Senate Bill 664 (Act 66) amending the School Code to permit an additional year of education in response to lost educational opportunities was signed into law on June 30th and takes effect immediately.  The Act’s requirements only apply to 2021-22 school year.

PDE is required to create a Notice Form for parents and students whose rights have transferred at age of 18 to use to inform their school districts of their decision for extended enrollment or grade level retainment. PDE has indicated the form will be available on Tuesday, July 6, 2021. While school districts and other educational entities subject to the Act are not required to communicate the options to its community, it is our advice to share the information and PDE link with your school community.

Parents/guardians and students over the age of 18 have until July 15th to make an election and submit the form to their respective schools.

The Act permits students to repeat a grade level for the 2021-22 school year. Additionally, the Act permits students with disabilities who were enrolled during the 2020-21 school year and have turned 21 during the 2020-21 school year or during the summer prior to the start of the 2021-22 school year, to attend a school entity for an additional year and receive services as outlined in their most recent IEP. This will also include extended school year service for the summer of 2022, if required by a student’s IEP.  This grant of an additional year does not apply to all special education students as some advocacy groups are suggesting.  The Act’s intent is to address lost educational opportunities because of COVID for special education students who would have otherwise aged out of education.

The decision to receive extended enrollment or to repeat a grade level also permits the student to participate in extracurricular and athletics subject to PIAA eligibility.

PDE will publish the form on its website by July 6th. Below is a link to PDE’s FAQS.

https://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/emergencyplanning/COVID-19/SchoolReopeningGuidance/ReopeningPreKto12/Pages/Student-Grade-Level-Retainment-(Act-66).aspx

 

 

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