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Countdown, Day 1: The night before schools open

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

On the eve of schools opening, staff are working hard to prepare for a critical and highly scrutinized first day of the year. Teachers at Lingelbach Elementary in Mount Airy have produced a creative music video about the challenges they will face tomorrow.

Contract negotiations between the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and the School District, however, remain ongoing. District spokesman Fernando Gallard said the two sides met again Sunday. Asked to comment on the status of the talks or any future plans, he said only that "it is our hope that we find agreement at the negotiating table."

A candlelight vigil is scheduled for Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at Gov. Corbett’s Philadelphia office, 200 S. Broad St. Organized by the Philadelphia Coalition Advocating for Public Schools (PCAPS), the vigil will draw attention to how the governor’s policies and budgets over the last several years have resulted in unacceptable educational conditions in Philadelphia.

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