PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Parents and educators are already beginning to think about next school year. But the coronavirus pandemic is making it complicated.
Comments from Pennsylvania’s education chief about a September reopening of schools have parents, school officials, teachers and staff scratching their heads: Is that logistically possible?
“We’re working this out on our own, as superintendents locally,” Upper Darby Superintendent Dr. Daniel McGarry said. “There really hasn’t been too much clear direction on what we’re supposed to do and how we’re supposed to do this here in the commonwealth.”
McGarry’s staff is measuring classrooms, examining bus schedules and investigating the purchase of thousands of masks.
“We’d be looking at close to 13,000 in personal protective equipment in the school district. Right now, to be honest with you, there isn’t much clear direction on the type of mask we should have in our schools,” McGarry said.
Another milestone moment felled by the pandemic is graduations.
Upper Darby is holding out hope theirs will be in-person, according to principal Kelley Simone.
“There is no blueprint. We are collaborating constantly. We have a task force after task force. The superintendent meets with teachers, meets with students. We are trying to just pull every stakeholder in,” Simone said.
Staff distributed caps and gowns to seniors on Wednesday.
The drive-thru moment was largely symbolic of the major events since canceled because of social distancing to halt the spread of the virus.
“It’s emotional but I’m glad we at least get to see some of them today,” Simone said.
The federal government will be doling out $500 million to Pennsylvania school districts. Upper Darby will see $4 million to see them through this pandemic.