Updated September 13, 2021
Full In-Person Learning Will Resume for the 2021-22 School Year
As the new school year begins, we are excited to be learning 100% in-person, discontinuing our virtual learning programs. All students are learning in-person Monday through Friday following a regular full-day schedule.
Parents, students, and staff who have been learning and working in the building during hybrid and over the summer have commented about how safe they feel. And our entire Freire Schools team is committed to ensuring that the school day structure and our safety protocols support a safe return to school for all our kids this fall.
COVID Measures Update
Our COVID-19 health and safety plan includes the following:
- A 100% mask requirement for all students and staff regardless of vaccination status. This is in line with CDC guidance to protect everyone from the Delta variant.
- Social distancing as much as space in the schools and feasibility will allow.
- Daily sanitization of doorknobs, elevator buttons, and bathroom fixtures.
- Thermal imaging stations as students enter their buildings.
- Use of MERV 13 filters and ionizers in our buildings’ HVAC systems.
One key finding we have learned from the data and guidance available is that vaccination is the best way to protect ourselves from COVID-19. This is especially true with the highly transmissible Delta variant.
- You should have received a COVID vaccination survey via email. We ask for your help in completing it so that we have accurate records as to your child’s vaccination status.
- We will provide regular COVID testing to unvaccinated staff and students.
- We will provide COVID tests to any staff or students who develop COVID-like symptoms during the day.
- COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated or symptomatic students is of critical importance to keep everyone in the school community safe. Your partnership as a parent is essential to this process. You will be receiving an electronic consent for the school to provide COVID-19 testing for your student and we ask that you please support the safety of our community by completing this consent form.
Further details about COVID testing will be provided shortly. In the meanwhile, we strongly encourage families to consider vaccination for all students 12 years of age and older. This is the best way we can keep all of our students safe, minimize the need for COVID testing, and ensure that our school can stay open throughout this school year.
As we did when we first welcomed students back for our hybrid program last spring, we are sharing a screening questionnaire for parents and students to review daily before school linked here. We ask for your support in ensuring that students experiencing COVID symptoms please remain home until their symptoms subside or they have a negative COVID test.
Even with the best of health and safety protocols, we know that it is possible that a student or staff member will test positive for COVID-19. In the case of a confirmed positive case, we will notify all staff, students, and family members by email. Any student or staff member testing positive will stay at home for at least 10 days, after which point they may return to school once they are fever free without fever-reducing medicine and their other symptoms are improving.
Your child’s safety is our first priority. As we learned last year, the recommendations around COVID safety change regularly. These are the health and safety measures that we intend to start the school year with but please know that we will continually review the latest guidance from the CDC, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Philadelphia Department of Health, and CHOP Policy Lab, and we will communicate any changes to our practices with you.
Additional Vaccine Info
On Monday, May 10, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expanded the Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer vaccine to include anyone ages 12 and older.
We know that children are not immune to COVID-19, but it is a vaccine-preventable disease just like measles, mumps and other childhood diseases. We strongly encourage you to consider vaccinating your child to protect them, your family, and our school community, especially with the Delta variant on the rise. In the vaccine trial for students aged 12-15, there was 100% efficacy and no reported serious side effects.
You can get more information and find vaccination opportunities by clicking here. Please note: Not all sites will vaccinate people under the age of 16. Make sure to call ahead to confirm a vaccination site has Pfizer vaccine and will vaccinate your child.
At City-run sites that have Pfizer vaccine, children ages 12-15 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Parents or guardians must bring documentation of the child’s age. Accepted documentation to confirm age includes:
- Access school or health care portals via phone
- Copy of school or sports health forms
- Insurance Cards
- Birth certificates or photos of their birth certificate
- Any other documents with the child’s name and date of birth.
Stay in the Loop
Please check your email regularly for important updates and information from Freire! If you are not currently signed up for weekly newsletter emails, please click here to sign up:
The Office of Emergency Management asks that the public stay informed of coronavirus news from the city by enrolling for free alerts by texting COVIDPHL to 888-777 and by visiting the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s web page here.
We will continue to monitor the recommendations from state and local authorities and will update you with any changes.
Children’s Health Insurance Program
The Pennsylvania Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) covers uninsured children and teens up to age 19—and no family earns too much to qualify. CHIP provides quality, comprehensive health insurance for routine doctor’s visits, prescriptions, dental, eye care, eyeglasses, mental health, and much more. CHIP covers uninsured kids who are not eligible for Medical Assistance. For many families, CHIP is free—for others, it is low cost. Apply for CHIP or renew your coverage at CHIPcoversPAkids.com or by calling 800-986-KIDS.
Additional COVID-19 Resources
- CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Webpage
- PA Department of Health Coronavirus Info & Case Count
- Philadelphia Department of Public Health COVID-19 Webpage The Office of Emergency Management asks that the public stay informed of coronavirus news from the city by enrolling for free alerts by texting COVIDPHL to 888-777.
- Freire Charter School Health & Safety Plan
- Freire Charter School Continuity of Education Plan