A third wave of Philadelphia public school students return to classrooms Monday. Thirty-five more schools are welcoming students back as part of the district’s hybrid learning plan.
According to CBS Philly, over 9,000 students in pre-kindergarten through second grade will head back to hybrid, in-person learning two days a week.
As the return of public school students occurs, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has proposed changes in safety considerations, particularly on social distancing. On Friday, they released three new studies that say three feet of social distancing in classrooms might be appropriate.
“If there is going to be a change we will meet with the administration to discuss these changes,” Jerry Jordan, President of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, said.
The previous guidance was for students to be six feet apart in classrooms. The new directions set for public school student is being reviewed by Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley. “I would say in general, I have a very high opinion of the CDC and whatever guidance they’re saying I will go with.”
Options for public school students
Meanwhile, the school district has decided to review the findings. Mayfair elementary school was forced to stop its activities due to the emergence of a surge of COVID-19 cases. For the time being its students will not return to classes until April 1.
However, Dr. Farley says to not be alarmed over this situation. “There will be cases in schools, clusters in schools, spreads in schools. We have procedures for recommending that schools quarantine a group of students or a classroom or in some cases an entire school.”
The school district announced they will open 22 more schools for in-person learning on April 5.