By The Philadelphia Tribune
PHILADELPHIA — School District of Philadelphia administrators now want to start the school year with all students learning remotely.
Students would transition to a hybrid instructional model — a mix of in-person learning and remote learning — after the first marking period, which ends on Nov. 17, as long as local, state and federal health officials say it is safe.
Administrators originally planned to start the school year with the hybrid model.
“These changes were not made lightly. All of the decisions we are making due to the COVID-19 pandemic are difficult ones with no obvious answers for how to account for the many, and often competing, needs of our students, staff and families,” Superintendent William Hite said in a news release.
“As I’ve stated many times before, this school year will be a challenge for us all, as we learn how to cope with this ‘new normal.’ And being flexible will be essential for us all.”
Administrators plan to propose this change at the Board of Education meeting on Thursday.
At the meeting, the board also is expected to vote on a proposed new calendar for the 2020-21 school year, which would set the first day for Sept. 2.
“We realize there are a lot of questions around how our students and staff will return to school,” said Board of Education President Joyce Wilkerson. “Given the unpredictable nature of COVID-19 and how it has and will continue to impact our lives, the one thing we know for certain is that we’ll have to be patient and willing to work together to ensure that the health and well-being of everyone remains our top priority.”