Philadelphia School District proposed a revised plan where the students will learn remotely for the first marking period which ends on November 17. After this date, students would take the hybrid learning model with a mix of in-person and digital learning.
The hybrid model will go into effect after the first marking period as long as guidance from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and other indicators support it is still safe to do so, according to officials.
After fierce pushback from teachers and parents and continued concern about rising COVID-19 cases in the city, school officials believe it’s safer to offer all online classes through the first quarter.
The District is proposing changes to its 2020-2021 reopening plan. The new plan proposes to start the school year with all students learning remotely for the first marking period. For more info, visit https://t.co/1Ov6VYENiN
— Philadelphia Schools (@PHLschools) July 28, 2020
“We continue to prioritize health and safety, a mix of in-person and digital learning for all students, and using feedback from our school communities to inform decision making,” said Superintendent William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D. “I’ve actively listened to all of the feedback we have received, and believe we must take the time needed to gain the trust and support of our school community as we pursue a plan that will help our children learn in an environment none of us has ever experienced before.”
They also underlined the difficulty of taking the decision.“These changes were not made lightly. All of the decisions we are making due to the COVID-19 pandemic are difficult ones with no obvious answers for how to account for the many, and often competing, needs of our students, staff and families.”
The Board of Education will consider the proposed changes at its meeting this Thursday, July 30 at 4 p.m.
Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan says it was the right call.
“Teachers have been very anxious and the feedback I’ve gotten over the past couple hours so far is that they are happy that they are going to be teaching remotely. It gives the district a lot more time,” he said.
The news comes as the district faced opposition for its hybrid learning plan recently introduced.
Last week, the Philadelphia School Board heard from more than 100 people regarding concerns with the district’s plans to reopen in a few weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic. The meeting lasted more than eight hours. Among those who had their voices heard were teachers, parents, and even school principals.