This story originally appeared on The Philadelphia Tribune.
In an effort to provide transparency during the pandemic, the School District of Philadelphia has launched a COVID-19 dashboard.
The dashboard has information on the number of tests performed, positive cases in schools, as well as cases confirmed off-site that have been reported to the district.
Since the start of the pandemic, the district has notified families and staff when there is a confirmed positive case in their building — and that won’t change.
District officials said the initial dashboard data shows a very low COVID-19 positivity rate, with less than 1% of students and staff testing positive for the virus each week over the last four weeks through April 3.
“We understand that having access to real-time information about COVID positivity rates in our schools is important for our families and community, and we are happy to provide this new tool,” said school district Superintendent William Hite.
“As the data shows, the positivity rates in our schools are very low. We hope this helps to build further confidence in the safety of our schools as we plan to welcome more students back for in-person learning.”
In February, the district partnered with Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the city Department of Public Health to launch a COVID-19 school vaccination program.
The program aimed to vaccinate teachers, principals and staff at all district, charter, independent and parochial schools, as well as at child care centers and pre-K providers.
The effort included various vaccinations sites as well as pop-up clinics in schools throughout the city.
Hite said that as of last week almost 11,000 district employees have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine shots through the program.
“Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia administered the last of the second doses on April 3,” Hite said. “We want to thank CHOP for their partnership and administering the COVID-19 vaccine program for employees.”
American Rescue Plan Act
District officials announced the opening of the SY2021-2022 Budget Engagement Survey for public participation.
The online survey, which is open through April 13, will help the School District of Philadelphia develop its funding priorities through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
The district will receive over $1 billion in one-time federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to help support the needs of students and schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As part of the American Rescue Plan 2021, the school district will receive about $1.2 billion in one-time federal relief funding to support the long-term work ahead to help students emerge stronger from the pandemic in the coming years,” Hite said. “We’re inviting our community to help inform the district’s budget priorities by participating in a survey.”
For more information, visit www.philasd.org.