Board OKs online-only school start for Philadelphia students

The city school board voted 7-1 on Thursday night to approve the proposal.

  • The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia school district has approved plans to offer online-only instruction for students at least through the first marking period that ends in mid-November.

The city school board voted 7-1 on Thursday night to approve the proposal.

The district had initially planned to return students to class two days a week, but school officials switched gears this week after that proposal drew fears and criticism from parents, teachers and administrators.

The new plan will switch to a hybrid model of in-person and remote learning after Nov. 17, as long as the city’s Department of Health confirms it’s safe to do so.

Board member Maria McColgan cast the lone no vote on the online-only plan, citing deep reservations about children being out of classrooms for so long. McColgan, who is a pediatrician, also argued that science supports the reopening of schools, noting research that shows negative impacts of school closures and the reduced risk of young children contracting and spreading COVID-19.

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