St. Martha Parish School

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PA Schools Closed for the Remainder of the 2019-2020 Academic Year as of April 8th per Governor Tom Wolf

Continuing his efforts to protect the health and safety of students and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Tom Wolf today announced that all schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic year. The governor made the decision in consultation with Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine and Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera. Students and families can continue to pick up meals at designated sites.

Although schools are closed, teaching and learning may continue: schools are strongly encouraged to provide continuity of education for all students in the most appropriate and accessible ways possible. PDE has secured resources intended to help all schools that want to use them – including those not currently offering online platforms, those requiring additional technology support, and those that may rely on traditional methods, such as paper lessons, to continue educating students. There is no cost to schools or students for these resources.

“We must continue our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus during this national crisis,” Governor Wolf said. “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.”

Secretary Rivera said the administration’s primary consideration has always been to make the best decision in the context of student and community health and safety.

“While the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic and its mitigation efforts have created uncertainty in our schools and communities, today’s action to close schools for the remainder of the academic year provides school communities with predictability and understanding of the conditions under which they’ll be operating and serving students,” Rivera said. “As schools and communities adapt to the prolonged school closure, PDE will continue to work with our state, educational, and business and nonprofit partners to meet the needs of students.”

Today’s decision 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. All Department of Education early learning program classrooms, including those for Pre-K Counts, Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program (HSSAP) and Preschool Early Intervention, will also remain closed.

Colleges and universities may not resume in-person instruction or reopen their physical locations until the governor permits them to open or lifts the closure of non-life-sustaining businesses.

Schools will remain closed though the end of the 2019-2020 academic year as it is defined by the local school calendar.

Under the state’s directive, schools could begin summer programming on the day after their academic year ends.

Secretary Rivera added that all re-openings will be contingent on public health guidance provided by the Secretary of Health and stay-at-home orders issued by the governor.

In addition to the school closure announcement, through his order Secretary Rivera also took action that will ensure crucial stability of education programs. Under Act 13 of 2020, the secretary has exercised his executive authority to adjust requirements for the evaluation of professional employees and waive student teaching requirements that may not be possible in the context of school closures.

“By taking these actions, the department is providing flexibility in the near term, while signaling that core functions of public education can and will continue,” he said.

Corona Virus - March 12th Letter from Mrs. Donofry


Due to recent events surrounding the Corona Virus, I thought it would be beneficial to share a few things with you in case our school needs to close.  During the winter months, the teachers and I developed a plan to put into place if there was a snowstorm; we are taking that plan and tweaking it a bit.  Distance learning or Flexible Instruction Days are new for all of us, but sadly may become a necessity.

  • Should our school have to close, the teachers in Grades PK to 8 are prepared to send home enough work for a week or more if necessary.
  • Students would be expected to complete the assignments each day.  
  • Student work would be checked upon the students return to school.  Some will be used for grades.
  • Assignments would be posted on classroom websites and/or emailed directly to you.  Teachers will contact you tomorrow with their contingency plans. 
  • There are many learning websites available for your child such as Khan Academy,
  • In grades 7 and 8, the teachers are using Google Classroom to communicate assignments.  
  • Videos, notes, charts, etc. can be added whenever needed.
  • Work would be date and time stamped when submitted.  
  • Students are expected to work each day for a specific amount of time; this is not homework.  It is schoolwork, and it will be mandatory and will also take longer to complete than the average amount of homework.   Children not completing the work will have a detention and this will impact their report card grade.

I realize that this is not a perfect solution, but rather a work in progress.  Know that you are always able to contact the teacher via email.

I encourage you to make plans for childcare in case of unexpected school closures. With news of schools closing every day, it has hit close to home. Being prepared and pro-active is always a good choice, and hopefully one that doesn’t have to be put in place. Thank you for your cooperation regarding this matter.

Mrs. Karen A. Donofry, Principal