Since Air Quality Has Not Significantly Improved, Schools will Shift to Remote Learning Tomorrow
Dear School District of Philadelphia Families,
Since this morning AirNow, a partnership of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Park Service, NASA, Centers for Disease Control, and tribal, state, and local air quality agencies, has downgraded the City of Philadelphia’s air quality designation to “Code Red.” There is no indication that air quality will significantly improve for the remainder of this week.
Therefore, out of an abundance of caution for the health of students, the School District of Philadelphia will operate remotely tomorrow, Friday, June 9, 2023. All schools will shift to remote learning – students should prepare to log in for remote learning. All employees – including school-based and Central Office staff – should report to your normal work location. All school-related outdoor activities that were scheduled for tomorrow, such as field trips or field days will be postponed and rescheduled, or canceled. All air-quality related absences recorded today and tomorrow will be excused.
There are a number of elementary move-up ceremonies and middle and high school graduation ceremonies that are scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, June 9. We recognize that students, families, and staff have prepared for and are looking forward to these celebrations. Therefore, indoor ceremonies will proceed as scheduled for all students and families who wish to attend. Outdoor ceremonies will take place, but at alternative locations and, in some cases, at adjusted times. If your school was scheduled for an outdoor graduation on June 9, you can expect to hear from your child’s principal today regarding alternative plans.
The health and well-being of students and staff is a top priority. District nurses have been available to respond to any air quality related health concerns. And as of today, all schools have had a nurse assess the impact of the air quality on student health. In addition, I urge everyone to follow the Code Red guidance from city, state and national health officials: individuals should avoid being outdoors as much as possible. Consider postponing or canceling outdoor events. And if you absolutely must be outside, wear a mask and avoid strenuous activities.
Thank you for your understanding as we navigate this unprecedented inclement weather event. We will continue to follow guidance from city, state and federal officials, and will provide updates this weekend if the situation does not improve.
Dr. Tony Watlington
School District of Philadelphia