PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The School District of Philadelphia has not yet decided whether to extend the school year, but they are making progress with their online learning plan. Superintendent Dr. William Hite held a press conference online Friday morning, saying the district is making progress distributing tens of thousands of Chromebooks to make online schoolwork possible.
Hite says 50,000 of the computers are brand new to cover students who didn’t have them at the start of the year.
The school district is also exploring a potential deal for Wifi hotspots.
Hite says the process of distributing laptops isn’t done just yet.
“I think 43 schools have distributed most of what they’ve had,” Hite said. “Some have needed new ones. Others have had enough at their schools in order to distribute, and then, for others, it was a mixture of both.
“There are large schools, like Northeast High School, that will need several thousand.”
Hite says he does believe the district has enough laptops. He says that formal online instruction will begin sometime in May.
Students will have to attend online, participate and complete assignments. They will be graded.
Hite also says Philadelphia school spring break will continue as normal.
“One of the things that was really important to announce is that at least from a staff perspective, spring break will still be taken as usual from April 6 through April 9 and the observance of Good Friday on April 10,” he said.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education has already mandated that the school year cannot be extended past June 30.