PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The School District of Philadelphia now says classrooms will remain open for in-person learning despite a possible SEPTA strike beginning Monday.
The current contract for the Transport Workers Union Local 234 expires Monday, November 1. The union has authorized a strike if a new contract deal is not reached.
"While SEPTA is optimistic that negotiations will continue and an agreement will be reached, we want to share our plans in case there is a service interruption," said Superintendent William R. Hite. "Attending school in-person provides our young people with the familiar routines, sense of community and support services that they need for their social, emotional and academic well-being. Now more than ever, our schools are safe havens for thousands of students who are experiencing the very real impacts of increasing gun violence and other traumas impacting our communities."
All School District of Philadelphia offices, including those at 440 N. Broad Street, will operate on their normal schedules, officials said.
All staff are expected to report to work according to their normal schedule, but staffing at each school will be monitored daily. The District said it will deploy educator and Central Office staffing supports to specific schools that may need additional coverage.
Students who are currently assigned to a bus or van route will continue to receive transportation services. The District is unable to provide transportation to students who are not currently assigned to a route.
Officials said students who cannot attend school in person during a potential SEPTA strike due to transportation challenges are expected to log in to Google Classroom for their assignments and engage in asynchronous (independent) learning daily. Hybrid learning will not be offered.
Grab-and-go meal kits will also be available at 12 school distribution sites across the city for families of enrolled students who cannot attend school in person if a SEPTA strike occurs.
Officials said nearly 60,000 students rely on SEPTA to get to and from school.
The district has set up a website - Philasd.org/septastrike/ - to keep families updated.