School closings due to parade

PHILADELPHIA - October 30, 2008 "The Phillies have won the World Series, it hasn't been done in 28 years, so it's something teachers, students, parents everyone should go down and experience," Nicole Corkery of James Alcorn Elementary said.

However, on Thursday, the School District of Philadelphia announced only that a ten schools and a child care center which are closest to the parade route will be closed. After discussing the logistics of the parade with the city, school officials decided they could not guarantee the safety of students in the ten schools. One official made it clear to Action News that safety was the only reason for the decision.

"We're in the business of education and that's what we do, day in and day out, and tomorrow is a regular school day like all the school districts around the region, we're going to have a regular school day, and we anticipate our students being in and our teachers also," Fernando Gallard of the school district said.

But some teachers say leaving schools open is a threat to their safety too because many fellow teachers plan on missing school Friday to see the parade.

"I think there's a much bigger safety issue in the school when half or more of the staff is going to call out and I get the students from those other classes and they're all put in an auditorium and it's a very dangerous situation if there's not enough staff there," Jennifer Gemberling of James Alcorn Elementary said.

"We have over 400 substitute teachers in our database that we have access to so we feel we will have enough teachers to supply," Gallard said.

The district also says the schools closed Friday will have to make up the day at the end of the year. The teachers we talked to doubt that will happen and one parent told us although she plans on sending her child to school, she has a feeling other parents have different plans.

"Most of the parents I saw leaving school today, I said I'll see you tomorrow and they said no you won't because they're going to bring their children to the parade, School is going to be empty tomorrow," Karen Clopper of Northeast Philadelphia said on Thursday.

The district says if students skip school to go the parade it is considered an unexcused absence. Officials added they have selectively closed schools before due to safety circumstances.

As per a memo from the Philadelphia School District:

All schools will be open tomorrow except those schools located on or near the celebration parade route.

School Operations has determined the list of schools that are to be closed.

They are:

South Phila High


Barrett Middle

A.S. Jenks

E.M. Stanton




Academy at Palumbo


World Communications Charter Schoool

School Operations and Transportation are working with the City and SEPTA to insure that public transportation and our own bus service are operating as close to schedule as humanly possible under the circumstances.

For personnel who work in the schools that are to be closed tomorrow, personnel arrangements are to be as follows:

School Police - will not work
Local 634 - will not work
PFT - will not work
CASA - will not work

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