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Philly closes 63 schools due to Montco coronavirus emergency, lack of staff

School District of Philadelphia headquarters

School District of Philadelphia. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Anticipating a teacher shortage, the School District of Philadelphia made a sudden decision Thursday night to close 63 of its schools for at least one day.

The late-night call came just hours after a city press conference in which officials told the public that Philadelphia’s public schools would remain open.

The reason for the reversal stemmed from Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to close all public schools in neighboring Montgomery County and advise all residents against going to work.

That announcement created a domino effect because, according to Philly school officials, 2,100 of the district’s 18,000 employees live in Montgomery County.

The district anticipated that at some schools the staffing shortage would be so severe that it was “unlikely they will be able to function as fully operating schools that would effectively meet the needs of our students,” according to a statement distributed Thursday night.

At the 63 closed schools, 15 percent or more of school-based staff live in Montgomery County.

It is unclear how long the 63 schools will remain closed, but all will be shuttered on Friday. Wolf’s emergency order for Montgomery County runs until March 27th.

The district said Thursday night that no students should report to the following schools on Friday.

AMY AT JAMES MARTIN
AMYNORTHWEST
BALDI MIDDLE SCHOOL
BARTON, CLARA SCHOOL
BUILDING 21
CAYUGA SCHOOL
CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL
COMLY SCHOOL
JAY COOK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
DAY, ANNA B. SCHOOL
DOBBINS, MURRELL HIGH SCHOOL
DOBSON, JAMES SCHOOL
DUCKREY, TANNER SCHOOL
EDMONDS, FRANKLIN S. SCHOOL
ELLWOOD SCHOOL
EMLEN, ELEANOR C. SCHOOL
ENGINEERING & SCIENCE HIGH SCH
FELS, SAMUEL HIGH SCHOOL
FELTONVILLE ARTS & SCIENCES
FELTONVILLE INTERMEDIATE
FINLETTER, THOMAS K. SCHOOL
FITLER ACADEMICS PLUS
FRANK, ANNE SCHOOL
FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN ELEM SCHOOL
GIRLS, PHILA HIGH SCHOOL FOR
GREENBERG, JOSEPH SCHOOL
HENRY, CHARLES W. SCHOOL
HOPKINSON SCHOOL
HOUSTON, HENRY H. SCHOOL
HOWE, JULIA WARD SCHOOL
JENKS ACADEMY ARTS & SCIENCES
JUNIATA PARK ACADEMY
KENDERTON ELEMENTARY
KING, MARTIN LUTHER HIGH SCH.
LANKENAU HIGH SCHOOL
LINGELBACH, ANNA L. SCHOOL
LOESCHE, WILLIAM H. SCHOOL
LOGAN, JAMES SCHOOL
MASTBAUM, JULES E. HIGH SCHOOL
MCCLOSKEY, JOHN F. SCHOOL
MOFFET, JOHN SCHOOL
MOORE, J. HAMPTON SCHOOL
NORTHEAST HIGH SCHOOL
OLNEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
PARKWAY-NORTHWEST HIGH SCHOOL
PENNELL, JOSEPH ELEMENTARY
PENNYPACK HOUSE SCHOOL
PENNYPACKER, SAMUEL SCHOOL
PHILADELPHIA MILITARY ACADEMY
POTTER-THOMAS SCHOOL
RANDOLPH TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL
RHAWNHURST SCHOOL
RICHMOND SCHOOL
ROWEN, WILLIAM SCHOOL
ROXBOROUGH HIGH SCHOOL
SAUL, WALTER B. HIGH SCHOOL
SHAWMONT SCHOOL
SOLIS-COHEN, SOLOMON SCHOOL
VAUX BIG PICTURE HIGH SCHOOL
WAGNER, GEN. LOUIS MIDDLE SCH.
WASHINGTON, GROVER JR. MIDDLE
WEST PHILADELPHIA HIGH SCHOOL
WILSON, WOODROW MIDDLE SCHOOL

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