SHARON HILL, Pa. (CBS) — There are new details about plans for some local school districts to return their students to full-time in-person instruction. Late last week, suburban Philadelphia schools in Chester and Delaware Counties received guidance from health officials somewhat relaxing the six-foot physical distancing rule when necessary.
The Chester County Health Department, in a letter to school superintendents and obtained by CBS3, indicated six feet of distancing to the greatest extent possible is recommended — at no time is less than three feet permitted.READ MORE: Jalen Hurts, Eagles No Match For Cowboys In 41-21 Loss In Dallas
Several districts now educating in a hybrid model, including Radnor Township, have identified dates to return to full-time in-person learning nearly a year after the responses to the pandemic first disrupted practically everything.
On Thursday, kindergarten through second grade will report back under what the district calls Phase 1. Next week, all elementary students are scheduled to return.
But the picture looks different depending on the school district.
Southeast Delco School District’s Board of Education narrowly voted last week to delay any in-person instruction until the start of the 2021-2022 school year.
During the board’s Zoom meeting from last week, staffing shortages and ventilation concerns were overriding concerns in keeping kids home.READ MORE: Philadelphia School District Superintendent Dr. William Hite Will Not Seek Contract Renewal After School Year
“My personal opinion is open as soon as we can and start our hybrid,” Southeast Delco School Board Vice President Edward McBride said.
An email message to the board president wasn’t returned.
The superintendent told Eyewitness News by phone, even in light of the new information from the health department, they’re not necessarily reconsidering their decision.
But some parents say recent surveys showed more than half of families wanted some form of in-person instruction.
“This right here, it’s just not sitting well,” Aimee Washington, mother of two and a candidate for the school board, said. “I would like every household to be satisfied with what they’re paying. They’re paying for school taxes and this is their wishes, then some children belong in a classroom. Some of them need the classroom and some of them are doing better at home. But this is, 56% wanted their children there.”MORE NEWS: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Large Group Of Noisy Dirt Bikes, ATVs Take Over Radnor Streets
The superintendent of Southeast Delco adds three of the buildings in this district don’t even have air conditioning. Plus, about a dozen classrooms in the high school have no windows. Both of those factors are adding additional challenges as they try to navigate a full-time return to class.