Philadelphia School District teachers return to the classroom a week before students arrive

It was a blue carpet kick-off this year with the goal of being recognized as a Blue Ribbon School.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2022
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Faculty and staff at Ziegler Elementary in Northeast Philadelphia held a celebration to mark their return.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Teachers across the School District of Philadelphia are returning to the classroom Tuesday as they prepare for the upcoming school year.

Faculty and staff at Ziegler Elementary in Northeast Philadelphia held a celebration to mark their return.

It was a blue carpet kick-off this year with the goal of being recognized as a Blue Ribbon School.

"You have to pretty much outperform other schools in the state on academic goals and benchmarks," said Ziegler principal Nicole Patterson.

Patterson said the staff is ready to get everyone involved.

"This year we're doing community building and we're finding joy in our communities," Patterson said.

A big part of that effort includes veteran teachers like Adell Shaw.

"I'm entering my 20th year of teaching and what I think I like the most is that every year you get a new batch of students," Shaw said.

This year all students and staff in the school district will have to mask up for the first 10 days of school.

"Just to make sure that COVID is not spreading around, so I think that's a good decision to start the year off wearing masks," Shaw said.

When it comes to teacher vacancies in the classroom, officials said the Philadelphia School District is nearly 98% staffed and that Ziegler is at 100%.

Teachers like Shaw said they're ready to pick up where they left off.

"Just because they leave at the end of June doesn't mean that you leave those students. I still have students that I'm close to that I had when they were 6-years-old and now they're 25," Shaw said.

Teachers will have the rest of the week to get ready.

Students in the School District of Philadelphia will be returning to the classroom on Monday.