Butler Area School District
Phased School Reopening Plan Introduction
The Pennsylvania School Code requires that every school district has 180 student instructional days, including 900 hours of instruction at the elementary and 990 hours of instruction at the secondary, each school year.
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Pennsylvania legislature passed and the Governor signed Act 13 of 2020. One component Act 13 of 2020 granted authority to the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education to waive the 180 day requirement as well as the hour requirements, if needed. This authority expires on June 30, 2020.
Currently, both houses of the Pennsylvania Legislature have passed resolutions to end the emergency declaration issued by the Governor. Both the Governor and legislature are now challenging each action in court to determine who has the authority to continue or end the emergency declaration. I believe it is very unlikely that the authority granted under Act 13 of 2020 will be extended in the near future.
What this means for us as a school district is that we must plan to have 180 student instructional days, including 900 hours of instruction at the elementary and 990 hours of instruction at the secondary. We have the ability to replace up to five (5) traditional instructional days with Flexible Instructional Days (FID) in the event of an emergency situation that is beyond our control. If needed, we can also schedule approximately 15 Act 80 Days that will be used for professional development instead of a traditional school day. We do not currently have the authority to move to remote instruction for our entire district nor do we have the authority to assign students to alternating schedules where they would only attend school in person 50% of the time.
We have been directed by the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education to develop reopening plans for Butler Area School District that meet the health and safety requirements for operating in both green and yellow.. Once the plan is drafted, it must be approved by our School Board and then submitted to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for final approval. While we are complying with that directive, we are also aware that we (the school board and superintendent) lack the authority to carry out portions of our plan. Specifically, when in yellow, it will not be possible for us to meet all of the state’s health and safety requirements and still operate with all of our students reporting to school every day.
Therefore, the first draft of our Phased School Reopening Health and Safety Plan is exactly that -- a first draft. This will enable us to move forward with summer athletics and continue to prepare for students to return in the fall. However, we do anticipate that there may be changes to the Phased School Reopening Health and Safety Plan before school resumes on September 1, 2020.
Phased School Reopening Plan -- June 15, 2020
View the plan>
Social Distancing Plans by School
View Part I
View Part II
View Part III
View Part IV
Athletic Reopening Plan
View Athletic Reopening Plan