By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia School District is installing window ventilation fans in school buildings as part of their COVID-19 safety plan. The district released a video of the installation on Sunday.

Some parents and teachers have complained about this ventilation strategy, arguing it is insufficient.

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For the first time in nearly a year, some Philadelphia students will see the inside of a classroom as the district prepares to bring pre-kindergarten through second-grade kids back into schools.

Pre-K through second-grade students whose families selected hybrid learning during the selection process in the fall will phase in first, beginning on Monday, Feb. 22. Staff supporting Pre-K through second-grade students will return to school buildings on Monday, Feb. 8 to prepare.

The school district will safely phase in students with a lengthy list of safety protocols in place including, pre-screening protocols, mandatory mask-wearing, new classroom and bathroom setups to ensure social distancing, plexiglass barriers, enhanced cleaning protocols, touchless hand sanitizer stations throughout all buildings, maximum occupancy signs outside each room, signage to promote social distancing.

The district offered a choice for students to remain 100% digital or to enter a hybrid model in the fall. Officials say more than 9,000 families chose the hybrid model. The district says families who chose to remain 100% virtual will have the opportunity to opt into a hybrid model at a later date when it is safe to phase in more students.

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This third attempt at beginning a hybrid learning model since the pandemic comes with the endorsement of the city’s health department.

“We believe it is safe for students to return to school,” Gail Carter-Hamilton with the Department of Health said.


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