The City of Philadelphia is partnering with community-based organizations to open Access Centers that will support Philadelphia children and their families this fall during digital-learning time. Access Centers will be free of charge and located in neighborhoods to serve Philadelphia’s most vulnerable children.
How do I register my child for a slot at one of the Access Centers?
Registration is available via an online form and phone at (215) 709-5366. Students are not registered until confirmed by an Access Center. If you are eligible, an Access Center team member will reach out to help you with the next step of registration. If you are not eligible, you will receive a response letting you know.
What are the requirements to register for a slot at the Access Centers?
Philadelphia students are eligible to register if they:
- Are entering kindergarten through sixth grade.
- Are children of caregivers working outside the home who cannot provide supervision, are not able to afford childcare, or cannot support students with online learning.
When will Access Centers open?
The first phase of Access Centers will begin operations at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, September 8. The second phase of Access Centers will open on September 21.
How many children will the first phase of Access Centers serve?
The first phase of 32 Access Centers will serve around 800 children. A second phase of 46 Access Centers will serve over 1,300 additional children.
Individual sites will vary in the number of slots available for students, but most sites will serve 22 children.
Can families change Access Centers once they’ve registered at one?
For the purpose of maintaining safety in cohorts, it is not advised that children change Access Centers.
What are the hours for the Access Centers?
Access Centers will be open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will align with the School District of Philadelphia’s 2020-2021 Academic Calendar.
All access centers will be closed on the following dates:
- Monday, September 28 (full-day closure)
- Monday, October 12 (full-day closure)
- Friday, October 16 (sites close at 12 p.m.)
- Tuesday, November 3 (full-day closure)
- Wednesday, November 11 (full-day closure)
Can families sign up for certain days each week?
The centers are targeting families who need care for the entire week. However, we recognize that there are various work schedules and plan to accommodate families who need their students to attend at least three days per week.
Will the sites provide food?
Access Centers will provide students with lunch. All lunches will be pre-made and sealed. Refrigeration is also required in the event students have special dietary restrictions.
Will the sites provide computers for students?
Students should bring their school-issued Chromebook or other digital device with them.
Will transportation to Access Centers be provided?
Families are expected to take care of drop-off and pickup, in order to help minimize contact and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Eligible families can look for a center located in their neighborhood (near their home or work) as part of the registration process.
Who will staff the centers?
Access Centers will be staffed by both City employees and staff from the City’s Out-of-School Time provider network. All staff will have appropriate clearances.
Will staff have PPE?
All staff will be given proper PPE each day and will be required to use it accordingly. In the event students arrive without the proper PPE, it will be given to them.
What strategies will the Access Centers use to mitigate the spread of COVID-19?
Strategies for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 include:
- Temperature checks every morning.
- Designated entrances and exits.
- Ensuring that all students are spaced six-feet apart and stay within their cohorts.
- Deep sanitization of all spaces before opening and after the last student has departed.
- Isolation rooms for any students that show symptoms of COVID-19 during the day.
They will also operate in compliance with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health guidelines to mitigate infection. All staff will be given proper PPE each day and will be required to use it accordingly. If students arrive without PPE, it will be given to them before they enter the building.
Do Access Centers serve students in 7th and 8th grade?
Some, but not all. The sites listed on this blog will enroll students in 7th and 8th grade.