PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — There’s still no word on when Philadelphia schools may reopen. Until then, the School District of Philadelphia is getting ready to start online instruction later this month.
The district bought 40,000 Chromebooks to loan to students so they can learn from home during the coronavirus closures.
In a Facebook Live address, Superintendent William Hite answered questions from parents. He said students don’t have to use Chromebooks — iPads, tablets or any device with a microphone and keyboard that can access Google Classroom will suffice.
Hite said 6,500 teachers have been trained on the platform, and online enrichment classes will start April 20. Classes that count begin on May 4.
“These will be graded. Attendance will be taken. These will count toward the grades that young people will be collecting for the remainder of this school year,” he said.
Some high school seniors asked if graduation ceremonies would be held. Hite said some kind of ceremony may be held at the end of the school year, in the summer or even in the fall, depending on when large gatherings are permitted again.
Just in case, the district is verifying students’ mailing addresses.
“We’re already planning for the mailout of the diplomas if we need to,” Hite added.
Schools across Pennsylvania remain closed indefinitely.