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Parents And Teachers Voice Concerns To Pittsburgh Public Schools Board About Fall Reopening

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The region's largest school district will decide how to return to class later this week.

The Pittsburgh Public Schools board will vote on a plan Friday. On Wednesday, parents and teachers weighed in on the proposed plans.

With more coronavirus cases in the region now than in March when in-school learning shutdown, the concern about sending students back to classrooms is proving difficult.

"We really have to balance the risks," said Allegheny County Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen during a briefing on Wednesday.

Dr. Bogen echoed the same concerns that came up repeatedly during Wednesday's three-hour remote PPS special public hearing.

"What happens if there is another shortage of approved disinfectant supplies?" said parent Valerie Webb Allman in a letter.


School board members read dozens of concerns from families and teachers, including questions about school meals, transportation and safety.

"Are we planning on starting and ending the school day at the same time? It may take longer to get children into the building if we need to take temperatures," Allman said.

One PPS board member's proposal for fully remote learning for the first nine weeks of the academic year is rapidly gaining support even though most agreed in-school instruction is more effective than online education.

"It cannot provide the tailored instruction that many special education students need," said parent Stephanie Pawlowski.

It's a complex decision involving more than 45 schools, 4,000-plus employees and more than 23,000 students.

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