Students, parents, teachers weigh in on how Philly schools should reopen in the fall

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) The School District of Philadelphia is using feedback from web surveys and town halls to draw up a fall reopening plan after the COVID-19 shutdown. 

The district is considering a full in-person return to schools this fall, continuing an all-virtual education, or a combination of both. 

The options include having students going to school in shifts or possibly on alternating days. 

To guide the decision, students, parents and staff are being asked to take an online survey. 

Superintendent William Hite says a key issue will be maintaining social distancing.

"We have some schools where we can spread everybody out and maintain the distancing requirements. We have other schools that even if we cut the populations in half we could not do that,” Hite said. 

Whitney DiTaranto, an after-school program manager, told the school board at a hearing Thursday that she opposed any return to physical classrooms.

"This conversation around safety precautions and social distancing regarding children is absurd. Whether there are 200, 20 or two children in one classroom, they will find a way to come into contact with one another,” DiTaranto said. 

The district is planning three online surveys and several town halls to gather input on reopening.