Philly schools are still seeking input on improving digital learning

(Philadelphia Tribune photo)

By Chanel Hill

PHILADELPHIA — Approximately 80,000 families have replied to a School District of Philadelphia survey seeking input about digital learning and what to do for the fall.

“We hope that number will continue to rise,” Superintendent William Hite said during his weekly news conference on Thursday.

The school district also plans to hold virtual town hall meetings in July; specific dates and times will be released at a later date.

School district administrators will use the feedback provided from the survey and virtual town halls and health guidelines from local, state and federal officials to make a decision about how to resume school in the fall. Hite said administrators will release their final plan in July “in order to allow our staff and families to prepare for successful and safe schools.”

“We’re considering the many complexities of how daily school operations, academics, school safety protocols, student transportation, athletics, and meal services will work,” Hite said.

District officials are still planning for three scenarios in case officials order schools to remain closed or there is a second coronavirus outbreak.

Those scenarios include students and staff continuing to work remotely, or implementing a hybrid approach in which some students and staff return to the buildings and the other students and staff continue to work remotely.

The online survey is available at www.philasd.org/2020schoolstart and will remain open through June 22.

Schools closed for Juneteenth

All School District of Philadelphia offices, schools and summer school programs will be closed on Friday for Juneteenth.

“We’re proud as a district to honor this day,” Hite said. “We’ve encouraged our staff to take time to observe the special day, which is particularly important, as many people throughout the nation are engaged with conversations about race and race relations.”

Earlier in the week, Mayor Jim Kenney announced that he planned to issue an executive order making Juneteenth an official city holiday.

Chanel Hill is a reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune, where this story first appeared.