Adams County school districts will be closed for two weeks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus.
District superintendents sent notices Friday afternoon stating the closures affect all programming at the schools, including before-and after-school activities, all athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, weekend events, and all facility use by outside groups.
“In order to promote instructional equity for all of our students, the district will make up the days through the use of ‘snow make-up’ days, and other days available to us through communication with the Pennsylvania Department of Education,” the letters, which were almost identical in content but signed by each district’s superintendent, stated. “These methods will be determined once we realize the full scope of impact that closures may have in the coming weeks. We are not asking students to complete schoolwork while the district is closed.”
The districts stated the situation is fluid and any updates will be communicated through their websites. Gettysburg Area School District has invited people to submit questions or concerns through a form on its website.
Private daycare centers have the option to stay open. Dotty Dalphon, executive director of the YWCA Gettysburg & Adams County, said Friday the YW plans to keep its daycare centers at 909 Fairfield Road and Adams Commerce Center open the next two weeks because many parents rely on the care. If parents decide to keep their children home, the YW will not be requiring payment in order to hold the child’s spot in the program, Dalpon said.
“YWCA Management Staff will be closely monitoring and assessing the operation on an ongoing basis,” Dalphon said. “Every precaution and measure to clean and sanitize our facility is being taken particularly high touch surfaces, objects, toys, etc.”
Shortly after Adams County superintendents made the decision to close their schools, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf announced all schools in the state will close for at least two weeks. Wolf stated no district will be penalized if it fails to meet the 180-day instruction requirement this school year.
The afternoon announcements came after a tense virtual meeting held Friday morning between the Pennsylvania Department of Education and school administrators across the commonwealth. During the meeting, the Pennsylvania Department of Education told administrators the decision was to be made by each individual school district, according to sources who attended the meeting. Some administrators expressed their dissatisfaction with what they felt was lack of leadership by making comments such as “all the webinar did was make every attendee feel unsupported and more stressed,” according to screenshots provided to the Gettysburg Times.