Act 66 of 2021 Grade Level Retainment Guidance

  • Act 66, which was signed by Governor Wolf last week, allows parents/guardians the option to have their child repeat the 2020-2021 grade level in the upcoming school year to address any lost educational opportunities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
     
    If a parent/guardian or student chooses this option, the student will remain in the same grade level and with the same course roster as they had in the 2020-2021 school year.  Parents/guardians will not be able to opt out of this choice once the school year starts.  Electing to repeat the 2020-2021 school year will not guarantee placement with the same teachers as in the 2020-2021 school year.
     
    Act 66 also allows parents/guardians of a student eligible for special education who was enrolled in school and turned 21 during the 2020-2021 school year, or between the end of the 2020-2021 school year and the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, the option to have their child remain in school for the upcoming school year to address any lost educational opportunities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
     
    The options afforded under Act 66 require families to make significant educational decisions in a very short period of time. The District is ready to discuss with any family who may be considering these options what an additional or repeat school year would look like for their child and the potential impact it may have.
     
    Although Act 66 provides parents/guardians an option to have their child repeat a grade level, parents/guardians should be aware that the district generally advises against grade retention, as the research on the potentially detrimental effects of retention is significant. However, there may be limited circumstances in which retention, particular under the Act 66 option, remains desirable for parents/guardians of select students.
     
    If you have any questions or wish to discuss this matter with the District, please contact Regina McClure or (610) 497-6300 x1320, or rmcclure@pdsd.org. She will direct your questions to the appropriate person.
     
    ACT 66 information can be located here. 
     
    If parents/guardians, or a student between 18 and 20 years of age, wish to take advantage of one of these options, they must do so no later than July 15, 2021 by completing the following state approved forms (ACCESS THE FORM HERE). The form should be sent to the attention of Ms. Regina McClure, PDSD Director of Special Education, rmcclure@pdsd.org.