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After heat-shortened week, Philly to reconsider August school start

Students walking to school in Philadelphia. (WHYY file Photo/Matt Rourke)

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

After a heat-shortened week, School District of Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite said the District will reconsider its decision to start school before Labor Day.

“I think it’s worthy of another conversation, but taking into account all of what we experienced over the past week,” Hite said Thursday afternoon.

He was speaking shortly after District schools let out early for the third consecutive day because of high temperatures. Though the mercury is forecast to drop significantly Friday, the District already has a half-day on the calendar, meaning the first week of school will feature four truncated days.

That’s exactly the type of disruption that officials were hoping to avoid when they moved the start date up this year. Rather than start the Tuesday after Labor Day, as was tradition, District leaders decided to start the week before. They hoped a fuller first week of instruction would help kids and teachers establish momentum, and they promoted the move with an eye-catching social media campaign.

Read the rest of this story at WHYY News

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