Ring the Bell
WELCOME BACK! SCHOOL STARTS TUESDAY AUGUST 31st!
We are excited to Ring the Bell on a full return to in-person learning starting on August 31st, the first day of school, with all PreK-12 students attending five days per week and receiving instruction from teachers in their enrolled school.
Information, updates and resources will continue to be added to this page as we approach the first day of school. Please visit this page often to see what’s new!
2021-2022 School Year: What to Expect
The School District of Philadelphia is excited and ready to safely welcome all students back to school for in-person learning, some for the first time in more than 18 months. We believe that welcoming students back to our classrooms in person and surrounding them with caring educators and critical supports is the best way to help them heal, grow academically and re-engage in the learning and social environments that are critical to their development. (Subject to change based on COVID-19 conditions)
(Translations coming soon!) SHQIP | عربي | 汉语 | ខ្មែរ | Français | Português | Pусский | Español | Việt
- First Day of School – Tuesday, August 31st for all grades
- Learning Format – Full day, in-person instruction 5 days per week. Kindergarten will be ½ days Aug 31 – Sept. 8. Schools closed Sept. 6 & 7
- Attendance – All students are expected to attend class on time, every day.
- Health Screening – Staff and families are asked to assess that they or their children are symptom-free before they come into schools and District offices.
- Masks & Facial Coverings – Required for vaccinated and unvaccinated students and staff; provided by schools
- Touchless Hand Sanitizer Stations – Maintained in every school
- COVID-19 Testing
- Students: Testing available onsite for students who present with COVID-like symptoms during the day.
- Staff: Continue testing every employee once a week; may adapt throughout the year.
- Students & Staff: Test to Stay – Close contacts of positive cases must be tested at least 3 non-consecutive days within the first 7 days following exposure. Close contacts who remain negative during the testing may stay in school and not have to quarantine. Positive cases must isolate for at least 10 days.
- Athletics/Performing Arts –Test to Play/Perform: Athletes who play high risk sports and students participating in select performing arts (band and choir) will be tested 1-2 times a week. Vaccinated athletes/performing arts students may opt out of weekly testing with proof of vaccination.
- Confirmed Positive COVID-19 Cases
- Communication: impacted schools and families informed
- Person Testing Positive: in-home isolation required for at least 10 days
- Classrooms or School Closures: only if advised by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health
- Continuity of Education – Students who are quarantining or isolating will receive instructional support while at home
- Social Distancing – While 3 feet of distance will be encouraged where possible, the priority from both the CDC and PDPH is the full return of students with multiple layers of safety in place
- Air & Surface Purifiers – In all instructional spaces, gyms, cafeterias and offices
- Cleaning & Sanitizing – Schools cleaned and sanitized before Aug. 31st and throughout the day, every day after schools reopen
- Student Supports
- More supports to help students deal with trauma, transition back to a more structured school day and advance socially and academically
- Starting the first day, all schools will focus on relationship building, and creating safe and welcoming school environments for everyone
- Extra-curricular Activities & Sports – All activities will return in person. Spectators limited to outdoor games only
- Student Transportation – All school buses and vans cleaned between runs. SEPTA Student Fare Cards instead of Weekly Transpasses
- Remote Learning Options – Offered through the School District of Philadelphia Virtual Academy. 100% independent learning. Deadline to enroll is August 13th. philasd.org/pva
The School District of Philadelphia is excited to partner with RadioOne and Brown’s Shoprite to bring our annual Back to School Celebration into the community as a part of the Back to School Bus Tour!
Students and families are invited to join us at one of four Brown’s Shoprite locations throughout the city from 9 AM to 1 PM on select dates in August for backpack giveaways, free books, required school vaccinations, music, and more (while supplies last)!!
CLICK HERE to pre-register for vaccines/immunizations
- TUESDAY, AUGUST 10, 2021 | 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Bakers Centre, 3400 Fox St., Philadelphia, PA 19129
- THURSDAY, AUGUST 12, 2021 | 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
ShopRite of Cheltenham Square, 2471 W Cheltenham Ave., Wyncote, PA 19095
- WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2021 | 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
ShopRite of Parkside, 1575 N 52nd St., Philadelphia, PA 19131
- TUESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2021 | 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
ShopRite of Island Avenue, 2900 Island Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19153
District Covid Vaccination Events
Still need a COVID-19 vaccine for you or your family?
- Monday, August 2nd – Martin Luther King HS: 6100 Stenton Ave.
- Tuesday, August 3rd Motivation HS 5900 Baltimore Ave
- BACK TO SCHOOL JAM in partnership with CHOP: COVID-19 vaccinations, free school supplies, community resources, entertainment, music and fun
- Learn more, and register for an appointment HERE or text READY to 267-328-5378 (1:00 to 7:00pm)
- Wednesday, August 4th – West Philly HS: 4901 Chestnut St
- Friday, August 6th – Loesche Elementary: 595 Tomlinson Rd
Health & Safety
- Air and surface purifiers
We are installing air and surface purifiers in every instructional space in every school. These state-of-the-art purifiers use NASA technology and dramatically reduce surface and air contaminants. Click here for more details.
- Cleaning and sanitizing every school
We are cleaning walls, floors, furniture, doors, windows, bathrooms, fixtures and dispensers,
railings, light switches and more in every school.
- Testing hydration stations
We are testing the 1,070 touchless hydration stations in schools to be sure that they work and comply with safe drinking water regulations.
- Maintaining touchless hand sanitizer stations
We are refilling stations and ensuring supplies are available at every school to support frequent handwashing.
- Removing asbestos from schools
We have removed more than 20 miles of asbestos-containing materials from schools since last summer. Now we are removing more material from 35 schools with environmental and capital projects.
- Investing more than $160 million to improve school buildings
We are replacing roofs, upgrading electrical systems, improving classrooms, replacing heating and ventilation systems, and more.
Why In-Person Learning Matters
At a time when students deserve a high-quality education more than ever, in-person learning matters most.
- In-Person Learning Better Helps Children Form Healthy Connections with Others
- There is a sense of community within a face-to-face classroom that just can’t be recreated online.
- Studies show that socializing and developing friendships helps children learn more about themselves, build empathy, and better handle stress.
- “Connections formed through in-person interaction are crucial to the social and
emotional development of children. This especially applies to children with behavioral or other developmental needs.” – Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
- In-Person Learning Provides Greater Access to Resources – “Children get much more than academics at school. They also learn social and emotional skills, get healthy meals and exercise, mental health support and other services that cannot be easily replicated online.” – American Academy of Pediatrics
- In-Person Learning Provides Necessary Routines – Attending school in-person each day provides a daily routine and structure that helps students
- In-Person Learning Better Supports Different Learning Styles – Being together in a classroom better enables teachers to guide students according to their unique learning styles and abilities.
NEW BELL SCHEDULE
One important change we are making together is phasing in a standardized approach to daily school start and end times District-wide. This year all bus schedules will be aligned with one of three uniform bell times, likely affecting your child’s transportation and daily bell schedule.
BELL SCHEDULE FAQs
We know families have ongoing questions around the changes to the bell schedule. We will be adding additional FAQs as information becomes available.
Is the (for example, 9:00am) start for all students at a school, even if those students do not take the bus?
Yes. Regardless if students do not take a bus to school, it would be the same start and end time for all students enrolled in a school.
If my school does not receive transportation services, then why can’t we maintain the current bell schedule?
Philadelphia is a city where we have a transient student population. While a school may not have students who are eligible and entitled to services at this date, a child may be enrolled at that school at a later date in the course of the year. It would be challenging to reroute mid year.
Is there a plan for supporting childcare before or after school for families? How will this affect students involved with athletics?
We will be working with schools and partners to possibly identify before and after school programs. We are working with the Office of Athletics to determine sports schedules. More information will be coming on these questions.
How was the community engaged in this decision?
During community forums, specifically in the spring, transportation needs were discussed. School Leaders, Central Office staff, union partners were also part of this stakeholder engagement.
We will be starting a new round of community engagement forums as early as September 2021 to assess how the new schedule is working and how to best refine it, where appropriate.
How have the changes impacted the number of schools and their changes?
113 schools had no change or less than 15 minutes of change to their previous schedule
123 schools had over 15 minutes of change to their previous schedule
AN IMPORTANT NOTE FOR KINDERGARTEN!
From August 31st through September 8th, Kindergartners will have half days and receive instruction in the morning only. For more information, click HERE.
SEPTA is phasing out the weekly Transpass and replacing it with a SEPTA Student Fare Card for all eligible students.
What is it?
It is a reusable chipped card used by students to board a SEPTA trolley, bus, or subway. Unlike the disposable weekly Transpass, students will be able to use the SEPTA Student Fare Card for the entire school year.
Regular Fare Cards are free to District students. Cards can be upgraded to be used on Regional Rail for an additional fee.
Eligible students will receive their Fare Card on the first day of school (all SEPTA buses, trains trolleys and subways will be free to students on the first day of school).