By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A group of dads and sons from Philadelphia’s St. Joseph’s Preparatory School are building goodwill for city students. St. Joe’s Prep’s “Father’s Club” are sawing, hammering, and putting together handmade desks for children of low-income families to assist with virtual learning.

The goal is to encourage Philadelphia students at this time of all-remote school by giving them a dedicated space in their homes to learn.

“This is very important for our young men to see just how a simple act of building and delivering a desk to a young person can make a difference,” Erick Woods, the Associate Campus Minister for Ignatian Service at St. Joe’s Prep, said.

“I feel like it’s a great way to spend our time, especially during a pandemic when people may not have the resources needed for online school,” Phineas Hogan, a junior at St. Joe’s Prep, said.

The desks will be distributed to North Philadelphia students next Saturday.

Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, new rules dictate that schools with coronavirus cases could be forced to close on short notice.

Under the new rules, public schools have to revert to virtual instruction once they record certain numbers of coronavirus cases. For a building with fewer than 500 students that number is five or more COVID cases over 14 days is recommended to close for two weeks. The metrics vary depending on the school size.

“One of the problems with this new rule, though, is that it’s going to be very little advanced notice to staff or parents when we have to close,” Wissahickon School District Superintendent Jim Crisfield said. “Let’s say on a given Tuesday we get three cases and that puts us over the count limit for that school then we’ll have to close the next day.”


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