School District of Philadelphia weighs factors needed to resume in-person education

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia school administrators will be monitoring several COVID-19 indicators, as they decide when to transition from online education to in-person instruction.

The School District of Philadelphia’s current plan calls for all-virtual classes for the first marking period, until November 17. After that, the district plans a transition to a hybrid system that includes in-person teaching two days a week. Superintendent William Hite says the district will decide its course of action in consultation with the city health department.

Hite has said classrooms with inadequate ventilation won’t be used should students return. The district’s acting facilities chief Alicia Prince reported an airflow evaluation of school buildings is underway.  

“We are still doing the analysis but they are coming back, and right now we are not showing any rooms where we would have to fully close them off at this point,” Prince said.

Hite pointed out that before the district pivoted to an all-virtual opening, the city health commissioner believed it was safe to have socially-distanced students in classrooms two days a week.