Area School Districts Closed Per State’s Order

Local grocery stores, like the Landis Market in Pottstown (at top), were crowded with shoppers Thursday afternoon after Gov. Tom Wolf announced his order to close Montgomery County schools

HARRISBURG PA – The Pottstown, Pottsgrove, Spring-Ford Area, Perkiomen Valley, and Boyertown Area school districts all officially closed Friday (today, March 13, 2020) following a mandate by Gov. Tom Wolf, and will remain closed through March 30 (Monday). State officials hope the Montgomery County closures are effective in stopping the spread of the debilitating – and in an increasing number of nationwide cases, deadly – coronavirus COVID-19.

Wolf’s order affects all county educational facilities, he said, including private schools, charter schools, preschools, daycare, and institutions of higher learning. The Boyertown district is complying because, although headquartered in Berks County, it includes Montgomery County residents within its borders.

Several districts, on their websites, offered additional details on how the closures would affect some of their stakeholders:

In Pottstown, text it and it texts back

All school-based activities are canceled, including school board meetings, and all school facilities will be closed,” the district noted. It intends to update information as it becomes available.

Parents or guardians don’t need to go hunting for that latest news, though. Pottstown invited them “to receive text notifications” by registering. “Text yes to 87569,” it instructed.

In Pottsgrove, the show went on!

“This closure will affect all district schools, including ALL before-and after-school activities,” Pottsgrove Superintendent Dr. William Shirk wrote in an e-mail. “No Pottsgrove School building will be open for any activities or rentals. We will continue to update you through our usual communication platforms as information is shared to us.”

“I encourage you to check our website for periodic updates,” he added.

Area School Districts Closed Per State's Order

One event was spared, however. The Pottsgrove Middle School musical performance of “Frozen, Jr.,” (above) which was to have run nightly through Saturday (March 14), was staged for one show only on Thursday at 7 p.m.

In Boyertown, SATs canceled (whew!) too

Boyertown’s closure “will affect programming at all schools, including before- and after-school activities, all athletic and extracurricular practices, competitions, weekend events, and community events. All events and activities are canceled,” it acknowledged.

Students worried about pre-college testing in Boyertown can breathe a sigh of relief. “SATs scheduled for Saturday, March 14th have been postponed,” the district said. “No transportation will be provided during this time, and students are not to attend classes at (the Berks Career And Technology Center) during this time,” it added.

That doesn’t mean education takes a holiday in Boyertown. “Additional information will be sent over the next few days with details concerning meaningful learning experiences provided by our Office of Teaching and Learning. Please make sure your contact information is accurate and up to date,” Superintendent Dr. Dana Bedden urged.

In Spring-Ford, ensure you’re Skylert-ready

“No Spring-Ford school will be open for any activity. Transportation will not be provided to private schools during this time,” the district reported.

Its Curriculum and Instruction Department is already at work creating supplemental learning components, Superintendent Dr. David Goodin wrote. It intends to rely on Spring-Ford’s Skylert communications system to let students and parents know what’s available, when and how. He referred users to a tutorial on how to set up Skylert for maximal use. “We will be in regular contact going forward,” Goodin promised.

Musical photos from Tom Yenchick at Pottsgrove Middle School
Shoppers photo by The Post Publications