In a further step in the complex effort to reach levels of normalcy in the educational process, 3rd through 5th-grade students got back to the classroom Monday for a mix of in-person and virtual learning.
As it was published by 6abc, it has been difficult to get to this point. Leaders of the district and teachers’ union have debated and delayed the reopening of schools until reaching an agreement on safety guidelines. These have included making the vaccine available to all teachers and staff.
Pre-K through 2nd grade students have already been in the classroom for more than a month. They returned in two waves last month to nearly one hundred schools that have been outfitted with air purifiers and plexiglass partitions.
The district is considering the plans and activities to be set up in the near future. “We do want to see all of our children return to some form of in-person learning for the next school year, but we also have a number of activities and programs in place that will be coming up to help our students throughout the course for the summer,” Philadelphia School District spokesperson Monica Lewis.
All 6th through 9th graders who have not yet returned can do so in just a couple of weeks starting on May 10. They will be part of the last wave of students to return to the classroom this school in 2021.
Everyone else will remain all-virtual. The goal is getting them back into the classroom for the start of school in the fall.
The return of 3rd through 5th grade students to classrooms is occurring as the Lower Merion School District is investigating a COVID-19 outbreak in a classroom at Penn Valley Elementary School. Eight 2nd grade students and two family members who are fully vaccinated have tested positive.
The school is now trying to determine if the outbreak is linked to a ventilation problem in the classroom.