6abc Studios (WPVI) -- 2020 will certainly be a school year we'll never forget. COVID-19 has thrown traditional schooling out of whack, forcing school administrators, parents and students to adapt to plans that seem to change by the day.
6abc's Building it Better Together: Back to School Town Hall is bringing superintendents together, before the Sept. 2 start date, from Philadelphia, South Jersey and Delaware to discuss a range of challenges that include back-to-school plans, the economic impact on school district employees and vendors, address families' concerns and provide information about aid and resources to assist underrepresented communities with the many challenges faced with distance learning.
William Hite, Ed.D., superintendent, Philadelphia Public School District Nancy Hacker, Ed.D., superintendent, School District of Springfield Township (Montgomery County, Pennsylvania) Jeffrey Menzer, Ed.D., superintendent, Colonial School District (Delaware) Joseph Meloche Ed.D., superintendent, Cherry Hill Public Schools Scott Gordon, CEO, Mastery Charter Schools.
As districts continue to roll back in person plans, the 6abc data journalism team found that 46% of school districts will use the hybrid option, 33% will be all virtual, 11% will be in-person and 10% will differ plans by grade.
"Information about COVID rates are changing and we felt we needed to start on solid ground," said Mastery Charter Schools CEO Scott Gordon. "While we all had to shift to virtual environments in the spring, that was an opportunity to learn from that experience in order to create something very different this fall," said Dr. William Hite, Superintendent of Philadelphia Public Schools.
The town hall dives into everything from explosive popularity of cyber charter schools:
"We actually had to redeploy like 40 of our employees from their other positions to help respond to enrollment inquiries," said Brian Hayden, CEO of Pennsylvania Cyber Charter.
To providing tips to parents who may be struggling to navigate this upcoming school year.
To see the Town Hall on full-sized television, watch on our apps for Roku, Apple tv, Amazon fire and Android tv.
WATCH - The 6abc Back to School Town Hall