closing schools until the end of the academic year is in the best interest of our students, school employees and families.”

In Missouri, Gov. Mike Parson ordered Thursday that public schools remain closed for the remainder of the academic year, The Kansas City Star reports

“This recommendation was made by working together with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and several school superintendents from across the state -- from both urban and rural districts,”  Parson says.

The Pennsylvania school closure order applies to all public K-12 schools, brick and mortar and cyber charter schools, private and parochial schools, career and technical centers and intermediate units. Officials say all Department of Education early learning program classrooms, including Head Start and pre-K Counts, would also remain closed.

With the closures stretching into April, “there’s no way schools would be able to prepare” to reopen this year, Education Secretary Pedro Rivera says.

School leaders said the order wasn’t unexpected. “We were planning for an eventual announcement of that sort already,” Philadelphia Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. says. “This just allows us to plan more specifically around this issue."

The state is letting districts decide how to grade students during remote learning programs, but is not recommending that students be held back because of the disrupted school year.

“Graduating seniors should not fear being held back because of this pandemic,” Rivera says.

In Missouri, Parson says schools should continue remote learning for their students. His order does not affect nutrition or child care services.

Parson says he understands that for those set to graduate this spring will be disappointed, but he vowed to “make sure you get to walk down the aisle and receive a diploma.”

The order comes as the number of COVID-19 deaths spiked in Missouri, from 58 on Wednesday to 77 today.

Parson issued what he called a stay-at-home order last week, although the action continued to leave it up to local governments to establish their own standards for which businesses could remain open.

He had also hesitated in ordering schools to close, saying he would leave it up to local districts to make the determination. All school districts eventually closed voluntarily

Sponsored Recommendations

Providing solutions that help creativity, collaboration, and communication.

Discover why we’re a one-stop shop for all things education. See how ODP Business Solutions can help empower your students, school, and district to succeed by supporting healthier...

Building Futures: Transforming K–12 Learning Environments for Tomorrow's Leaders

Discover how ODP Business Solutions® Workspace Interiors partnered with a pioneering school system, overcoming supply chain challenges to furnish 18 new K–12 campuses across 4...

How to design flexible learning spaces that teachers love and use

Unlock the potential of flexible learning spaces with expert guidance from school districts and educational furniture providers. Discover how to seamlessly integrate adaptive ...

Blurring the Lines in Education Design: K–12 to Higher Ed to Corporate America

Discover the seamless integration of educational and corporate design principles, shaping tomorrow's leaders from kindergarten to boardroom. Explore innovative classroom layouts...