|Action under consideration
Resolved that the Board of Education hereby approves The School District of Philadelphia’s Health and Safety Plan required by the American Rescue Plan Act and U.S. Department of Education, and developed and recommended for implementation by The School District of Philadelphia, through the Superintendent or his designees, as attached and consistent with the following.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) requires each local education agency (LEA) that receives funding under the ARP Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund to develop a Health and Safety Plan that addresses how it will maintain the health and safety of students, educators, and other staff, and which will serve as local guidelines for all instructional and non-instructional school activities during the period of the LEA's ARP ESSER grant. The LEA's Health and Safety Plan must be submitted to the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), approved by the Board of Education, and posted on the LEA’s website by September 1, 2021.
The School District of Philadelphia’s goal for the 2021-2022 school year is to safely welcome all students back to school for full in-person learning five days a week. The District’s Health and Safety Plan is designed to ensure that school reopening in the fall prioritizes student learning recovery and learning acceleration, attends to the social, emotional and mental health needs of students and staff, and provides safe and healthy schools that support high-quality teaching and learning, and equitable outcomes for all students. The Plan reflects the most recent guidance, recommendations, and mandates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), as well as input and feedback received from families, students, staff, and community members in response to two surveys administered in the Spring of 2021, (1) Budget Engagement survey, and (2) Fall School Reopening survey, and multiple community forums and focus groups dedicated to obtaining input into the plan for ARP ESSER funds and school reopening. Collaboration with public health experts from the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) and infectious disease physicians and pediatricians at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have also been instrumental in formation of the Plan.
Our planning for the 2021-2022 school year centers on key values that guide all our work and decision-making. They are:
- Health and safety → The District will make every effort to safeguard the health, safety, and well-being of its students, employees, and community-at-large. Planning and decision making will be guided by the CDC, PDE, and PDPH guidelines, and doctors and public health experts from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
- Continuous high-quality instruction → The District will deliver high-quality instruction seamlessly to all students across face-to-face and digital environments to support student growth and achievement.
- Educational equity → The District will provide all students with access to quality grade-level instruction and social-emotional support, with a focus on removing and ending racist practices.
- Data-driven decision making → The District will use data and expert analysis to inform decision making and build trust amongst all stakeholders. Our decisions will be informed by students, employees, and school community members.
- Flexibility → With the uncertainty and changing landscape, the District's plan will build in flexibility so we're prepared to adjust based on the needs of stakeholders and changes necessitated by medical circumstances and public health guidance.
- Accurate and timely communication → The District will ensure that students, employees, and families have the information they need to be safe, and keep all stakeholders up to date with important information throughout the school year.