Philadelphia school district finalizes new bell timetable for the 2021 school year


When the Philadelphia School District posted an incomplete list of the new school year’s start time on its website last week, many parents were confused and upset. By Monday afternoon, the list had been deleted.

On Thursday, the school district gave it another chance to publish “Revised” timetable Across Palumbo College and William H. Ziegler Elementary School. The district spokesperson Monica M. Lewis confirmed to PhillyVoice that the revised list is final.

The school district initially planned to reduce the 28 start times to three levels—7:30 in the morning and 8:15 in the morning. And at 9 a.m., most schools will start at one of these three times.But the final timetable shows that 25 schools start at six other times, including 7:45 a.m., 8 a.m., 8:30 a.m., and 8:45 a.m.

“Some schools may need time outside the three opening hours,” Lewis told Philadelphia Voice. “The transportation service department in the area will review the proposed timetable on a case-by-case basis.”

The timetable shows that 62 schools will start at 7:30 in the morning, another 74 schools will start at 8:15, and the other 76 schools will start at 9 in the morning. Most high schools in the district are scheduled to start at 7:30 in the morning, but 23 The school will start later.

On Wednesday morning, in a virtual forum, the head of the school, Evelyn Nuñez, told parents that “a few high schools” will have different opening times “for various reasons”, but did not elaborate. These reasons.

Early on, it conflicted with the guidelines of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Academy of Pediatrics, the latter It is recommended that both junior high school students and high school students start class at 8:30 in the morning or later It is beneficial to their physical and mental health, safety and academic achievement.

The long-term goal of the school district is to “transition to a cross-school timetable to reflect what science has clearly shown to be most beneficial to student learning,” said Danielle Floyd, general manager of the Department of Transportation.

Both she and Nunez said that with the implementation of the new bell schedule, the school district will seek feedback from the community. The district will begin preparations for the 2022-23 school year at the end of September.

According to Nuñez, before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts face-to-face learning in 2020, the school district is working on a tiered bell schedule. Due to resignation and retirement resulting in a “serious” driver shortage, Nuñez said that only three start times can best meet the “educational (and) social/emotional needs of all our students while effectively satisfying our operational needs.”

She added: “The school district is aware that we have no personnel to operate at the pre-pandemic level without significantly increasing student travel time.”

Nevertheless, many participating parents expressed dissatisfaction with the plan because the plan caused problems for parents who started working at 9 am, and most of the students who were picked up by the school district school bus did not go to school.

Most of the 41,000 students transported by the school district attended charter schools and private schools. According to Freud, only 13,580 of these students attended district schools.

Freud said school districts are required by law to transport students in grades 1-6 who live more than 1.5 miles from their school.For students in grades 7-12, the district provides SEPTA fare card. Starting this year, between 5:30 in the morning and 8 in the evening, a maximum of 8 taps on buses, trolleybuses and subways are allowed each school day

Pennsylvania Law School districts are not required to provide transportation services to their students. If school districts provide transportation services, state law requires them to provide the same services to students attending private schools. The law also requires school districts to transport eligible charter school students.

Nunez said that some families also expressed concern about the need for high school students to send their siblings to elementary school. If they are already in class, this is impossible. Nunez said the school district is working hard to determine where it needs to expand pre- and after-school programs.

She told parents: “You will get more information about the pre- and after-school programs provided by schools directly from school leaders.” “In terms of what the school will provide, this information should be released in August.”

Nunez said the school district has been working “very closely” with the principal to develop a new three-tier clock schedule. However, Robin Cooper, chairman of the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators, stated, Tell WHYY last week The principals’ union was excluded from the discussion.

“The school district made this decision unilaterally and the principals should implement it. This created an atmosphere of mistrust between the community and school leaders,” said Cooper, who was distributed by his union. “Distrust” petition Confronted with Superintendent William Haight in September last year.

Jerry Jordan, President The Philadelphia Teachers’ Federation told PhillyVoice that the school district’s approach to changing timetables was “contrary to their past practices,” which resulted in “a lot of confusion.”

“They didn’t take measures at the school level, but took district-wide measures,” Jordan said. “…We have a short time to pass the information to the construction representative, even though we did. We work hard to ensure that the SDP/PFT joint committee hears and resolves disputes in a timely and fair manner, and in fact, we are still working hard Solve problems in individual schools.”

The school district has scheduled an additional virtual forum on the schedule change at 5 pm on July 21.



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