On June 30, Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 66 of 2021 (Act 66) into law. Act 66 permits students that were enrolled during the 2020-21 school year to repeat their grade level in an effort to make up for any lost educational opportunities due to the COVID-19 pandemic, even if the student met the requirements to be promoted to the next grade level. Based on this Act, parents/guardians and students, at or over the age of 18, have until July 15, 2021, to elect to have their child or themselves repeat a grade level for the 2021-22 school year.
Additionally, Act 66 permits a student with a disability who was enrolled during the 2020-21 school year and turned age 21 during the 2020-21 school year, or between the end of the 2020-21 and the beginning of the 2021-22 school year, to attend a school entity during the 2021-22 school year and receive services as outlined on their most recent Individualized Education Program (IEP) with all the protections under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
As required by Act 66, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) developed and posted online a standard form (link) for parents/guardians to notify school entities of their child’s plan to remain in the school and/or current grade level for the 2021-22 school year. School entities are encouraged to post the Act 66 Student Grade Level Retainment Notification Form on the school entity’s publicly accessible website along with instructions and an email address for parents/guardians to submit the form to the school.