In Council News, Isaiah Thomas, News by admin

PHILADELPHIA, PA. March 13, 2020 — Councilmember Isaiah Thomas has been advocating for youth and young people since before he assumed office. In addition to serving Philadelphia as an At-Large City Councilmember, Thomas continues to coach basketball and assist several schools from an education and programmatic standpoint. Councilmember Thomas has spent time in the classroom and in school administration – he knows firsthand the importance of the health and safety of our young people. As a mentor to young people, Councilmember Thomas is concerned for the preparedness of Philadelphia schools to handle COVID-19. He has released the following statement and action plan to express his proposal for our students, parents and school faculty.

“After watching President Trump’s address to the nation on the Coronavirus, I am disappointed and concerned with his lack of leadership. When our President constantly lies and sows distrust in the media, it is difficult to look to him for leadership on emergency readiness. But this is not about Trump or politics – this is about the health and safety of our nation.

I believe that we need to be prioritizing Philadelphia schools. Our young people are required to be in school – this is a place for them to learn and grow. But these students, their faculty and their parents are concerned. While I want to remind everyone to remain calm during this time, I understand the concerns and have a plan.

I take none of this lightly. I understand that the situation is changing by the minute – families are confused and concerned. But this is not a time to panic. This is a time to put a plan together and keep our City safe.”

Below is Councilmember Thomas’ proposed plan to keep our students healthy with respect to the student body, faculty and families.

Proposed Philadelphia School District Coronavirus Preparedness Plan

  • Close all Philadelphia Public schools on Monday, March 16th creating an extended three-day weekend to aggressively implement a comprehensive deep clean of all public schools. While administrators take this time to implement a plan, the facilities would undergo an extensive cleaning and sanitation.
  • Announce that the Philadelphia School District plans to extend Spring Break.
  • The extended Spring Break would allow for;
    • a two-week period to allow for teachers to plan for the potential of a prolonged quarantine.
    • Time for families to assess and address their childcare options.
    • Time for employers to craft and implement strategic plans regarding workplace protocols
  • The exact duration of the extension of the Spring Break should be assessed as additional information comes in. The preliminary recommendation would be two weeks.

Councilmember Thomas’ proposed COVID-19 school timeline is as follows:

Councilmember Thomas welcomes conversations with students, faculty and parents of Philadelphia School students to work through implementation of his proposed strategy.

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