Date announced for return of some Pre-K to 2nd grade Philadelphia students

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A new plan has been announced for the return of Pre-K through 2nd grade Philadelphia students following mediation between the School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.

However, unlike previous return plans, not all of those students will return at once.

During a news conference on Monday, Mayor Jim Kenney announced that schools will be reviewed in batches for their readiness for the safe return of students and staff.

Kenney said 53 schools have been approved, and students whose families have selected the hybrid learning plan will return on Monday, March 8.

Teachers and staff in those schools will return on Wednesday, March 3.

The city said the goal is to have the return dates for all Pre-K to 2nd-grade hybrid learning students announced by March 22.

Each Monday, an announcement will be made regarding which schools will open the following week, and teachers will return to those buildings on Wednesday. Students will return the following Monday.

Kenney made that announcement alongside the school district superintendent and teachers' union leaders.

The list of 53 schools that will open next week can be seen at the bottom of this article.

The mayor also said air purifiers will replace the window fans that have been installed in classrooms that did not have adequate ventilation.

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The School District of Philadelphia has announced that the return of in-person learning will be delayed one week.

Other safety measures put in place by the school district include:

-Mandatory mask wearing or other facial covering, which will be provided to students and staff;

-Rapid testing for students and staff;

-New classroom setups and signage for social distancing;

-Touchless hand sanitizer stations;

-Plexiglass partitions;

-Maximum occupancy signs;

-Enhanced cleaning protocols and a COVID-19 testing program in place for students and staff.

Families who selected all-remote learning will remain remote, said Superintendent Dr. William Hite.

Parents of remote learning students will be able to change their selection to hybrid once all current hybrid students are back in the classroom.

"Today, we are able to confidently say that 53 schools are safe for reoccupancy based on a detailed analysis made possible by the mediation process," said teachers' union president Jerry Jordan.

The city said the school district and the union will continue working together to approve all remaining schools and eventually bring back students in grades 3 through 12.

The timeline for bringing back students in grades 3 through 12 will be communicated as additional schools are approved, the city said.

SEE ALSO: Vaccines now available for education workers in Philadelphia
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The City of Philadelphia's effort to vaccinate all teachers and other school employees has completed its second day.

Pre-K through 2nd grade students had been set to return to the classroom on March 1, but that was put on hold due to discussions over COVID-19 safety concerns.

The district had said $65 million invested has been invested in measures to keep virus transmission low.

Hundreds of teachers have been getting vaccinated for the virus at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

The district says getting a vaccine is not mandatory for employees to come back to work, however, it is highly recommended.

53 schools allowed to reopen for students March 8

-Chester Arthur School;

-John Barry Elementary;

-Mary McLeod Bethune School;

-F. Amedee Bregy School;

-Henry A. Brown School;

-Joseph W. Catharine;

-Cayuga Elementary;

-Cook-Wissahickon School;

-Anna B. Day School;

-Julia De Burgos;

-Stephen Decatur School;

-Thomas A. Edison High;

-Franklin S. Edmonds School;

-Ethan Allen School;

-Dr. Ethel Allen School;

-Thomas K. Finletter School;

-Fitler Academics Plus;

-Edward Gideon School;

-Joseph Greenberg School;

-Albert M. Greenfield School;

-Andrew Hamilton School;

-John F. Hartranft School;

-Edward Heston School;

-Henry H. Houston;

-Julia Ward Howe School;

-John Marshall School;

-Juniata Park Academy;

-Kenderton Elementary;

-Henry W. Lawton School;

-Abraham Lincoln High;

-Alain Locke School;

-William H. Loesche School;

-William C. Longstreth School;

-Mayfair School;

-John F. McCloskey School;

-William McKinley Elementary;

-John Moffet School;

-J. Hampton Moore School;

-Hon. Luis Munoz-Marin Elementary;

-Olney Elementary;

-Overbrook Educational Center;

-Overbrook Elementary;

-Penn Alexander School;

-Penrose School;

-Rhodes Elementary;

-Shawmont School;

-Isaac A. Sheppard School;

-Southwark School;

-Edward Steel School;

-Thurgood Marshall School;

-John H. Webster School;

-Frances E. Willard School;

-Richard R. Wright School
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