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District updates Frequently Asked Questions on web

Students, parents, and teachers have many questions during the state-mandated shutdown of schools.

That shutdown is now in its second week and it will continue at least until April 9, according to Gov. Tom Wolf.

“We know there is a possibility this could be extended again,” Superintendent Amy Stewart said.

To help provide a central repository of answers to frequently asked questions, Warren County School District is updating the FAQ on its website and Facebook page regularly.

While there is state law that requires schools be in session 180 days in a year, Wolf initially said schools would not be required to make up time lost to the closures.

In the Tuesday evening update, Stewart said, “There is now a legal question as to whether the Governor is allowed to forgive the 180 days of school.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) also updated its frequently asked questions page on Tuesday.

“PDE will not penalize districts/schools that fail to meet the minimum 180-day requirements as a result of COVID-19 response efforts,” according to the site. “Schools are strongly encouraged to plan possible adjustments to their calendars to provide as much instruction aspossible during this unprecedented event. Once PDE develops additional guidance, schools falling short of the 180-day/instructional hour requirements will be required to report their total days and hours for the year on a simplified form; completed forms will be deemed approved.”

Stewart said the school board will discuss the possibility of extending the school year at its Monday, March 30, meeting.

In the meantime, the district is working on an educational continuity plan and ways to deliver educational materials to students.

The district has prepared a technology survey and is asking one member of each student household fill it out as soon as possible, according to Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Eric Mineweaser. The survey can be found online, at the district’s grab-and-go meal locations, and by calling school offices.

With respect to events like proms — plans for which have not been changed yet — and graduation — which would be changed if the school year is extended — answers are on the district’s site.

The shutdown applies to regular education and special education services. The district plans to hold IEP meetings by phone or virtually. Families who would like to contact their special education supervisor or therapy provider about what they can do at home during the shutdown may do so by email.

Students in AP classes “should be in contact with their school offices” regarding exams.

All athletics and co-curricular activities are canceled during the shutdown.

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