Coronavirus FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Our District, like many others across the country, continues to work through the implications of COVID-19 (coronavirus) for our schools, families, and community. The School District of Philadelphia recognizes that students, families and employees may have questions about a wide variety of subjects as a result of the District-wide closure due to COVID-19 (coronavirus). A list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding access to healthy meals, teaching and learning, facilities maintenance and other topics can be found below.

Thank you for your flexibility and patience as we take time to work things through thoughtfully and with the best interests of all children in mind. This site will be updated regularly so visit often for the latest information. Please take care and stay safe!

Will healthy meals be available for students through the summer?

Yes. The School District of Philadelphia, several charter schools, and the Philadelphia Housing Authority are coordinating with the City’s Office of Children and Families to provide free, nutritious grab-and-go meals for all Philadelphia children and youth through the summer. Forty-nine of the sites are School District of Philadelphia buildings. You can find detailed information regarding locations and schedules of the meal sites HERE.

Who qualifies for these meals?

All children and youth are eligible for free meals and no ID is required.

When and where can I pick up meals?

Grab-and-go meals for our students will continue to be available across the City through the summer. Current locations and times are available HERE but they may change for summer so please check the link often.

Currently, every Thursday, from 9 a.m. to noon, you will be able to pick up a box of 5 breakfast meals, five lunch meals and a ½ gallon of milk for each student in your family. Each box weighs six pounds so we encourage you to bring a wheeled cart or some other way to easily carry the boxes if you are picking up meals for multiple students in your household. Social distancing, the use of masks and gloves, and other safety efforts will continue to be practiced to ensure everyone’s safety as meals are distributed.  Thank you for supporting this important safety effort.

More information about all meal distribution sites, including an interactive map of meal sites, can be found at philasd.org and phila.gov.

Does each child have to be physically present at the meal site to receive the 6 meals per child? Can a mother of six school-aged children pick up 36 meals without any of her children present?

Children do not have to be present at the meal distribution sites. Family members can pick up enough meals for all children in their households. Given the numbers of meals being provided, we strongly encourage families to bring a backpack or reusable bag with them to carry the items.

Is the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) an option?

Yes. Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) provides nutrition benefits to families who have lost access to free or reduced-price school meals because schools are closed. Eligible students and families will receive money on a new or existing EBT card to help fill the school meals gap. The average benefit will be approximately $365. The learn more about P-EBT and determine whether you and your family are eligible, click here.

How were the grab-and-go meal sites selected?

The School District and the City collaborated to intentionally and thoughtfully select sites that could conveniently serve everyone in Philadelphia. We worked to ensure that:

  • we accounted for population density and walkability so that there was a site that was close and convenient to everyone.
  • the sites had cafeterias located on the first floor so that we would be able to safely and easily transport food without having to travel up and down stairs.
  • the sites were equipped with the proper refrigeration and freezers to ensure the quality and prevent the waste of the large amounts of food that we intend to provide.

How is the food being served with safety in mind?

Each School District grab-and-go site is staffed by food services employees who are trained in proper hygiene and cleanliness practices. In addition to following the social distancing and hygiene recommendations from health experts including covering your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and regular hand washing, they are also required to wear appropriate food service attire including hairnets and gloves. All food serving stations and surfaces are regularly sanitized using a disinfectant solution that is proven effective against coronavirus, and sanitizing wipes and gel is used in all packing and distribution areas.

How can I donate food or money for food?

The School District of Philadelphia is grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support to help provide healthy meals for students while schools are closed. We ask that all food and monetary donations for food be directed to Philabundance at philabundance.org.

Can my child and I still communicate with my child’s teachers?

Absolutely. Remote office hours for teachers, school counselors and the school nurse are posted on each school’s website. We encourage you to connect with each of them as needed to support your child’s learning and well-being at home.

Additionally, we are encouraging our teachers to stay connected with their students to ensure the special relationships they share are maintained during the closure. Teachers will continue to:

  • encourage student use of the Learning Guides and promote their availability online and at School District meal distribution sites
  • post/share additional online learning resources with students and families that are self-guided
  • be available via email, phone, or other platforms (Google classroom, Infinite Campus, Class Dojo) to voluntarily answer student and family questions and support their learning
  • ensure students have access to the Student Portal, Google Classroom, email, and selected online programs, interventions and curriculum supplements

How will the District provide educational support for students while schools are closed?

We cannot replace the personalized instruction that our teachers offer in the classroom. Teaching is an art and a science. It takes years of college study, mentoring, collegiality, and professional development to perfect instructional practice. While in-classroom instruction cannot be replaced, we are fully committed to ensuring every student has an opportunity to engage in learning while schools are closed.

On April 20, the District launched a a Digital Learning Plan for all students which will provide a free Chromebook for every K-12 student who needs one for learning at home and digital learning resources to help students retain, learn and apply skills and strategies with the support of a teacher. Additional information can be found HERE. The Digital Learning Plan will engage students in learning through the end of the academic year.

Students may also sign in or create accounts to use Khan Academy, Naviance, and other resources, such as:

SAT: https://www.collegeboard.org/
AP: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/about-ap/news-changes/coronavirus-update

All of these resources are supplemental to communications and support from your child’s regular teacher(s).

What is the District's Digital Learning Plan?

The Digital Learning Plan includes:

  • a free loaner Chromebook for every K-12 student who needs one for learning at home
  • free or low cost internet to families that need it (details are in the works, but families can visit  www.xfinity.com/wifi for a current list of free WiFi hotspots)
  • digital learning resources to help students retain, learn and apply skills and strategies with the support of a teacher
  •  free online tutorials for families for platforms such as Google Classroom
  • professional development for teachers who will be using digital learning tools to provide review, enrichment activities and planned instruction for students until schools reopen

The Digital Learning Plan will start in full on April 20th.  You can read more about the plan HERE.

Where can I find the Digital Learning Plan resources?

An Early Childhood Toolkit for PreK families and lesson materials for all subjects and grade levels for K-12 families is available on our Digital Learning Activities webpage at www.philasd.org/digitallearning/. New K-12 materials will be added regularly so you can see what your child will be learning for the upcoming week.

How will you grade students who do NOT participate in online lessons/work? Do they receive a failing grade?

We want all students to continue to learn and grow while school buildings are closed. It’s important for all students to participate in the Digital Learning Plan so they can continue to learn and enhance their skills. Regular participation and completion of coursework is required to receive grades and class credit, just as it would be if schools were open. If you are having challenges with having your child participate, please contact your child’s principal or teachers for support. More details will be shared when available.

Is it true the grades can only help raise their grade and not cause kids to fail?

Students are not guaranteed a passing grade. Students’ final grades will be the average of three terms (the current digital learning plan is a continuation of the 3rd term). Students are expected to participate in the digital learning plan as much as possible and to log in to their student portal each day and complete assignments given by their teachers. Students with poor or failing grades have an opportunity to raise their grades by engaging in digital learning through June 12, if they do not engage in digital learning or if they submit unacceptable work AND the average of Terms 1 and 2 was not a passing average, the student could earn a failing grade for the school year.

Teachers are available to offer assistance to all students as our primary objective is to ensure that our students receive the support needed to be successful. Additionally, we are committed to working with students who have circumstances out of their control, such as no access to internet or extenuating family circumstances that make it a challenge to participate in digital learning.

What should I do if my child is struggling with digital learning?

You should reach out to your child’s teacher, Special Education Compliance Monitor, or principal to communicate your concerns. For additional support, you can also call the District’s COVID-19 hotline.

Hotlines in multiple languages operate Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m to answer general questions in the native languages of the many families we serve.

215-400-5300 – English
215-400-8489 – Spanish
215-400-8480 – Albanian
215-400-8481 – Arabic
215-400-8482 – Chinese
215-400-8483 – French
215-400-8484 – Khmer
215-400-8474 – Portuguese
215-400-8485 – Russian
215-400-8486 – Vietnamese
You can also email your questions to covid19info@philasd.org.

Are the Learning Guides mandatory?

No. The learning guides are optional, for personal use, and to keep students engaged in learning. They will not be graded and no child will receive extra credit for completing them.

How can I access the Learning Guides?

All of the Learning Guides are available online at philasd.org. Just click the link in the red banner at the top of the page. Paper copies of English Language Arts and math Learning Guides are also available at every School District grab-and-go meal distribution site. Unfortunately, science and social studies guides have copyright considerations that we are currently evaluating.

Each LG includes activities that will engage students for 10 days. The next set of guides will be available online on Wednesday, March 25, and at meal pick-up sites beginning Thursday, March 26.

Will Learning Guides be made available in languages other than English?

While Learning Guides are not available in print in multiple languages, parents and caretakers of students needing help with translations can be connected with an interpreter by leaving a call back number with the District Hotline staff.

What if my child has an IEP?

Students with IEPs will have opportunities to engage through support of teachers, related-services staff, and families, as well as have access to the communication support devices that align with their IEP. They will be able to access and benefit from instruction via the Chromebooks, digital classroom experiences, and communication with teachers and other school staff as feasible. Special education teachers will continue to engage parents in IEP meetings, parent meetings and otherwise support students in remote learning.

If your child has an IEP, you can also use the Learning Guides as a resource. Phase II Learning Guides and resources are also currently available (online and in print form at the District’s 49 meal distribution sites) to support the learning needs of English Language Learners and students with IEPs.

More resources are available at https://sites.google.com/philasd.org/sample-distance-learning/special-education?authuser=0 and http://www.philasd.org/curriculum/home/supplemental-resources/sped_el or via the District hotlines.

How do I access the Special Education resources for the Digital Learning plan

You can access the Special Education resources here: https://sites.google.com/philasd.org/sample-distance-learning/special-education/parent-resources-and-supports?authuser=0

If there are specific questions related to your child’s IEP please reach out to your school’s SPED Case Manager.

How are service providers providing tele-support services for students?

Tele-support services are planned instructional support activities provided to students (who receieve related services) and families via various virtual platforms, including Google Classrooms and Google Meet, email and/or phone in order to support distance learning. Related service providers provide additional supports, consultation and resources.

Are there resources available for students who get speech and occupational therapy at school?

Yes. Resources for all students with special needs, including those with speech and occupational therapy needs, are available on the district’s Digital Learning website at https://sites.google.com/philasd.org/sample-distance-learning/special-education?authuser=0 and on the Learning Guides webpage at www.philasd.org/curriculum/home/supplemental-resources/sped_el. Teachers are also available to provide remote learning support for students.

Are there resources available for students with autism?

Yes. Resources for all students with special needs, including those with autism, are available on the District’s Digital Learning website at https://sites.google.com/philasd.org/sample-distance-learning/special-education?authuser=0 and on the Learning Guides website at www.philasd.org/curriculum/home/supplemental-resources/sped_el.

How will this affect Head Start programming?

All preK and childcare programs, including Head Start, are closed while all other District schools are closed. Teachers in District-operated preK programs are regularly reaching out to preK families to ensure those families are aware of services and supports that are available, including grab & go meals.

How do preK families NOT in an SDP school get resources for our kids?

All of the District’s Digital Learning Plan resources, including this Early Childhood Parent Toolkit, are available to the public. Please find additional resources at www.philasd.org/digitallearning.

What if I have general questions about the Digital Learning Plan, Learning Guides or the closure overall?

Hotlines in multiple languages operate Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m to answer general questions in the native languages of the many families we serve.

  • 215-400-5300 – English
  • 215-400-8489 – Spanish
  • 215-400-8480 – Albanian
  • 215-400-8481 – Arabic
  • 215-400-8482 – Chinese
  • 215-400-8483 – French
  • 215-400-8484 – Khmer
  • 215-400-8474 – Portuguese
  • 215-400-8485 – Russian
  • 215-400-8486 – Vietnamese

You can also email your questions to covid19info@philasd.org.

What summer programming is offered this year?

There are 10+ programs offered to students in grades K-12 by the School District this summer. Please consult the parent guide [link coming shortly] for more information about which program best fits your student’s needs and eligibility in order to register.

What should I do with my Chromebook during the summer of 2020? Should I return it?

Please see the set of Questions and Answers below regarding the return of Chromebooks.

Question: The 2019-2020 academic school year ends on Friday, June 12, 2020.  Do I need to return my child’s Chromebook to the District?

Answer: If your student IS A SENIOR…

12th Grade students graduating on time:  12th grade students that have received confirmation that they are graduating on time are to return their Chromebooks either at the end of the school year or at the end of the summer.

The following are the Chromebook return options:

  • School Site Return: June 16-19, 2020 or August 12-19, 2020 (times to be provided by school) Please note: Due to Building Improvement projects at some high schools, seniors may not be able to reenter the school at this time. Your school can provide guidance.
  • Chromebook Dropoff Centers; on or before August 19th on any Monday or Wednesday 9:00 to 12:00 with the exception of July 6 and 8, 2020. Centers are: (a) Education Center, 440 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA  19130 or
    (b) Fitzpatrick Annex Building (located in the rear of Fitzpatrick Elementary School) 4101 Chalfont Drive, Philadelphia PA 19154

12th Grade students not graduating on time: 12th grade students that have been notified that they have to attend Summer Programs may  keep their Chromebook through the end of the Summer Program.  Once students have completed the summer program, they should return the Chromebook to the Education Center, 440 N. Broad Street or the Fitzpatrick Annex 4101 Chalfont Drive, Philadelphia PA 19154 on any Monday or Wednesday by August 19, 2020 anytime between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm with the exception of July 6 and 8, 2020.

Answer: If your student is NOT A SENIOR, the answer is, no. You may keep your child’s Chromebook, until the first day of the new academic year.

Question: What if my child is attending a different District school?
Answer: Your child should bring back the Chromebook to the new school on the first day of the new academic school year.

Question: What if my child is going to attend a Charter School, transferring to a private school or any other new school outside of the District?
Answer: If your child will be attending a Charter School, transferring to a private school or any other new school outside of the District, then you should return the Chromebook to either of the Chromebook Support sites on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 am-12:00 pm, with the exception of July 6 to July 8, 2020.

Education Center, 440 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA  19130 or
Fitzpatrick Annex Building (located in the rear of Fitzpatrick Elementary School) 4101 Chalfont Drive, Philadelphia PA 19154

Question: What are the appropriate activities that my child can engage in while using the Chromebook?
Answer: Engaging in learning activities is  intended and appropriate. Please review the District’s Acceptable Use Policy with your child to ensure that they  know the guidelines for appropriate actions and online behavior.

(https://www.philasd.org/schoolboard/wp-content/uploads/sites/884/2017/07/815-Acceptable-Use-of-Internet-Technology-and-Network-Resources.pdf)

Please note that dates and times are scheduled to change based upon state and local guidelines due to COVID 19.

What if I my Chromebook is damaged or not working properly, over the summer? What if I have questions about how to use my Chromebook?

You can bring your Chromebook to one of our Support Centers for help. Summer hours are updated here.

Resources for using your Chromebook are also on that page.

Questions about Chromebooks can also be directed to our Parent & Family Technology Support hotline:
T: 215-400-4444
F: 215-400-4445
You can also email your questions to FamilyTechSupport@philasd.org.

What do I do if my child’s Chromebook gets stolen?

Please report the Chromebook theft  to the Philadelphia Police Department and obtain a police report.

How can I get a Chromebook for my child(ren)?

Individual schools are no longer distributing Chromebooks. If you still need one, there are two centers still operating during specific days and times. See the content HERE for details.

The wait lines at the Technology Support Centers are outdoors in order to support social distancing practices, safety and order while distributing devices. Please check the weather in advance and make plans appropriately.

To help the line move swiftly, adults should bring some form of identification. Having your child’s student ID number is recommended, but not necessary. High School students should bring their official School District ID badge.

If I have multiple children, will I get a device for each child?

Yes. Each K-12 student who is enrolled in a District school and needs a device for learning at home will receive one. If you are fortunate and have computer and internet access at home to meet your child’s online learning needs, we ask that you please reserve this program for those who do not.

What are the options for internet access?

In addition to providing Chromebooks, the District continues to work with the City to create a comprehensive list of low-cost Internet options or access to free WiFi mobile hotspots across the City. The list, and more information about getting connected can be found HERE.

For those families who reside in areas of the city where Xfinity WiFi is available, Comcast is making Xfinity WiFi free for everyone – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi.

The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Innovation and Technology has made available a similar listing of options HERE.

Can remote learning be done on an iPad or tablet?

Yes. Students and families can use any device that can provide access to Google classroom, access to a microphone and camera, and a keyboard. Resources for using various devices can be found here.

Are resources available to help students and families use their Chromebooks and other devices (iPads, tablets, etc.) for remote learning?

Yes. Instructional steppers for various devices (and translations) can be found HERE.

What accessibility features are available to support students in using their Chromebooks?

A full list of accessibility featured for Google G-suite, including Google Chrome and Chromebooks, can be found here.

What are the safety guidelines for the distribution of Chromebooks?

All School District and City personnel involved in the distribution of Chromebooks are volunteers. They will follow strict safety guidelines designed to ensure the health and well-being of our staff, students and families.

These safety guidelines include:

  • wearing gloves and masks
  • remaining six (6) feet apart from all individuals as Chromebooks are being prepared, organized and distributed
  • wiping down all surfaces before and after contact: Chromebooks, tables, pens, devices, door handles etc.
  • where possible, use of disposable pens for one-time use, and clipboards to support social distance while forms are completed
  • walkup options are offered with minimal contact involved, and where possible, drive-up  options offered

Will Pre-K families receive Chromebooks as well?

No. The official recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics is that children between the ages of 2 and 5 limit all screen use (inclusive of tablets, laptops, television, and ebooks) to a maximum of one hour per day, and even that screen time should be focused on high-quality programming that is co-viewed/operated with parents who can help children understand what they are seeing and how it applies to the world around them.

The Academy even cautions against over-reliance on digital ebooks for young children at this age without adult oversight:

“Digital books (also called “eBooks,” books that can be read on a screen) often come with interactive enhancements that, research suggests, may decrease child comprehension of content or parent dialogic reading interactions when visual effects are distracting.  Parents should, therefore, be instructed to interact with children during eBook reading, as they would a print book.” — “Media and Young Minds” in Pediatrics: The Official Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics, Vol. 138, Issue 5; Nov 2016.

Given the above, Pre-K students will not be receiving digital devices through the School District and will not be part of the broader remote/distance learning work that the School District is offering while schools are closed.

Instead, the families of pre-K children in District-operated classrooms will be receiving in the mail, via U.S. Postal Service, a home activity guide consisting of 41 separate activities that focus on a variety of skills across language and literacy, mathematical thinking, scientific thinking, social studies, physical motor skills and the arts.  PreK teachers are being asked to connect with families via telephone and other established communication channels (eg Classroom Dojo, Remind App, etc) to support these home learning activities and respond to questions families may have about their child’s development. To the extent that Teacher Assistants are able, they should support the efforts of the PreK teacher.

If a pre-K teacher is unable to contact a family via telephone, the teacher should reach out to her/his assigned Education Field Administrator, who will work with the Pre-K Family Services team to locate the family and re-establish contact.

Why is the effort to provide Chromebooks vital for Philadelphia students?

In Philadelphia, many households have access to in-home computers and internet services to help expand learning for their children beyond the classroom while many still do not.

A 2019 District Survey found that:

  • 45% of students in grades 3-5 have access to the internet from a computer at home
  • 56% of students in grades 6-8 have access to the internet from a computer at home
  • 58% of students in grades 9-12 have access to the internet from a computer at home

Will PSSA tests and Keystone exams that were scheduled for Spring 2020 still occur?

No. On March 19, 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) cancelled all PSSA, Keystone and Pennsylvania Alternate System of Assessment (PASA) testing for this school year as a result of COVID-19. You can find the latest information about the effects of cancelling testing on accounting and school reporting at www.education.pa.gov.

Will SAT and ACT tests that were scheduled for Spring 2020 still occur?

No. SAT and ACT test dates and makeup exam dates are changing rapidly, so be sure to visit https://pages.collegeboard.org/natural-disasters and https://www.act.org/ to find the latest information.

My child is on a 504 plan. Is the paperwork that I submitted for my child to use the plan for SAT going to be processed by SDP?

Each District school has been asked to post the remote office hours for the school nurse and the school counselor on their website by the week of April 20th. We ask that you contact your child’s school counselor who will be better prepared to answer student-specific questions.

When will the school year end?

Per the Department of Public Education, there will be no change to the current calendar for the school year. The last day of the 2019-2020 school year is June 12th.

Will report cards and diplomas for the 2019-2020 school year be mailed?

Yes.

Diplomas will be mailed. We ask for patience as the mail is slow. We will share resources for how to re-order a diploma with anyone who hasn’t received their diploma by the end of July.

Report cards will be mailed to all families using the address in the Student Information System in addition to making them available in the Student and Parent and Family Portal. Step-by-step information sheets outlining how students, parents and guardians will be able to access the report cards will be available on our website at www.philasd.org/pfportal

You will be able to view report cards in the Portal as follows:

  • Report cards for students in Grades 9-12 will now be available at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, June 15
  • Report cards for students in Grades K-8 will now be available at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 16

If you are not signed up for a Parent & Family Portal account, please follow the steps below to sign up. It’s the simplest and quickest way for you to access student grades and other school-based information about your child, including: test scores, attendance, immunization records, and much more! Signing up is easy and just takes a few minutes. One account covers all of your children who are enrolled in the School District. Visit www.philasd.org/face  and click on the Parent and Family Portal Quicklink on the right hand side of the page. You’ll find resources and quick videos there to help you register your account.

You will need three things to register:

1.    Your student’s ID number
2.    A personal email address
3.    Access to the telephone number on file at your child’s school

Why hasn't my student received their diploma yet?

Diplomas are still being mailed and will continue to be mailed into early July. Please keep an eye on your mail through the month of July. If the diploma is not received by the end of July, there will be opportunities to re-order. We will provide more information in July.

What supports can we expect from our school and our teachers in order to stay on track academically? How can parents get a view into what their children are supposed to be doing?

No digital learning plan can replace the quality of teaching and learning that occurs in a classroom. As we continue to navigate through these unprecedented times, you can learn more about the District’s plan for Digital Learning, and, Planned Instruction for digital learning has been detailed in a document you can download and read.

As we face various possibilities for instruction in the fall of 2020 we will update our website and keep parents notified.

Are resources available for seniors who need help with college applications or other college & career readiness support?

Yes. Beginning April 20th, college and career readiness coordinators and school counselors will be available via a Google Classroom titled Post-Secondary Readiness. There, students can receive support to further strengthen their readiness to enter college, trade schools and workforce. Seniors may also email collegeandcareer@philasd.org if they need additional support or have questions.

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 collegeandcareer@philasd.org. 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.

How will students who attend trade/tech high schools be graded on their skills?

Students participating in Career and Technical Education programs will not be assessed on hands-on skills. Although a critical component of Career and Technical programming is the hands-on training or student performance, it is always conducted under the supervision of a qualified teacher with industry experience in a safe and controlled environment, with industry approved equipment. To promote safety and equity for all students, starting April 20 all students will be able to access enrichment and review assignments online. Starting May 4, 2020, planned instruction based on theory and job readiness skills will begin. Final grades for this marking period will be based on a combination of work that was submitted and approved before schools closed on March 16, and virtual learning assignments provided during the planned instruction phase by their teacher of record.

How is the District grading the 3rd marking period?

We are shifting from 4 marking periods to 3, with the 3rd period open through the end of the school year. This will provide students with more time to gain the content, skills and credit they may have otherwise received in a traditional school year.

Will there be report card conferences?

No. Because the 3rd marking period is extended until June, we will not have 3rd marking period report cards. Final report cards will be mailed at the end of the year.

How will this affect graduating 8th graders?

All students, including eighth graders, will have the opportunity to participate in the remote learning plan to reinforce prior learning from earlier in the school year and gain new knowledge and skills (in alignment with grade-level standards) with the support of a teacher. Regular participation and completion of coursework should help students remain on track for the next grade level or get back on track if they struggled with coursework earlier in the year. While we are still figuring out what graduation celebrations will look like, eighth graders who participate in the remote learning plan will be prepared to move into ninth grade next year.

When will graduating 8th graders/incoming 9th graders receive information about placement, orientation, sports, etc.?

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic school leaders and teachers are singularly focused on implementing the Digital Learning Plan and ensuring students are receiving the education and support they need to finish this year well. Therefore, High Schools will not communicate with incoming 9th graders and their families until this school year has ended. We will provide more information as we near the end of the school year.

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. Our Digital Learning Plan will facilitate learning in May and June that is aligned to what would have been covered during the 4th report period. As we plan instruction for the 2020-2021 year, we will also reinforce instructional skills and concepts from the current report period.

How will the District closure and lack of PSSA testing affect my school selection for the 2020-2021 school year?

There are many decisions to be made regarding school selection and we are currently in discussions with school principals. Right now, we know that attendance will not be a criteria for K-12 school selection for SY2020-2021. We will keep you informed as additional decisions are made. If you have a suggestion or idea, please email it to schoolselectionresponses@philasd.org.

How will this affect Extended School Year (ESY)? Will other summer programs still be offered?

Extended School Year and other summer programs are being offered virtually this year. Additional information regarding programming can be found HERE.

Are perspective kindergarten parents able to enroll online while schools are out?

Yes. We encourage all prospective kindergarten families to complete registration online by going to www.philasd.org/kregistration and follow the step-by-step instructions. Online kindergarten registration can be completed on a computer, smartphone, or mobile device.  In person registration will resume once schools have re-opened.

Will the School District be required to make up missed days as a result of the closure?

No. The Pennsylvania Department of Education has decided it will not penalize districts that do not meet the required minimum number of instructional days or hours this school year due to COVID-19 response efforts. As the situation evolves, we will share any updates we have on what our calendar will look like for the remainder of the year.

Will graduations and proms still take place?

On June 9 the District celebrated graduating seniors with a Virtual Graduation. If you missed it you can watch HERE.

Move Up ceremonies were held at the discretion of individual schools and traditional proms were cancelled for this spring.

We are discussing what in-person ceremonies could look like later this year, once all social distancing protocols have been lifted. We will provide updates as decisions are made.

Will report cards and diplomas for the 2019-2020 school year be mailed?

Yes. Diplomas will be mailed. Report cards will be mailed AND will be available on the Parent & Family Portal.

  • Report cards for students in Grades 9-12 will now be available at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, June 15
  • Report cards for students in Grades K-8 will now be available at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 16

If you are not signed up for a Parent & Family Portal account, please follow the steps below to sign up. It’s the simplest and quickest way for you to access student grades and other school-based information about your child, including: test scores, attendance, immunization records, and much more!

Signing up is easy and just takes a few minutes. One account covers all of your children who are enrolled in the School District. Visit www.philasd.org/face  and click on the Parent and Family Portal Quicklink on the right hand side of the page. You’ll find resources and quick videos there to help you register your account.

You will need three things to register:

1.    Your student’s ID number
2.    A personal email address
3.    Access to the telephone number on file at your child’s school

Should we still pay class/graduation/class trip dues? Will dues be refunded?

If you haven’t yet paid these dues, you should not do so. If you paid for items that have been delivered, you will receive those items when it is safe to distribute them. Otherwise, your school’s principal is working with the District’s finance department to determine individual refund amounts. Refunds will be repaid with a check from your school and will be mailed to the address your school has on file for you. If you are worried that this address is incorrect, please contact your school immediately to submit a change of address form.

Because the reimbursement checks will be generated by each school, they cannot be issued until the Mayor and Governor have declared it safe for non-essential travel and our buildings are reopened to staff. We will inform you as soon as that occurs. We have worked with Wells Fargo to ensure that any family who wishes to cash the refund check will be able to do so at a Wells Fargo branch at no charge.

How will kids get their working papers and work permits now that schools are closed indefinitely?

Due to COVID-19, The School District of Philadelphia will be issuing Working Papers by APPOINTMENT ONLY. You can schedule a virtually or in-person appointment, or get more information, by clicking HERE. Please be aware that everyone is required to wear face coverings and maintain 6-feet distance from others at in-person appointments.

Please note:  Working Papers WILL NOT BE REQUIRED for any WorkReady Summer 2020 opportunities.

What if I have general questions about the Learning Guides or the closure overall?

Hotlines in multiple languages operate Monday through Thursday mornings from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.  to answer general questions in the native languages of many of our families.

  • 215-400-5300 – English
  • 215-400-8489 – Spanish
  • 215-400-8480 – Albanian
  • 215-400-8481 – Arabic
  • 215-400-8482 – Chinese
  • 215-400-8483 – French
  • 215-400-8484 – Khmer
  • 215-400-8474 – Portuguese
  • 215-400-8485 – Russian
  • 215-400-8486 – Vietnamese

You can also email your questions to covid19info@philasd.org.

How do I serve a legal Complaint/Writ during COVID-19 closures?

Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, The School District of Philadelphia’s Office of General Counsel is closed to the public and our staff are working remotely. For information on service of legal complaints/writs during Covid-19 closures, please go here.

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

Please email covid19info@philasd.org with any issues or concerns with District buildings.

How can I volunteer to help?

Those interested in volunteering should contact the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service by visiting www.phila.gov. There you will find opportunities with nonprofits that are providing critical services.

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 and other resources are available in the Resources section of the School District website at https://www.philasd.org/coronavirus to help you talk to your child about coronavirus and manage any stress you or your loved ones may be feeling:

Do you know of any health insurance programs for school-age children?

If your children need health insurance, either because they never had it or because your benefits have changed during the COVID crisis, our partners at PCCY can help you apply. Click HERE for information.

When will we know about returning to school in the fall?

We have multiple work groups in place that are actively planning for three different scenarios to ensure the safety of our students and staff when the new school year begins. The three scenarios are:

1. the full return of all staff and students to school buildings for in-person teaching and learning,
2. all students and staff remain remote/virtual
3. a hybrid – with some staff and students returning to offices and schools and others, for a variety of reasons, continuing to work and learn remotely.

NO DECISION has been made yet about which of the three scenarios will be implemented for the fall.

We continue to track and review local, state, national, and international policies, trends, guidelines, and orders related to reopening of schools in the era of COVID-19…and our work groups are guided by this information. Parents will have an opportunity to provide input and help us work through some big decisions. The first opportunity will be mid-June, when we will be launching an online survey (you can take on a computer or phone in multiple languages) to get your input on what worked well with remote learning this year, what needs to improve, and what conditions, practices and protocols are most important as we consider a safe return to our school buildings. There will also be other opportunities to give feedback.

Stay tuned!