Philadelphia School Superintendent hints at in-person, online classes for fall

Philadelphia's Superintendent of Schools hinted at a back-to-school plan that includes both classroom and work-at-home instruction.

"We’re going to have do this in shifts, no questions about this, and those shifts will mean some children will be there at some times, and other children will be there at other times,” Superintendent Dr. William Hite said.

During his weekly virtual press briefing, Hite said he’s also certain masks will be worn, school buildings will be ‘aggressively and repeatedly’ cleaned, and hands will be sanitized.


He’s also confident that President Donald Trump’s threats of funding cuts will not impact him.

“I’m not going to be influenced by someone making a statement about cutting off funding that they don’t even control because we’re not just bringing everyone back,” Hite said.

Hite added that he is reliant on advice from the region’s medical community and the city’s Health Commissioner.

The Philadelphia School District and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers have surveyed both parents and staff, and PFT President Jerry Jordan says his 13-thousand members want to return to school safely.

“This virus is a killer, it will kill people and we can not have students and staff threaten their health and die as a result of going to work,” Jordan said.

MORE: CDC: No rewriting of guidelines for reopening schools

Both the District and the Union say they’ll need federal funding to cover the cost of making Philadelphia’s schools safe from COVID-19. However, Dr. Hite says he is simply worried about keeping students connected.

“Some children or young adults if you can’t find them-don’t see them on a daily basis-will just detach. I do worry about that, yes,” Hite said.

Dr. Hite will make an official annoucement about the plan for Philadelphia schools next week.


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