Philadelphia School District set to launch first-ever Back-to-School Bus Tour
The new program will tour 31 Philly neighborhoods over three weeks, and was aided by a grant from the Independence Blue Cross Foundation.
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The School District of Philadelphia announced on Aug. 5, plans to develop a new Back-to-School Bus Tour starting next week, as they prepare for a return to full, in-person learning for the upcoming school year.
The bus tour is a 31-stop program that will serve to provide critical information and services to students and families, including free childhood immunizations required by the state at four event sites in the city.
“After an unprecedented 18 months and recognizing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Back-to-School Bus Tour will give us the opportunity to meet our students and families where they are and share in the excitement of returning to full day, in-person learning, five days a week,” said Superintendent William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D., in a press release.
The tour will launch on Monday, Aug. 9 at 10 a.m. at the Jardel Recreation Center, and will visit 31 Philly neighborhoods every weekday through Friday, Aug. 27, ending with the Dendy Recreation Center at 11:30 a.m.
Each stop will provide students and families the opportunity to communicate with School District of Philadelphia Street Team Ambassadors to receive vital back-to-school information, register for pre-K through grade 12, sign up for the Parent Portal and receive a free backpack and school supplies. This also includes the four stops that will provide free immunizations for children.
“We know that the best place for students to learn and thrive is in a classroom surrounded by caring educators and their peers,” said Dr. Hite. “We look forward to getting out and in neighborhoods across the city to help our families prepare for the new school year.”
In preparation of the likely challenges the new school year may bring due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the School District of Philadelphia has announced several plans to keep students healthy and safe.
The bus tour will also feature two specially-wrapped school buses, and is being made possible due to a generous grant from the Independence Blue Cross Foundation.
“The IBC Foundation is proud to support efforts that improve the health and well-being of our communities,” said Lorina Marshall-Blake, president of the Independence Blue Cross Foundation.
“The School District of Philadelphia’s Back-to-School Bus Tour is bringing education into the streets. It is an exciting way to help inform families and immunize our children so they can achieve their full potential when returning to in-person learning later this month,” she added.
The 2021-22 academic school year will begin Tuesday, Aug. 31.
A full list of the 31 Back-to-School Bus Tour stops can be found here.