Will Philly schools return to in-person education this year?

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — It’s anybody’s guess whether Philadelphia school students will be able to have any face-to-face instruction in school buildings this year. The superintendent says even a little is better than none.

Because of the skyrocketing spread of the coronavirus in the region, Philadelphia schools are remaining all-virtual until further notice.

Superintendent William Hite last month said it was possible that because of the pandemic some students will not physically go to school for the entire year. The district has indefinitely postponed its plan to bring pre-K through second graders back to school buildings on November 30.

Speaking with reporters Thursday, Hite said the safety of students and staff is the priority, but his goal remains to have students in school buildings.

“Whenever we can bring children back in person that's our intention to do so,” Hite said. “Anytime we can get young people back, we should be thinking about how do we do that. And how do we do that as quickly and safely as possible.”

Hite was asked whether bringing back students for only a month or two at the end of the school year would be academically beneficial, or disruptive. “I think any in person instruction is better than none at all,” he replied.

But while COVID-19 case counts continue to rise, Hite couldn’t say when — or whether — face-to-face instruction would happen this year.​

Featured Image Photo Credit: Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio