PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia School District kicked off its first “Back-to-School Bus Tour” on Monday morning. The bus made its first stop at the Jardel Recreation Center on Cottman Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia.CBS3 Mysteries: Detectives Searching For Man They Believe Can Help Solve Santino Thomas' Murder Case
Street team ambassadors brought information directly to neighborhoods. It’s all to make sure families are prepared for the school year.
“We are traveling from neighborhood to neighborhood across the city of Philadelphia to engage the city and welcome back as many students and families as we can,” says Dr. William Hite, the superintendent for Philadelphia schools.
Parents registered their children, got back-to-school information, and picked up free school supplies. For some students, it will be their first time ever in a classroom.
Parents also got a glimpse at what ‘back to school’ means during this stage of the pandemic.
“I think it’ll be a good thing for him,” parent Amy Hill says about her son returning to in-person schooling. “He’ll be a lot more focused.”READ MORE: Sharon Hill Borough Council Launches Independent Investigation Into Fatal Shooting Of 8-Year-Old Fanta Bility
Some expressed concerns as they spoke to CBS3, with one parent saying in regards to her soon-to-be kindergartener, “I’m excited about him going to school, but I’m nervous about the coronavirus because the vaccine isn’t available for kids under the age of 12 so it’s no protection for them if they contract it.”
Mayor Jim Kenney acknowledged those concerns as he spoke at the event.
“The safety and well-being of our children is our top priority, and I know many parents have legitimate concerns about sending their children back into the classroom, some of whom are not eligible to be vaccinated yet,” Mayor Kenney says.
The school district is doing what they can while adhering to CDC guidelines; masks will be required for everyone, along with adults being tested once a week. Students will be tests if they start showing symptoms.
The bus tour ends August 27 ahead of school starting on August 31.MORE NEWS: 19-Year-Old Man Killed In Double Shooting Inside Port Richmond Home, Police Say