School Year 2020-2021: Advancing Education Safely

Highlights: In-Person Learning

Moving Forward Together: A Message From Dr. Hite
April 12, 2021

Dear School District of Philadelphia Parents and Families,

We know that this year has been filled with many uncertainties for our families so we want to share some important information about what you can expect for the remainder of the school year.

Hybrid Learning Plan Phase III Rollout

For Phase III, students in the following groups will be able to opt into the hybrid learning model, beginning the week of Monday, May 10, 2021:

  • all students in grades 6-9 who have not yet returned, and
  • students with complex needs in grades 10-12.

The Phase III Learning Model Selection Survey will open on Tuesday, April 20th, and close on Tuesday, April 27th. Phase III families will receive an email with instruction on how to sign up. If you choose hybrid learning, your child will be assigned a schedule to attend school in person two days per week and engage in digital learning three days each week, beginning the week of Monday, May 10, 2021. To prepare to welcome students, all staff will return to school buildings on Monday, April 26th. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers will complete its readiness reviews for all remaining school buildings before staff return. For more details, please visit

Phase III will be the final rollout of our Hybrid Learning Plan for this school year. Students not covered through Phase III will remain with 100% digital learning for the rest of the school year.

High School Graduations and Other End-of-Year (EOY) Celebrations

We know that being distanced from friends and teachers at school has been especially difficult for our seniors who envisioned a very different final year of high school. While nothing can make up for your experience this past year, we are happy to announce that:

  • you will be able to safely celebrate with your friends and family (as safe capacity limits allow) at an in-person, outdoor high school graduation ceremony, as long as COVID-19 conditions allow for safe school gatherings, and
  • as a special gift, the School District will be providing free caps and gowns for graduating seniors in the Class of 2021. If you have already paid for your child’s cap and gown, you will be reimbursed. Schools will share more details once the process is finalized.

Principals at schools with transitional grades will have the flexibility to safely hold Move-Up Day ceremonies. Other EOY events may be coordinated by each school’s leadership team.

*Note: Some High Schools are opening for PreK programs ONLY. These include: Mastery Charter School at Cleveland, Mastery Charter School at Wistar, Edison HS, South Philadelphia HS, Motivation High School, Lincoln High School and George Washington High School.

School Name 
Academy at Palumbo HS
Adaire, Alexander ES
Alexander, Sadie-Penn ES
Allen, Dr. Ethel ES
Allen, Ethan ES
AMY at James Martin
AMY Northwest MS
Anderson, Add B. ES
Arthur, Chester A. ES
Arts Academy at Rush HS
Bache-Martin ES
Baldi MS
Barry, John ES
Bartram, John HS
Bethune, Mary McLeod ES
Blaine, James G. ES
Blankenburg, Rudolph ES
Bodine, William W. HS
Bregy, Amedee F. ES
Bridesburg ES
Brown, Henry A. ES
Brown, Joseph H. ES
Bryant, William C. ES
Building 21 HS
Camelot Acad. Hunt. Park
Camelot Academy
Cassidy, Lewis C. ES
Central HS
Childs, George W. ES
Clemente, Roberto MS
Comegys, Benjamin B. ES
Constitution HS
Conwell, Russell H. MS
Cook-Wissahickon ES
Cooke, Jay ES
Crossroads Accel. Acad.
Crossroads@Hunting Park
Day, Anna B. ES
De Burgos, Julia ES
Decatur, Stephen ES
Dick, William ES
Disston, Hamilton ES
Dobbins, Murrell HS
Dobson, James ES
Duckrey, Tanner ES
Dunbar, Paul L. ES
Edison, Thomas A. HS
Edmonds, Franklin S. ES
Engineering & Science HS
Excel Middle Years Acad
Farrell, Louis H. ES
Fell, D. Newlin ES
Fels, Samuel S. HS
Feltonville Arts & Sc MS
Finletter, Thomas K. ES
Fitler Academics Plus
Fitzpatrick, A. L. ES
Forrest, Edwin ES
Frankford HS
Franklin, Benjamin ES
Franklin, Benjamin HS
Furness, Horace HS
Gideon, Edward ES
Girls, Phila. HS for
Gompers, Samuel ES
Greenberg, Joseph ES
Greenfield, Albert M. ES
Hamilton, Andrew ES
Hancock Demonstration ES
Harding, Warren G. MS
Harrington, Avery D. ES
Hartranft, John F. ES
Henry, Charles W. ES
Heston, Edward ES
Hill-Freedman Academy
Holme, Thomas ES
Hopkinson, Francis ES
Houston, Henry H. ES
HS of the Future
Hunter, William H. ES
Jackson, Andrew ES
Jenks Academy A & S ES
Juniata Park Academy
Kearny, Gen. Philip ES
Kelley, William D. ES
Kenderton ES
Kensington CAPA HS
Kensington Health Sci HS
Kensington HS
Key, Francis Scott ES
King, Martin L. HS
Kirkbride, Eliza B. ES
Lamberton, Robert E. ES
Lankenau HS
Lea, Henry C. ES
Lincoln, Abraham HS
Lingelbach, Anna L. ES
Locke, Alain ES
Longstreth, William ES
Ludlow, James R. ES
Marshall, Thurgood ES
Mastbaum, Jules E. HS
Masterman, Julia R. HS
Mayfair ES
McCall, Gen. George ES
McCloskey, John F. ES
McDaniel, Delaplaine ES
McKinley, William ES
McMichael, Morton ES
Meade, Gen. George G. ES
Meehan, Austin MS
Meredith, William M. ES
Mifflin, Thomas ES
Mitchell, S. Weir ES
Morris, Robert ES
Morrison, Andrew J. ES
Motivation HS
Munoz-Marin, Hon. L. ES
Nebinger, George W. ES
Northeast HS
Olney ES
Overbrook Ed. Center
Overbrook ES
Overbrook HS
Parkway Center City Middle College
Parkway Northwest HS
Parkway West HS
Peirce, Thomas M. ES
Penn Treaty HS
Pennypacker, Samuel ES
Penrose ES
Phila Juv.Just.Svcs.Ctr
Phila Learn. Acad.-North
Phila. Military Acad. HS
Phila. Virtual Academy
Pollock, Robert B. ES
Potter-Thomas ES
Randolph Technical HS
Rhoads, James ES
Rhodes, E. Washington ES
Robeson, Paul HS
Roosevelt ES
Roxborough HS
Saul, Walter B. HS
Sayre, William L. HS
Sharswood, George ES
Shawmont ES
SLA at Beeber
South Philadelphia HS
Southwark ES
Spring Garden ES
Spruance, Gilbert ES
Stanton, Edwin M. ES
Stearne, Allen M. ES
Steel, Edward T. ES
Strawberry Mansion HS
Swenson Arts/Tech HS
Taggart, John H. ES
The U School HS
The Workshop School
Tilden MS
Vare-Washington ES
Vaux HS
Wagner, Gen. Louis MS
Waring, Laura W. ES
Washington, George HS
Washington, Grover MS
Washington, Martha ES
Welsh, John ES
West Philadelphia HS
Widener Memorial School
Wilson, Woodrow MS
Ziegler, William H. ES
Schools Open April 26
AMY at James Martin
AMY Northwest MS
Baldi MS
Roberto Clemente MS
Russell H. Conwell MS
Carver Engineering & Science HS
Crossroads Accelerated Academy
Crossroads Academy at Hunting Park
Feltonville Arts & Sciences MS
Feltonville Intermediate School
Girard Academic Music Program (GAMP)
Warren G. Harding MS
Hill-Freedman World Academy
Julia R. Masterman HS
Middle Years Alternative (MYA)
Penn Treaty HS
Philadelphia Learning Academy - North
Philadelphia Juvenile Justice Service Center
Science Leadership Academy (MS)
Science Leadership Academy at Beeber
Tilden MS
General Louis Wagner MS
Grover Washington Jr. MS
Woodrow Wilson MS

Dear Gilbert Spruance School Community,

I am pleased to share that the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) has successfully completed its readiness review for Gilbert Spruance School. The school will reopen for in-person learning as follows:

PreK through 2 Students – studentswhose families chose hybrid learning either in the fall or during the latest learning model selection survey will begin transitioning to in-person learning two days per week and digital learning three days per week starting the week of Monday, April 12th.

Students in Grades 3-5 and Students with Complex Needs in Grades 6-8 – students in these groups whose families have opted into hybrid learning will begin transitioning to in-person learning two days per week and digital learning three days per week starting Monday, April 26th..

Staff supporting PreK through 2 students will return to the school building on Tuesday, April 6. Staff supporting all students in grades 3 through 8 will return to the school building on Monday, April 12. This excludes staff with an approved leave, accommodation or remote work modification.

Thank you for your patience as the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) completed its readiness review for your child’s school. As part of the review process, some undisturbed asbestos-containing material was identified. As an added layer of safety, the material was encapsulated and then covered with protective foam . PFT and the School District performed additional air sampling tests and the results confirm that the impacted areas are safe for occupancy. The test results can be found here. It’s important to know that the PFT’s readiness review did not identify any imminent hazards within the school and the PFT has cleared the school building for in-person learning.

Once again, thank you for your patience and for your continued partnership in supporting your child’s education, whether it’s with hybrid or 100% digital learning. As always, you can find details about our hybrid learning plan and the health and safety protocols in place to protect everyone’s well-being at If you have additional questions, please contact the school directly. In the meantime, please take care and stay safe.

Opening April 5
Add B. Anderson School
William C. Bryant School
Laura H. Carnell School
Watson Comly School
Lewis Elkin School
Fox Chase School
John Hancock Demonstration School - Main Campus
Henry C. Lea School
Mastery Charter School at Cleveland (PreK ONLY)
Mastery Charter School at Wister (PreK ONLY)
Austin Meehan School
Thomas Mifflin School
Andrew J. Morrison School
Thomas G. Morton School
Samuel Powel School
Prince Hall School
James Rhoads School
George Sharswood School
Allen M. Stearne School
Bayard Taylor School
Laura W. Waring School
Martha Washington Academics Plus School
Schools Open March 22
Bache-Martin School
Barton, Clara School
Blaine, James G. School
Bridesburg School
Childs, George W. School
Dobson, James School
Dunbar, Paul L. School
Forrest, Edwin School
Frank, Anne Elementary School
Girard, Stephen School
Gompers, Samuel School
Harrington, Avery D. School
Jenks Academy for Arts and Sciences
Key, Francis S. School
Kirkbride, Eliza B. School
Lingelbach, Anna L. School
Lowell, James R. School
Ludlow, James R. School
McClure, Alexander K. School
Meredith, William M. School
Morris, Robert School
Motivation High School* (PreK ONLY)
Nebinger, George W. School
Pennell, Joseph School
Richmond School
Roosevelt Elementary School
Rowen, William School
Solis-Cohen, Solomon School
South Philadelphia High School* (PreK ONLY)
Spring Garden School
Sullivan, James J. School
Taggart, John H. School
Washington, George High School* (PreK ONLY)
Mitchell, S. Weir Elementary School
Ziegler, William H. School
Schools Open March 15
Alexander Adaire School
Rudolph Blankenburg School
Joseph H. Brown School
Lewis C. Cassidy School
Benjamin B. Comegys School
Jay Cooke Elementary School
William Cramp School
Kennedy C. Crossan School
William Dick School
Hamilton Disston School
Tanner Duckrey School
Ellwood School
Eleanor C. Emlen School
Louis H. Farrell School
D. Newlin Fell School
A.L. Fitzpatrick School
Benjamin Franklin School
Horatio B. Hackett School
Haverford Center
Charles W. Henry School
Thomas Holme School
Francis Hopkinson School
William H. Hunter School
Andrew Jackson School
Abram Jenks School
General Philip Kearny School
William D. Kelley School
John B. Kelly School
Robert E. Lamberton Elementary School
James Logan School
General George A. McCall School
Delaplaine McDaniel School
Morton McMichael School
General George G. Meade School
John M. Patterson School
Thomas M. Peirce School
Samuel Pennypacker School
Robert B. Pollock School
Potter-Thomas School
Rhawnhurst School
Philip H. Sheridan School
Edwin M. Stanton School
Vare-Washington Elementary School
John Welsh School
Widener Memorial School
March 8 Open Schools  
Chester Arthur School Elementary
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* (PreK ONLY)
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* (PreK ONLY)
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

The School District of Philadelphia is keeping the health and safety of our students, staff, and visitors as our top priority. As we welcome you back into our buildings, we remain committed to this promise. Click here to download our “What you Can Expect From Us Guide”

Click HERE to download the complete Hybrid Learning Plan, or

Click HERE for a powerpoint of the Hybrid Learning Plan Highlights.

How will the hybrid model work?

To further support safe school environments, our goal is for most schools to follow an AA/BB Schedule where ½ of the in-person students would attend schools in-person on Mondays and Tuesdays, and the other half on Thursdays and Fridays. This staggered scheduling limits the number of students in school buildings each day and helps maintain social distancing in all spaces throughout the day. Schools will have some flexibility in organizing this schedule to best accommodate their students’ needs and maximize safety precautions.

Teachers will provide direct instruction to all students either via in-person learning or via livestream.

● Hybrid students will attend school in person 2x/wk and engage remotely via livestream on the days they are home.
● Digital students will receive instruction via live stream daily.
● During independent practice, hybrid students at home AND digital students will log off of their computers and complete assignments. In-person students will complete assignments in class.
● Small Group instruction occurs throughout the week. Teachers will pull in-person students and some digital students into virtual small groups while the other students work independently.

How can I get the latest information about standardized tests for the remainder of this year?

For the most up-to-date information on testing please visit

Office of Assessment

How is the District making decisions about moving to new phases of the hybrid model?

We are making decisions based on our assessment of meeting the various milestones we have set for the District, in terms of safe social distancing and health protocols for students and staff. All decisions are informed by guidance from the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Education.

What factors could affect whether or not we continue in-person learning with the hybrid model?

Flexibility and patience will be key to moving forward. Many factors will influence how, when and if we can proceed with in-person learning.

● IF a significant number of teachers are unable to teach in person due to health or other considerations, hybrid learning may no longer be feasible OR many students may not remain with their current teachers.
● IF a school cannot maintain safe social distancing requirements with an AA/BB schedule, it will have to shift to a different schedule that better meets their needs.
● IF a vast majority of families choose to remain 100% digital, hybrid learning may not be feasible.
● AND COVID-19 conditions are constantly changing, sometimes very quickly. At any time, PDPH may require us to halt our plans OR temporarily close a classroom, part or all of a school, or the entire District to help minimize the spread of COVID-19. In these cases, students will immediately shift to digital learning from home until it is safe to resume their in-person schedules.

Will there be summer programming to help students stay on track and prepare for next year?

We have designed this year’s summer programming to meet the challenges we know our students face right now.

We’ve created a well-rounded range of academic and enrichment experiences and we are excited to welcome students entering grades K -12 when summer programming begins on June 28, 2021.

See the full roster of options HERE.

What happens when a student or staff member at school tests positive?

The protocol for this, and more, is outlined in the Presumptive and Confirmed COVID-19 Case Protocol (see page 4).

Will my student have the same teacher(s) in the hybrid model?

Wherever possible, we will continue to prioritize students being taught by their teachers in their enrolled school.

What happens if my student attends the wrong day of in-person class?

The expectation is that students follow their assigned schedule. Should they accidentally come to school on the wrong day, principals will communicate with the family so the student can still participate in instruction and return to their individual schedules.

Continued failure to follow the correct schedule may jeopardize the family’s ability to continue to participate in the hybrid model.

Are teachers taking attendance this school year?

All students are expected to attend school five days per week, whether face-to-face or digital, in alignment with state and School District regulations and requirements.

During both face-to-face and digital learning, teachers mark student attendance. School-based and central office staff will actively identify students who are not regularly attending class and assist with addressing the barriers preventing each student’s attendance.

How will grades be handled during virtual and hybrid learning?

For information on grades and marking guidelines visit our Curriculum & Instruction Office HERE and review our FAQs HERE .

How will the District approach the use of substitutes to account for the inevitable teacher vacancies?

Kelly Services has been asked to hire more substitute teachers this year than in previous years to ensure we have adequate coverage both for day-to-day substitutes as well as potential long-term substitutes which may arise from people going out on extended leave.

Will there be student teachers for the 2020-21 School Year?

Yes – student teachers are a critical part of our recruitment efforts. We deeply value our student teachers and want to ensure their continued presence to support our students.

While student teaching may occur remotely or on-site, the District is committed to working with our university partners to place student teachers.

Please note that universities must sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the District to place student teachers. (The form can be found at the SDP website HERE) Principals will coordinate their student teacher schedules to ensure proper social distancing is possible.

How will Pre-K be handled?

District-operated PreK in District buildings continue to operate remotely.  Chromebooks are available so that preschoolers can receive daily digital instruction until the school buildings re-open for face-to-face instruction.  By implementing a daily schedule that provides opportunities for hands-on, independent activity as well as teacher-facilitated digital instruction at the whole group, small group and individual levels, no child will be expected to spend more than 90 minutes on screen on any day. Parents who want their preschool children to receive face-to-face instruction during this time will be referred to one of the District’s partner PreK providers for service. You can get more information about PreK options for the 2020-2021 school year by visiting

Will there be extracurricular activities when we return to school?

Extracurricular activities will be handled by each school and according to the most current safety standards.

Will my student be able to play sports this year?

The District has implemented a Return to Play (RTP) plan that includes a phased-in approach to resuming scholastic athletic programming. Across the phases, there are mentions of high-, medium- and low-risk sports, which are categories the NFSH has developed.

Will students have the option of repeating the grades they are in?

We will handle requests on a case-by-case basis as we have done historically.

Is there a scholarship database for seniors?

Yes. There is a scholarship search database on the College & Career Readiness website here. The website is updated often, as the District learns of new scholarship opportunities. Also, when students log into the Naviance platform (found at the website above) they are able to access additional databases with thousands of scholarship opportunities. For more information about or assistance with Naviance, please click here.

Finally, seniors who have additional questions or would like extra support should call the Senior Hotline at 215-400-4130 or email The hotline operates from 11AM to 1PM Tuesdays through  Thursdays and provides live support to students who are pursuing postsecondary opportunities by connecting them with their school-based counselors, guiding them through college enrollment or application paperwork, and assisting with completing FAFSA applications and/or verification. A language line is available to support non-English speakers.

Will there be opportunities for parent training to better support their child with virtual online learning?

Yes. The District’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE) office offers virtual training sessions for parents and families. Visit the website here.

How do we define students with complex needs?

Complex needs includes students with low incidence disabilities, who are intellectually disabled, receive life skills supports, are visually impaired, deaf/hard hearing, receive multiple disability support, are autistic and/or on autistic spectrum with significant supports including language supports and physical support.

What services will be provided for students with IEPs?

Students with IEPs are able to access and benefit from digital instruction. They have access to the digital supports that align with their IEPs, and have opportunities to engage with their peers, general education teachers, special education teachers, and related services providers, as prescribed by their IEPs.

In addition, on January 25th, we opened 6 Support Services Regional Centers where Supportive Services professionals will conduct in-person student assessments and complete the evaluations and reevaluations needed to inform Individualized Education Plans, or IEPs, for students who need special education support and services. Starting Jan. 19, assessors will begin reaching out to eligible students and their families to schedule the assessments. For now, the centers will be open only for determining eligibility or continuing eligibility for special education services for approximately 600 students across the District. Following completion of the assessments, the Regional Centers will look to expand to provide necessary additional special education services, including related services and ongoing assessments deemed appropriate.

The six centers are:

  • West Philadelphia High School
    4901 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19139
  • Arts Academy At Benjamin Rush
    11081 Knights Rd, Philadelphia, PA 19154
  • Martin Luther King High School
    6100 Stenton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19138
  • Thomas A. Edison High School
    151 West Luzerne Street, Philadelphia, PA 19140
  • Strawberry Mansion High School
    3133 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19132
    Creative and Performing Arts High School
    901 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

How is health and safety being addressed on buses?

The health and safety of our students, drivers, and transportation attendants remains of the utmost importance. In order to provide a safe riding environment for students, the School District of Philadelphia Department of Transportation Services has developed specific requirements for students being transported by school bus, van or sedan/cab.

These include self-screening daily, mandatory mask-wearing and social distancing on buses. Learn more about our ridership expectations HERE.

What are the behavior expectations of students taking transportation to school?

Transportation sees the school bus as an extension of the classroom. While drivers are responsible for reporting incidents as they occur, principals are ultimately responsible for reviewing the situation and make a determination on next steps for the students involved.

More information can be found in our Bus and Safety Guidelines (pdf HERE).

How can I find out my student's transportation schedule?

Student pick up times will be provided on the Parent Notification Letter.

Pennsylvania was approved to issue Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) benefits to families of school-age children who have not had access to free or reduced-price school meals due to school closures.

  • All K-12 School District of Philadelphia students are eligible to receive the P-EBT benefit.
  • For families who currently receive EBT benefits, they will begin noticing the additional funds, for each of their District students, added to their existing EBT card beginning in early May.
  • For those who do not currently receive EBT benefits, the state will mail a P-EBT card to the household address on file in the District’s student information system (SIS).


If the address the school has on file for your student is correct, no action is needed.

If the address is NOT correct, you MUST call 215-400-5300 or visit: to begin the process of updating your address. 

School Readiness

Reopening Readiness Dashboard

Individual school reports provide overviews of each school’s readiness to return to in-person classes under a hybrid model


View Air Balance Reports by school HERE, and read through FAQ’s HERE.

Will the ventilation/air quality studies be made available to the public? If so, where?

Yes. Occupancy of spaces based on fresh air intake is included on our Reopening Readiness Dashboard HERE.

This Ventilation and Air Balancing FAQ provides more information how how to read the reports, and answers specific questions like how to tell what the occupancy for your child’s classrooms is or what is means if your child’s classroom reports is a zero (0).

Where can I find answers to questions I have about ventilation?

The School District of Philadelphia is committed to providing safe environments for students and staff- including effective ventilation systems and health air quality in every building. The Chief Operating Office, in partnership with the Chief Schools Office, will be providing Facts About Ventilation, and a series of FAQs and other information regarding the operations that are necessary for a safe return to in-person learning.

Facts about Ventilation in our Schools can be found HERE.

FAQs can be found HERE.


This Ventilation and Air Balancing FAQ provides more information how how to read the reports, and answers specific questions like how to tell what the occupancy for your child’s classrooms is or what is means if your child’s classroom reports is a zero (0).

How is ventilation being addressed in classes that receive a zero on the air balancing report?

For classrooms where we were unable to calculate the amount of outside air or outside air flow yields a zero, fans are being installed in classroom windows. This will create enough air flow for safe occupation. If window fans are not an option in those classrooms, we will not use that room for return to school learning.

View this brief video showing the installation of a window fan in a District classroom window:

Who is receiving concerns about issues with District buildings at this time?

Please email with any issues or concerns with District buildings.

  • The District has purchased about 3,000 fans that are manufactured to generate at least 270 cubic feet of fresh air per minute. That’s enough fresh air flow to support 18 people in the room before applying social distancing requirements. It’s also enough fans to have extras in case we need to replace any later in the school year.
  • As another layer of safety, window fans are being installed to promote fresh air flow in classrooms that have no working ventilation system, but at least one window. The fans will improve air quality in classrooms by bringing in fresh outside air which will reduce the amount of contaminants and support a healthier breathing environment. They will remain in place until repairs to the ventilation system can be completed, and we will conduct new air balance testing in these rooms to inform the safe occupancy signs outside of the room. We have also taken the extra step of air balance testing all three models of fans we are using to ensure that the air flow rating is correct as noted by the manufacturer. To date, more than one third of the fans have been installed. Our goal — as much as possible and weather permitting — is to have all window fans installed before staff return on February 8. Recent weather conditions may cause a slight delay in our installation schedule.
  • Our goal is for classroom temperatures to be at or above 68 degrees to support comfortable in-person learning environments for students & staff.
    We have proactively tested temperatures in a sample of rooms with the window fans turned on to assess the impact. In all cases, temperatures in the room remained above 68 degrees. Once in-person learning begins, our building engineers will safely check classrooms 3x per day to ensure the window fans are operating properly and the room temperatures are appropriate.
  • Certified ventilation experts have tested rooms in every school to assess air flow and inform needed repairs and improvements.
    This is an unprecedented effort in our District, and likely the most comprehensive effort being done by any large public school district in the country.
  • As ventilation repairs and improvements are made in our schools, the ventilation reports will be updated and reposted here.
    Certified air balancers are retesting the rooms where repairs and improvements have been made, and school-level ventilation reports are being updated as new results are available. That’s why some schools that previously had zero occupancy levels in some rooms now have higher air flow and occupancy numbers.

Ventilation Success Stories:

Joseph W. Catharine School and General Philip Kearny School. The HVAC system has been fully repaired at Joseph W. Catharine School so window fans will no longer be needed. Rooms that previously had a zero or low occupancy number have been retested. At General Philip Kearny School, the mechanical house fan that provides ventilation throughout the school was recommissioned, making it fully operational with no need for window fans. Air balance testing has been conducted in each room. Ventilation reports for both schools will be updated and reposted here.

Benjamin B. Comegys and Robert B. Pollock Schools
At Comegys and Pollock, univents were adjusted in classrooms to increase the circulation of fresh air. New air balance testing has been conducted to update occupancy levels, and the ventilation reports will be updated and reposted here.


Are teachers taking attendance this school year?

All students are expected to attend school five days per week, whether face-to-face or digital, in alignment with state and School District regulations and requirements.

During both face-to-face and digital learning, teachers mark student attendance. School-based and central office staff will actively identify students who are not regularly attending class and assist with addressing the barriers preventing each student’s attendance.

We have designed this year’s summer programming to meet the challenges we know our students face right now.

We’ve created a well-rounded range of academic and enrichment experiences and we are excited to welcome students entering grades K -12 when summer programming begins on June 28, 2021.

See the full roster of options HERE.

Health & Safety Protocols

What is the Office of Environmental Management Services and what does it do?

The School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Environmental Management Services (OEMS), under direct supervision and guidance from the Chief Operations Officer, is tasked with overseeing, evaluating, and reducing the risk of environmental hazards in our schools.

Learn more, see our meeting minutes and slideshows HERE.

Will the District be keeping track of reported COVID cases in schools during Hybrid Learning? If so, where?

It’s important to know that we consistently notify school staff and families whenever there is a confirmed positive case in their building.

The School District has launched a COVID-19 Dashboard to provide the latest information on confirmed positive cases in our schools. We understand that having access to this information is important to our families and staff, and we are happy to provide this tool to further build confidence in the safety of our schools for in-person learning.

The dashboard, which will be updated weekly, will complement those efforts by providing a district-wide snapshot in and across all schools. You can see the dashboard at any time, HERE.

Will the ventilation/air quality studies be made available to the public? If so, where?

Yes. Occupancy of spaces based on fresh air intake is included on our Reopening Readiness Dashboard HERE.

This Ventilation and Air Balancing FAQ provides more information how how to read the reports, and answers specific questions like how to tell what the occupancy for your child’s classrooms is or what is means if your child’s classroom reports is a zero (0).

More FAQs related to this topic are in the Ventilation FAQ tab.

Have schools been thoroughly cleaned in preparation for school opening?

Our facilities team has been fully trained in enhanced cleaning standards using EPA-registered cleaning supplies — and they started implementing them in the summer of 2020. Once students return, the entire school will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected at the end of each day, in preparation for the next day.

Learn more about the cleaning protocols in this Cleaning and Ventilation Protocol document

Will the public have access to reports on school specific facilities improvement plans and progress?

Yes. Please visit this website to view information on current school improvement projects and any resulting environmental reports.

Will COVID-specific safety protocols be in place during hybrid learning?

Yes a range of health and safety protocols will be in place to provide multiple layers of safety for students and staff, including Pre Screening, PPE, Social Distancing, Classroom Design and Safety Measures, and Restroom Procedures. Learn more in the complete Advancing Education Safely Plan, and watch our video on safety protocols in classrooms HERE.

What happens when a student or staff member at school tests positive?

The protocol for this, and more, is outlined in the Presumptive and Confirmed COVID-19 Case Protocol (see page 4).

What happens if a student refuses to wear a mask?

Our students’ health and safety is the priority in an environment conducive to optimal learning! As we return to in-person learning that is quite different than ever before, there will be occasions when students, who are not exempt from wearing a mask, may refuse to wear one.

From a Health and Safety perspective,  mask breaks are permitted during the day when students are greater than 6 feet apart. Masks breaks can occur for a maximum of fifteen minutes per break. Mask breaks are most conducive at times for example, when students are outside for recess or when in a large area. It is recommended that prior to students returning to in-person learning, students should practice wearing their masks during digital learning for extended periods when lessons are conducted.

Listed below is a set of guidelines and recommendations for school leaders in response to mask wearing that needs to be included in the school’s Opening of School Packet/Family Letter. School leaders are to include a clear message to all families that it is a School District Philadelphia mandate, through the Hybrid Learning Model, that all students must wear a mask, unless there is an exemption based on Pennsylvania Department of Education criteria.

Student Mask Protocol

Please note that while we have indicated a progression of occurrences, whether it is day to day, every other day, we ask again that school leaders/staff use common sense to address the behavior.  It is extremely important that we do whatever we can to ensure the wearing of masks is to protect oneself and the health and safety of others.  After the staff member (e.g. Teacher, Counselor, Support Staff) uses the recommended strategies and/or other strategies that may be useful in addressing this behavior, then the following steps/recommendation should be followed for a student’s refusal to wear a mask.

CDC Guidance for K-12 School Administrators on the Use of Masks in Schools

Students who refuse to wear a face mask

📌Sample Letter Template:  Students Who Refuse to Wear a Face Mask

Students who Refuse to Wear a Face Mask  School Letter Template

What will the protocol be for classrooms, when schools reopen?

In classrooms, where students will spend most of their time, doors will remain open as much as possible to promote good ventilation and help avoid touching door knobs.

Every classroom  has been evaluated to determine the maximum number of students and staff who can be in the room while maintaining safe ventilation standards and social distancing. There will be a sign outside of each room, showing that number.

Desks will be arranged and marked to support the right number of people in the room and to ensure proper social distancing. If the classroom has tables, seats at the table will be marked to ensure social distancing.

Every classroom will have cleaning supplies. Students and teachers together will use these to help keep desks, tables, chairs, and other high touch surfaces clean throughout the school day.

Learn more about our safety protocols in these videos HERE.

How will meals be handled when schools reopen?

To support health and safety during meal times, students will start out eating breakfast and lunch in their classrooms.

In some cases, cafeterias will be set up with self-serve stations where students will safely pick up prepackaged meals and utensils, and then return to the classroom to enjoy their meal. In other cases food service workers will serve students, who will then take the meal back to the classroom — or meals will be delivered directly to classrooms.

Cafeteria workers will follow enhanced CDC food preparation and safety guidelines – including wearing face masks and gloves at all times, wearing hair nets, and washing their hands frequently.

In all cafeterias, a touchless hand sanitizer station will be at the door, and students will be encouraged to use them on their way in and out. And, as an added safety measure, floor arrows will direct orderly traffic flow in the cafe.

When students are able to eat in the cafeteria, tables will be marked to designate where students can safely sit to ensure proper social distancing. Once the lunch period is over, the entire group of students will exit the cafeteria so all tables, chairs, benches, serving lines and high touch surfaces can be thoroughly cleaned before the next lunch period begins.

Watch our video on safety protocols around meals HERE.

What will the protocol be for bathrooms, when schools reopen?

We are taking extra precautions in bathrooms.

Signage to remind students of health and safety protocols will be clearly posted. To maintain social distancing, students will not be able to use sinks or urinals that are immediately next to each other. Where numerous sinks or urinals are lined up in a row, every other unit will be  clearly marked to indicate that it cannot be used.

All bathroom stalls are safe to use because they have built in partitions.

High touch surfaces like toilets, faucets and stall handles, soap dispensers and paper towel dispensers will be disinfected at least every four hours.

And of course, everyone must wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before leaving the bathroom.

Watch the bathroom protocol video HERE.

What are the protocols for entryways, hallways and offices?

To minimize direct face-to-face interaction and two-way traffic flow, many schools will use one door for entering and a different door for exiting. In other schools where that’s not possible, traffic in entryways and exitways will move in one direction at any given time.

Touchless hand sanitizer stations will be available for use inside every entrance. As students continue into the hallways, touchless hand sanitizer stations will be available at each end. High touch surfaces like lockers and door knobs, will be disinfected at least every 4 hours during the day. There will also be signs on the hallway walls to remind everyone of proper health and safety protocols.

Drinking fountains will be turned off.  Touchless bottle fillers (found on the newer hydration stations) will remain on so students can safely fill up their personal water bottles.

Main office doors will remain open as much as possible during the day to minimize touching door knobs and to promote good ventilation. Outside the office, there will be a sign showing the maximum number of people safely allowed in the room. There will be a hand sanitizer station at the door and signage to promote health and safety practices. Inside the office, plexiglass partitions have been installed to further promote safety.

Learn more in our video HERE.

Will there be safety drills when students return to schools?

Safety continues to be our number one priority and that will include regular fire drills when students return to school.

When conducting drills, schools must adhere to guidelines provided by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines regarding social distancing and face covering requirements during fire and school security drills. Students and staff must wear masks at all times, including during and throughout drills.

What is being done about the asbestos problems in schools that were identified before COVID?

The School District has accelerated its asbestos abatement efforts while schools have been closed. Extensive environmental and capital improvements took place this summer across more than 60 schools and are currently underway in another 30. For information about what’s happening at your school, visit HERE. Note that if your school is not undergoing a project, it will not be listed on the website.

Who is receiving concerns about issues with District buildings at this time?

Please email with any issues or concerns with District buildings.


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Social & Emotional Supports

What Mental Health, Trauma and Social-Emotional supports will be available for students and staff?

Since school doors were last open, our students and staff have experienced isolation; separation from friends, teachers, and colleagues; illness or loss of loved ones; and disruption of the familiar routines that made them feel cared for and safe. We have also experienced the pain and division caused by racial injustice and its harms to our nation and community. For all of these reasons and more, this is not a normal school year.

In 2020, we launched the Healing Together initiative that is designed to address the needs of our students, staff, and families in the wake of this sustained trauma. Healing Together encompasses an intensive focus in four areas: 1) mental health and trauma; 2) social-emotional learning; 3) relationships and community; and 4) adult wellness. Visit the Healing Together website to find resources and learn more.

How do I talk to my children about coronavirus if they are showing signs of stress?

With so much information being shared about coronavirus, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. These resources are available to help you talk to your child about coronavirus and manage any stress you or your loved ones may be feeling:

What are the expectations around my student's attendance and truancy handled during virtual and hybrid learning?

Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes whether virtual or in-person, to be ready for instruction, and complete all assignments.

It is expected that parents will ensure that their student(s) are present for all instructional time and complete required assignments, communicate with the teacher if their student(s) need instructional support and provide documentation explaining all student absences no later than three (3) days after the student returns to school. Teachers are expected to provide meaningful instruction for students during the instructional day.

If you have any questions regarding student attendance, please email the Office of Attendance and Truancy @ For more information on attendance guidelines please click here!

Healing Together is a collaboration of the Office of Student Support Services, Office of Teaching and Learning, and Office of Curriculum. Content was developed in partnership with SDP teachers, counselors, and principals, along with trusted local partners and national experts. It addresses the needs of students, staff, and families in four areas: Social Emotional Learning, Mental Health and Trauma, Community/Morning Meeting, Adult Wellness

Click here to learn more

Philly HopeLine is a free and confidential helpline sponsored by Uplift Center for Grieving Children and the School District of Philadelphia as a resource for students and caregivers who feel isolated due to the coronavirus pandemic. The HopeLine is staffed by Masters’s level clinicians from Uplift who specialize in free mental health counseling, emotional wellness, grief support, and strategies for coping with COVID-19 related losses. We offer service in both English and Spanish, and have an interpretation line for over 150 different language needs.

Call or Text For Free: 1-833-PHL-HOPE (1-833-745-4673)
Hours of Service: Monday-Friday 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. | Holidays 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Click Here to Learn More

Rapid Testing

Rapid Testing

In our efforts to plan for our students to return to school in the safest manner possible, the School District of Philadelphia is providing COVID-19 testing for all students.

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