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Pennsylvania students begin first fully in-person school year since 2019

Officials point to teacher/student safety and learning loss as top priorities

Small children with face mask back at school after covid-19 quarantine and lockdown, writing.

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Small children with face mask back at school after covid-19 quarantine and lockdown, writing.

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Airdate: Monday, August 30, 2021

Most Pennsylvania students now are back in school. This is a milestone, as it is the first fully in-person school year since 2019.

The planning for this year has played out in the news media and in school board meetings across the state. Student and teacher safety is a high priority, as COVID-19 case numbers are rising in Pennsylvania and across the county.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended earlier this month that all students wear a mask in schools, regardless of their vaccination status. Governor Wolf did not issue a mask mandate, but instead recommended that school districts follow CDC guidance.

Appearing on Smart Talk to discuss the planning for the new year and keeping schools open are Dr. Denise A. Johnson, MD., Acting Physician General, Pennsylvania Department of Health and Sherri Smith, Ed., Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Pennsylvania Department of Education.

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