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Schools closed for 2 weeks

Gov. Tom Wolf announced March 13 all K-12 Pennsylvania schools will be closed for 10 business days effective March 16. Northampton Area School District students will not return to the classroom until at least March 30.

“First and foremost, my top priority as governor — and that of our education leaders — must be to ensure the health and safety of our students and school communities,” Wolf said. “As such, I am ordering all schools in the commonwealth to close for the next two weeks.”

Wolf said his administration has been working with school districts, as well as state and local officials, to gather input on this decision and will continue to monitor COVID-19 in the commonwealth.

At the end of 10 days, Wolf said he and his administration will reevaluate and decide whether continued closure is needed.

According to NASD Superintendent of Schools Joseph S. Kovalchik, district staff will primarily be working from home and may not be available in the office to answer calls. Anyone needing to contact the district can email connect@nasdschools.org.

“Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate the challenges ahead one day at a time,” Kovalchick said.

Wolf said school districts will not be penalized if they fail to meet the school-hours or 180-day requirements.

According to Wolf, the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced it received a waiver from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow eligible schools to serve meals to low-income students in a non-congregate setting, such as a drive-through or grab and go, during the closure.