Residents are reminded that non-emergency questions should go to 311. Residents can get COVID-19 updates sent to their phones. Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive free text alerts with information and updates from the Health Department. Information is also being updated daily on the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s webpage www.phila.gov/covid-19.
Information from the School District of Philadelphia:
March 13, 2020
All District schools will be closed starting Monday, March 16, 2020 through Friday, March 27, 2020.
Though the School District of Philadelphia still does NOT have any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in schools or offices, this closure has become necessary as many SDP employees who reside in neighboring counties are being asked to avoid non-essential travel and to not report to work.
This is creating a significant staffing challenge for our schools.
Thank you for flexibility and understanding during this difficult time. Please stay safe.
Information from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia:
March 13, 2020
Archdiocese of Philadelphia Announces Shift to Flexible Instructional Model for all High Schools, Elementary Schools, Schools of Special Education, & Parish Religious Education Programs in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic.
This afternoon all school and parish religious education program families and staff are receiving a joint letter from administrators of the Archdiocesan Office of Catholic Education and Office for Catechetical Formation. The letter is an update to a communication sent last evening with initial information in response to the state officials’ response to combatting the spread of COVID-19. The full text of that letter is below
We are writing to provide an update on our communication you received last evening. COVID-19 is an ever-evolving health and safety concern affecting the entire country. At this time, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our schools, but we must remain informed, vigilant, and proactive to prevent the spread of illness.
In every decision concerning our schools and parish religious education program, our guiding principle is to care for the safety and welfare of our students, their families, our employees, and those who visit our school and parish communities. In order to meet our responsibilities to those entrusted to our care and those who collaborate with us each day to provide the gift of Catholic education, we are announcing that ALL high schools, parish and regional elementary schools, schools of special education, PREP programs, and early learning centers in the five-county Archdiocese will close through Friday, March 27, 2020. The previous decision to suspend all extra-curricular and co-curricular activities including retreats, athletic events both on and off school grounds, field trips, and social events planned by elementary, secondary, and special education schools throughout the entire five-county Archdiocese stands. That suspension of activities will last through Friday, March 27th and be re-evaluated pending future developments. The current pandemic presents a rapidly evolving landscape. We will re-examine this timetable on an ongoing basis.
More information is avail on the Archdiocesan website.
Information from the State of Pennsylvania:
March 13, 2020
Governor Wolf Announces Closure of Pennsylvania Schools
Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf announced that all K-12 Pennsylvania schools will be closed for 10 business days effective Monday, March 16. The administration has been working with school districts as well as state and local officials to gather input on this decision. The Wolf Administration will continue to monitor Covid-19 in the commonwealth, and at the end of 10 days will reevaluate and decide whether continued closure is needed.
Governor Wolf made the following statement:
We understand that these are trying times and recognize the impact of the coronavirus on our students and communities.
First and foremost, my top priority as governor – and that of our education leaders – must be to ensure the health and safety of our students and school communities.
As such, I am ordering that all schools in the commonwealth close for the next two weeks.
Be aware that no school district will be penalized if it fails to meet the 180 day or school hours requirements.
The Department of Education will work with intermediate units and other stakeholders to support school districts with any continuity of learning plans they may be pursuing.
Also, the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced today that it received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow eligible schools to serve meals to low income students in a non-congregate setting, such as a drive-through or grab and go, during this closure. We will also work with schools to assist them with those plans.
We appreciate your collaboration as we work together to deal with this difficult issue.