School District of Philadelphia outlines plans to keep students, staff safe from virus

Mike DeNardo
July 07, 2020 - 5:50 pm

    PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  The Philadelphia School District is outlining how it plans to keep students and staff safe from the coronavirus this fall. Parents learned about the district health plan at an online session Tuesday. 

    Everyone students and teachers will have to wear masks in school. 

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    There will not be temperature checks of students, but school staff will have to answer an electronic health questionnaire every morning. If they pass, they'll receive a green check on their phone that they'll display when they arrive at school. 

    Those are some of the health strategies described at an online town hall by the district's medical officer, Dr. Barbara Klock.

    In classrooms, Klock said desks would all face one direction and be 6 feet apart, and students would move through schools in the same cohort to minimize interaction. 


    And Klock said fabric surfaces, including carpets and curtains, would be removed, because those surfaces could hold the virus and would be difficult to clean.

    She said restrooms would be cleaned frequently, with some sinks designated as off-limits to create social distancing.   

    "Our cleaning team will be disinfecting high-touch areas many times per day. And I believe we have up to 30,000 doorknobs in the district that will need to be cleaned, as well as light switches and elevator switches and railings and anything else we touch during the day,” she added. 

    Physical education would be held outdoors as much as possible.  

    This was the first of a weeklong series of town halls to gather feedback on the district's back-to-school blueprint, which is expected to be released next Wednesday.