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Pittsburgh Public Schools Says It Plans To Keep Students 6 Feet Apart When In-Person Instruction Resumes Next Week

PITTSBURGH, PA (KDKA) - On Monday, the doors will open for the first time in a year for most teachers and staff at Pittsburgh Public Schools.

"We are looking forward to our staff and teachers returning Monday and our first group of students in category four in a hybrid model on April 6th," said Ebony Pugh, the spokesperson for PPS.

The district is setting up the classrooms, purchasing over 200 air purifiers and ensuring ventilation is ready to go. But when it comes to the new CDC social distancing guidelines released on Friday, the district plans to keep students six feet apart.

"We've done a lot of work in moving furniture so it's two-fold we just want to stay extra safe and in line with our current structure and we want to focus on getting our students back and we aren't in the place where we can shift," Pugh said.

This plan could change as time goes on for PPS.

For North Hills School District, the superintendent discussed the impact with the school board on Thursday.

"We are about 4.5 feet apart in our classrooms, 5 feet at best. We are 6 feet in the cafeteria with masks off," said Superintendent Dr. Patrick Mannarino.

While the district doesn't plan to move the kids any closer with the changes, it does change quarantine requirements. Less students and staff will have to quarantine if there is a positive case because close contacts will now be 3 feet instead of 6.

"They are finding because of the mask wearing and the sanitations we have in the schools the following of the rules, kids aren't really transmitting it in schools," Mannarino said.

Pittsburgh Public plans to bring the next group of students' category three back on April 26. District leaders hope to have definitive return dates for the last two groups by the end of April.

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