Philadelphia School District tries to help students navigate stresses caused by pandemic

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  It'll be a new experience for Philadelphia school students Monday when they begin classes online. And administrators know that students will need some emotional support through the process. 

Isolating at home and learning through a Chromebook is a major change to the daily routines of schoolchildren, said Superintendent William Hite. 

"We know that this time has been very traumatic for young people. And not only do they not have access to the other students in their classroom, they don't even have access, in many cases, to their friends,” Hite said.

HIte said that’s why it's important that teachers and counselors reach out to their students to see how they're doing.

"Naturally we want to get back to some normalcy around teaching and learning, but before we can even do that, we have to take care of the social and emotional things that many of our young people are experiencing,” he said. 

He said teachers have set aside online "office hours" during the day to answer questions and to let them know adults care about how they're doing. Hite said the district has also posted information on its website on how parents can talk with their children about the pandemic.