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27 Jan 2021

School District of Philadelphia to begin phased return to in-person learning

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January 27, 2021 Category: Coronavirus, Local Posted by:

After nearly a year of 100% digital learning due to COVID-19, our School District will begin slowly and safely phasing in groups of students who choose to transition to a mix of in-person and digital learning (hybrid learning). Students opting into hybrid learning would attend school in person two days per week — on their assigned days only — and engage in digital learning the remaining three days.

PreK-2 students whose families selected hybrid learning during the initial selection process in the fall will phase in first, beginning on Monday, February 22nd . Staff supporting our PreK-2 students will return to school buildings on Monday, February 8th to prepare to welcome students on the 22nd. PreK-2 families who chose to remain 100% digital during the selection process will have the chance to opt in at a later date. School leaders will be reaching out to their PreK-2 families with specific details.

As we begin transitioning to in-person learning, we do so with the confidence of knowing that we’ve been preparing since Spring 2020. Every school has extensive safety measures in place to protect the health and well-being of our students and staff, including:

  • pre-screening requirements for students and staff,
  • personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff and students to support mandatory mask wearing and facial covering, – new classroom and bathroom setups to promote social distancing,
  • plexiglass partitions in offices,
  • touchless hand sanitizer stations and touchless hydration stations in hallways,
  • maximum occupancy signs outside each room & safety signage throughout, and
  • enhanced cleaning protocols using EPA-approved cleaning products.

Ventilation assessments have also been completed for all schools, and needed repairs and/or enhancements are well underway. Any room that we cannot ensure will meet ventilation standards for any reason will not be used. I encourage you to visit to find helpful videos, safety protocols, Q&As, other resources and links to school ventilation reports.

In-person learning can phase in safely if we all do our part, remain patient and flexible, and plan ahead. We will continue to share updates as we move closer to slowly and safely phasing our students back to in-person learning.


William R. Hite Jr., Ed.D.
The School District of Philadelphia

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