More Philly public schools to reopen next week

Students return to school in Philadelphia
School District of Philadelphia leaders said that they plan to bring back all students for in-person classes in August.
REUTERS/Hannah Beier

The School District of Philadelphia will reopen 35 more schools next week, which will raise the number of public schools offering in-person education in the city to 133.

In addition, parents who selected virtual learning in November now have the chance to opt in to the hybrid system, officials announced.

For the schools slated to reopen next week, teachers and other staff serving pre-K to 2nd grade students will be reporting to their buildings on Wednesday and the first children will return on Monday.

Under the district’s reopening plan, students in those grades come in for face-to-face classes for two days a week to make sure rooms do not get too crowded. The rest of the week is dedicated to online instruction.

So far, the hybrid model has only been in place for students whose families signed up in November. District leaders abandoned an in-person return that month as COVID-19 cases spiked.

Beginning Tuesday, parents who chose digital learning will receive links from their schools to enroll in the hybrid program. The application window will be open for a week, ending next Tuesday.

Families who do decide to enroll their children will be contacted next week, and those students will begin returning to buildings April 5, according to the district.

Parents can revert to 100% virtual instruction at any time, officials said, and those currently taking online classes can continue doing so.

Anyone with questions about the in-person reopening can call the district’s hotline at 215-400-5300.

An initial group of 53 school buildings opened their doors March 8, and an additional 45 reopened Monday. Just over 150 schools serve pre-K to 2nd grade.

School administrators said the goal is to have an in-person return date announced for every school by next Monday.

Every building is being reviewed individually by the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers to ensure it meets certain COVID-19 safety criteria, particularly regarding ventilation. The process was established following mediation between the union and district.

No timeline has been released for resumption of face-to-face classes for students in grades 3 through 12. District officials have said pupils with special needs and high schoolers in career and technical education programs will be prioritized.

The following schools will reopen Monday, March 22:

Bache-Martin School
Clara Barton School
James G. Blaine School
Bridesburg School
George W. Childs School
James Dobson School
Paul L. Dunbar School
Edwin Forrest School
Anne Frank Elementary School
Stephen Girard School
Samuel Gompers School
Avery D. Harrington School
Jenks Academy for Arts and Sciences
Francis S. Key School
Eliza B. Kirkbride School
Anna L. Lingelbach School
James R. Lowell School
James R. Ludlow School
Alexander K. McClure School
William M. Meredith School
Robert Morris School
Motivation High School
George W. Nebinger School
Joseph Pennell School
Richmond School
Roosevelt Elementary School
William Rowen School
Solomon Solis-Cohen School
South Philadelphia High School
Spring Garden School
James J. Sullivan School
John H. Taggart School
George Washington High School
S. Weir Mitchell Elementary School
William H. Ziegler School