With all Pennsylvania schools closed for the remainder of the school year, Philadelphia schools are transitioning to digital learning. Read on for more information about digital learning, as well as resources and advice for families.
Be sure to check your school’s website and/or the School District homepage often for updates.
Key dates for School District students
- As the School District of Philadelphia shifts to an online-only school system, students will be expected to join their teacher for class using Google Classroom. Please note these important dates for the transition to digital learning:
- April 20 – May 1: Teachers are available for remote instruction and student check-ins, and will review academic material taught earlier in the school year
- April 20 – Postsecondary supports on Google Classroom will be available to all seniors (see below)
- May 4: Digital learning with new academic material begins
Digital learning resources
The School District of Philadelphia has set up a number of online resources for students and their guardians to use during this time.
- Digital Learning homepage – find materials, supports, and resources
- Internet Access Options for Families – there are many ways to get connected. Check out this list to find one that works for you.
- SDP Learning Guides – work packets organized by grade level and subject matter, with additional links to glossaries of academic vocabulary for students who speak languages other than English, and to other educational apps and websites.
- Postsecondary supports – Counselors and College and Career Readiness Coordinators will support their schools via Google Classrooms. The Postsecondary Secondary Central Office Google Classroom will be available May 11.
- SDP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are regularly updated on The School District of Philadelphia’s website.
- Kindergarten registration is currently open for the 2020-2021 school year. Applications can be done entirely online. To apply, follow these instructions here.
- Supplemental Education supports for Special Education students and English Language Learners are available on the School District’s website.
- Additional Education Supports for Physical Education, CTE, Language and Performing Arts are also available.
Technology supports for digital learning
- The School District has set up a Chromebooks support webpage to answer your questions about your new Chromebooks, Google Classroom, and other technology-related concerns. This page includes:
- The School District also has a dedicated telephone support line (215-400-4444) and email (FamilyTechSupport@philasd.org) for students and families who need technical assistance with their learning devices.
The School District is working closely with the City of Philadelphia and Internet service providers to identify Internet access options for students and families. Check out this post by the City’s Office of Innovation and Technology on staying connected during COVID-19.
Here are some free or low-cost Internet and WiFi access options:
- Xfinity is currently offering free and low-cost WiFi
- Comcast’s Internet Essentials is free for 2 months for any new Comcast customers who meet income requirements. Households with outstanding Comcast bills can still be eligible if they apply by May 13. For more information on individual plans and options, visit these phone and internet providers’ websites:
Tips for caregivers while schools are closed
If you sometimes feel overwhelmed during this uncertain time, you are not alone! It is important to take care of yourself as well as your child.
Here are some helpful resources to help families and caregivers reduce stress and building healthy coping mechanisms:
- The School District of Philadelphia has released several guides and resources focusing on ways to talk about COVID-19 with your child. They can be found here.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer published an article on ways to manage you and your child’s stress while staying at home.
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has released a guide for families on how to better understand COVID-19 and managing traumatic stress.
- Harvard Health has information on quick and easy ways to destress without leaving your house.
Additional learning resources
- The Free Library of Philadelphia is offering free online activities, including online storytelling, ebooks, movies and more!
- Read by 4th is offering several fun and educational activities for you and your child to work on!
- Khan Academy offers free online lessons in many subjects, daily lesson plan schedules for students and additional resources for parents, guardians, and teachers.
- The Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, or OVR, provides vocational rehabilitation services to help persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment. OVR provides services to eligible individuals with disabilities, both directly and through a network of approved vendors.
- The School District of Philadelphia’s Office of Early Childhood created an Early Childhood Toolkit full of activities for young children.
- Visit Scholastic Learn at Home for science and social studies videos and activities designed for students in pre-K and kindergarten.
Important Phone Numbers
- SDP hotline for students and families – (215) 400-5300
- Open Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. -11:30 a.m.
- Interpretation available in 10 languages
- You can also send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Subscribe to COVID-19 updates from the City of Philadelphia by texting COVIDPHL to 888-777
- Philly 311 – For information on additional City services, dial 311
- Philadelphia Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-866-723-3014
- National Domestic Violence Hotline – 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522
- To report child abuse – contact ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313 or 215-683-6100
- Public Health Emergencies – 1-877-PA-Health
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline – 1-800-273-8255
- Disaster Distress Helpline – 1-800-985-5990
- This 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline provides immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster.
- Crisis Text Line – Text “MHA” to 741741
- If your family needs additional food support while schools are closed, you can visit one of 80+ student meal sites to pick up free grab-and-go meals. In addition, you can call 311 for support finding a food pantry, or check out this list of City-supported food sites.
- While schools and businesses are closed, many essential government services remain available. Check out this list to find additional resources for your family.