Pittsburgh Public Schools students could continue online learning this fall

Pittsburgh Public Schools believe they will continue online learning this fall

PITTSBURGH — UPDATE 5:46 p.m.: Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Anthony Hamlet said he expects students could continue remote learning into next school year.

“Just being transparent, out of all the things we are reading and all of the issues we are dealing with when it comes to social distancing, we truly believe that we will be in this space of online and remote learning in the fall, because when you take into context of things like social distancing, and when you think about schools and proximity that kids, teachers and staff are in, it is impossible to social distance," Hamlet said.

Read more about what the superintendent said during Thursday’s virtual town hall here.

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Previous story: Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Anthony Hamlet is keeping all options on the table for what school will look like in the fall.

In an interview with Channel 11, Hamlet laid out several options that will be considered, including using shifts to bring students into the classroom.

“Do we look at going to half days, bringing half the kids in the morning and half in the afternoon? Do we do an A day, a B day, and a C day, bringing kids in various different ways? We’re just brainstorming the possibilities and getting ready,” Hamlet said.

He added that continuing virtual learning for all students remains an option.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Tom Wolf closed schools statewide March 17.

That has since been extended until the fall.

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Hamlet said the district plans on holding virtual roundtables with parents, students and educators to get their feedback on the options.

“We want to talk to the district as soon as possible, and we think it’s vital the district talk to the teachers,” said Nina Esposito-Visgitis, president of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers.

She said everyone wants to be back in the classroom as soon as it's deemed safe.

But she believes the closures and the move toward virtual learning is giving more people an appreciation of teachers. “It has really proven the good work of our teachers and how important teaching is, if you can get any silver lining out of this,” Esposito-Visgitis said.

For families statewide, clarity on what the future holds is lacking, creating frustration and uncertainty. “All four of us are in the house," said Lauren Costello, a North Hills parent. "The fact that this could continue longer than expected is just not something we’re looking forward to.”

Vote expected on grading guidelines for remote learning in Pittsburgh Public Schools