PHILADELPHIA - The School District of Philadelphia is proposing a revised plan where all students will learn remotely for the first marking period which ends on Nov. 17.
Under the proposed plan, students would then transition to 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.
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“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.”
The Board of Education will consider the proposed changes at its meeting this Thursday, July 30 at 4 p.m.
The revised plan can be found below. Mobile users can view the proposed plan by clicking here.
The school district says they were lax on attendance and grades during the initial closure of in-person teaching last spring due to the unexpected nature of COVID-19. They say this fall they will be more strict.
“What we’re asking teachers to do will be more structured. What we’re asking students to do with respect to the times in those days will be a lot more structured. We will be taking attendance daily," Dr. Hite said during a Zoom call Wednesday.
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.
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