Coronavirus on Smart Talk Wednesday: Pa. Education Secretary Rivera; College towns without students

School closings, distance learning, continuity of education to be addressed

  • Scott LaMar

Until the COVID-19 pandemic, K-12 classes were disrupted in Pennsylvania for only days at a time by a snowstorm, mold or a plumbing problem in a school building or maybe a teachers’ strike.

Students attended classes physically for the last time in March and last week Gov. Tom Wolf announced schools would closed for the remainder of the school year. In the meantime, educators are making what the state called “good faith” efforts to educate students who are now out of class. Whatever transpires between now and when classes open normally in the future, it is unprecedented.

Some students are continuing classes online, if they have internet access, while others are having materials sent to their homes. WITF launched Learning at Home — an initiative designed to augment the education of children utilizing public TV programs and resources on a website.

Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera appears on Wednesday’s Smart Talk along with Deputy Secretary of Elementary and Secondary Education Matthew Stem to discuss how students are continuing to learn during the pandemic.

Also, we’ll hear from Nathan Mains, CEO of the Pennsylvania Schools Boards Association about what local schools are going through at this time.

Finally, with colleges and universities shutdown, except for online classes, how have the towns and cities where they’re located been impacted?

Smart Talk focuses on the Borough of Shippensburg Wednesday.

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