School District finalizes plans for daily student screen time

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia school principals are finalizing their plans over the next week, for the virtual start of classes next month. 

The plan is for each school day to start with time for teachers to talk with students about what they’re doing socially and emotionally while learning online. 

“The day in the life of a student will look similar to the brick-and-mortar schedule,” said Tracy Ocasio, the district’s deputy director of curriculum and instruction. “It will just have that balance of when I need to report to class on the computer with the time that I also will spend in learning on my own.”

Ocasio said younger students will spend a limited time in front of a Chromebook. 

“The screen time will vary,” she told parents on a Facebook Live session. “So as our kindergarteners enter school in this remote setting, we have developed a plan where they will spend approximately two hours or less in the beginning on the screen.”

Middle and high schoolers, she said, will spend more time on their computers. 

Teachers will be given “year at a glance” guides to help them find and fill any learning gaps students may have developed in the spring. Ocasio said time is also built into each digital day for students to learn together and socialize.