School District of Philadelphia ready to welcome back students amid COVID, monkeypox concerns

A lot of families have questions about the latest COVID policies - and some also have concerns about monkeypox.

Katherine Scott Image
Friday, August 5, 2022 4:30PM
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Dr. Watlington noted the district hired a medical officer last year and said COVID policies and the issue of monkeypox are under discussion.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The sports complex at Northeast High School was alive with backpack distributions, treats, and academic and health resources on Friday with a back-to-school bus tour through the School District of Philadelphia.

"I think it helps families a great deal," said parent Lewis Daniels of Northeast Philadelphia.

On Monday, the district launched its Back-to-School celebration and ten-stop bus tour. This was the tour's first mega-event.

"It's real helpful, especially if you're a low-income family like me and having two little ones, it helps a lot," said parent Melanie Rosario of Northeast Philadelphia.

"We're excited for this tour, and we're excited to welcome all the nearly 198,000 students back to school in the School District of Philadelphia," said Superintendent Dr. Tony Watlington.

A lot of families have questions about the latest COVID policies entering the school year- and some also have concerns about monkeypox.

"I'm kind of nervous for the school year just because the rumors of monkeypox going around," Rosario added.

Dr. Watlington noted the district hired a medical officer last year and said COVID policies and the issue of monkeypox are under discussion.

"We're reviewing the data, trying to follow the science, and make sure we are well informed about these issues," Watlington said.

"I don't know whether we'll be masked again, but we'll see what the data shows," added Mayor Jim Kenney.

The bus tour runs through August 20.

The first day of school is August 29.