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PPS Students Can't Wait Another 2 Months To Get Back In The Classroom, Pittsburgh Learning Collaborative Says

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The Pittsburgh Public Schools board is considering postponing in-person hybrid learning until after spring break, which would be April 6.

The district says the resolution was prompted by COVID-19 data Allegheny County released last Friday.

It's been a waiting game to get them back into the classrooms.

After news broke that the Pittsburgh Public Schools board will be voting to delay opening another two months, folks with the Pittsburgh Learning Collaborative say they want more transparency and understanding.

"Opening during a pandemic is a risk, but it's crucial to acknowledge that remote learning is a huge risk as well," said Carlos Carter, Homeless Children's Education Fund.

Pittsburgh Public Schools are one of the last school districts in our area to not have in-person learning since the pandemic started. But the board has said that if COVID-19 positive rates hold at under 10% for two weeks, that could change.

Now the Pittsburgh Learning Collaborative feels the board is going back on its word.

"If being below 10% positivity rate for two weeks is not the criteria, what is it then?" said James Fogarty, of A+ Schools. "We need much greater communication from this district than what we currently are."

The group pointed out the troubles students are having at home.

"One student story in our teen outreach program currently has a school-issued laptop that requires her to hold the charger in place for it to function," said Carter.

There also is the upward trend in the number of failing students.

They're calling on the board to come up with resources and a plan to better help students if they won't open the school doors.

The collaborative even offered up their own facilities to help get the students in a better situation.

But the group is hoping that instead of closing longer, Pittsburgh Public Schools will re-open in February and can take what they've learned from other school districts and put the knowledge into practice.

"We have many months of other districts being open five days a week for their students or four days for K-5 students," said Fogarty. "What are they doing to keep their students and teachers safe? How are they doing it? We should learn from those lessons and bring it forward."

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