Watch CBS News

School District of Philadelphia shifting to virtual learning Friday due to Canadian wildfire smoke

Philadelphia School District moving to virtual learning Friday
Philadelphia School District moving to virtual learning Friday 04:22

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- As smoke from wildfires in Canada continues to move through the region, the School District of Philadelphia will switch to virtual learning on Friday. 

Most of the Philadelphia region is experiencing "unhealthy" or "very unhealthy" air quality conditions due to wildfire smoke. 

"Therefore, out of an abundance of caution for the health of students, the School District of Philadelphia will operate remotely tomorrow, Friday, June 9, 2023. All schools will shift to remote learning – students should prepare to log in for remote learning. All employees – including school-based and Central Office staff – should report to your normal work location. All school-related outdoor activities that were scheduled for tomorrow, such as field trips or field days will be postponed and rescheduled, or canceled. All air-quality related absences recorded today and tomorrow will be excused," Superintendent Dr. Tony Watlington said in a release.   

With a number of ceremonies planned Friday for middle and high school graduations, the District said indoor ceremonies will proceed. Outdoor ceremonies will take place, but at alternative locations, the District added.

Some times of ceremonies have been adjusted. The District said if your school was scheduled for an outdoor graduation Friday, you should expect to hear from your child's principal on Thursday for alternative plans. 

"I urge everyone to follow the Code Red guidance from city, state and national health officials: individuals should avoid being outdoors as much as possible. Consider postponing or canceling outdoor events. And if you absolutely must be outside, wear a mask and avoid strenuous activities," Watlington said in a statement. 

The air quality in the Philly region has been improving throughout the day before it worsens overnight as cool air sinks closer to the surface. We may still be in a Code Red for air quality by your bedtime.

Friday into Saturday, a low front will spin the heaviest smoke to our south toward Washington. Saturday there may be some smoke pulled in from the west. 

This is a breaking news story. Refresh for updates. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.