Parents express concern about Pittsburgh Public Schools’ health, safety plan

PITTSBURGH — Parents of Pittsburgh Public Schools students were able to weigh in Monday on the district’s proposed health and safety plan for in-person learning in the fall.

>>PREVIOUS STORY: Pittsburgh Public Schools health and safety plan doesn’t sit well with teacher’s union

Included in the proposed plan is required mask-wearing for all students and staff inside school buildings, whether vaccinated against COVID-19 or not, as well as social distancing of three feet between students in classrooms and six feet between adults. The district would also have to show an effort to vaccinate its school community by providing access to vaccines for all staff and eligible students.

If the plan passes, there will also be daily cleaning and disinfecting of all buildings in the district, and air systems will be flushed at least two hours before and after building use.

>>PREVIOUS STORY: Pittsburgh Public Schools rolls out proposed health, safety plan

Other adaptations would include giving students assigned seats on school buses and having classes outside when the weather allows.

The plan was criticized by a current district teacher.

“If you have more than 20 or 25 students, that seems pretty much impossible.”

The teacher from Pittsburgh Arlington explained that the plan would hinder the way teachers accommodate students and claims the plan was created without properly notifying staff.

“I am extremely upset regarding the safety plan and how we as staff members were notified. In previous meetings, or lack thereof, there was always an issue. Yet, here we are again.”

After all those months online last year, one parent asked the district to give families with at-risk members alternative learning options until vaccines become more widely available to children.

“A remote learning option offered by each student’s own school would be ideal. This option would only be needed until kids can be vaccinated.”

Those vaccination concerns come as Moderna announced plans to expand its vaccine trial to children ages 5-11. Moderna is actively discussing a proposal with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and said it expects to have a package that supports authorization by winter.

The school board will vote on the plan Wednesday.

CLICK HERE for more information on the health and safety plan.