PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The deadline looms in Pennsylvania for parents to decide if they want their children to repeat the same grade next year. The pandemic abruptly forced students around the commonwealth into virtual learning. Many never saw the inside of a classroom. Now, the state has set forth parameters for students to repeat the unprecedented year.
“Last Wednesday, Gov. (Tom) Wolf signed Act 66 of 2021 into law on Tuesday of this week,” Philadelphia School District Superintendent Dr. William Hite said.READ MORE: Realmuto, Segura Help Phillies Rally To 7-5 Win Vs. Nats
School districts are scrambling to inform parents about the opportunity for a do-over year for any students who may need it.
“This legislation will allow families to request that their child repeat their 2021 school year in an effort to make up any lost educational opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hite said, “even if the student met the requirements to be promoted to the next grade.”
Parents have to act quickly. The retainment notification forms must be received within a week.READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Casey Johnston's Parents Speaks Out After Missing Daughter's Body Found
“This form must be received by next Thursday, July 15, which is the deadline set by the Pennsylvania General Assembly,” Hite said.
School district officials are advising parents to get with teachers to see if their child needs to repeat a grade, but the district doesn’t want there to be a huge number of kids repeating grades.
“No one wants to see a large number of students retained,” Hite said. “We understand that last year was a very difficult and different year, but there can also be some negative implications and consequences to retaining large numbers of children.”MORE NEWS: New Jersey Requiring All Employees In 'Certain' Healthcare Facilities Get COVID-19 Vaccine Or Regular Testing By Early September
Parents with children 21 years old with disabilities may opt to have their child stay in school an extra year through Act 66.