School District of Philadelphia superintendent offers preview of reopening plan

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- We are starting to get the first clues as to what the new school year may look like in Philadelphia amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"I'm confident that we will follow the recommendations of health officials and scientists when it comes to getting kids back to school in the safest way possible," said Dr. William Hite, Superintendent of Philadelphia Public Schools.

Dr. Hite said on Thursday we could see a hybrid plan, where kids could receive both in-person and remote learning.

For parents who don't feel comfortable sending their children back for whatever reason, the school district is also looking into designating digital-only teachers.

He also say they are looking to prioritize returning vulnerable students to the classroom first.
One of the biggest questions revolves around transportation.

"On our own buses that we use to transport children, there are social distancing guidelines in place and we will be transporting between 11 and 15 children instead of 30 to 44 children," Dr. Hite explained.

To implement that social distancing, the school district says schedules will likely need to be tiered, and a full plan for that is expected next week.

Seventh to twelfth graders will continue to take SEPTA. The school district is working with the transit agency on safety guidelines.

The city's full re-opening plan will be announced next Wednesday, July 15.
Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.