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Photo: AL DÍA Archives
Photo: AL DÍA Archives

Philadelphia School District changes course, will go all virtual in the Fall

After announcing a game plan for the Fall two weeks ago, the school district faced major backlash.

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In a letter he sent to community members on Tuesday, July 28, Philadelphia School Superintendent William Hite stressed the importance of listening.

“It’s important to have your trust and support as we all try to create a plan that will help our children learn in an environment we have never experienced,” he wrote.

The letter to community members came as the school district was in full backpedal mode about the future of school in the city in the Fall.

Initially, at a school board meeting on July 15, the administration laid out a plan that resumed schools on Sept. 2 and students would attend in person for two days and resume virtual schooling for the remaining three days of the week.

With coronavirus on the uptick again in the city and around the country, the plan was quickly met with backlash from community members that bubbled over in a school board meeting last week featuring six hours of calls from concerned parents.

A rally was also held over the weekend demanding school go totally virtual in the Fall.

In response, the district heeded the demands and school will now be all virtual for at least the first marking period of the school year, which ends Nov. 17, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The Inquirer also laid out the question of what will happen to the thousands of students that struggled to connect to the internet for school when virtual classes started in the Spring.

In a letter to families, the district said it was working with local internet companies to remedy the unreliable service.

Despite the backtrack, Hite has said he is not a proponent of going all virtual for the entire school year, citing the potential long term effect it could have on students.

He’s also said that as soon as the coronavirus situation improves in the city, students and teachers will go back into the classroom.

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