Chalkbeat Philly by Chalkbeat Staff, August 11, 2021
Philadelphia officials plan to open school buildings for all students on Aug. 31 for the first time since March 2020. But there is an option for families that still feel uneasy about in-person learning due to the coronavirus. Enrollment is open for Philadelphia Virtual Academy — the district virtual school — until Friday, so it’s unclear how many families will take advantage of this option. The availability of a remote option makes Philadelphia a bit of an outlier among large districts. Others, such as New York City, are not planning to offer a means for students to learn virtually. “We surveyed families in the spring and 8,000 families responded, and the response was that a virtual option would be important,” said Superintendent William Hite in explaining the decision. Since it started in 2013, PVA has been open for sixth through ninth graders. For the coming school year, it will be expanded to include kindergarten through fifth grade as well.
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