An unprecedented school year brings new opportunities, lessons learned

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Friday was the last day of a tumultuous school year for Philadelphia public school students. But administrators say the challenges created some positive results.

What a year it's been, said Superintendent William Hite.

"I've been doing this for over 30 years and never have experienced anything like this," he admitted.

It was a school year battered and scarred by schools closing, opening and reclosing for asbestos removal, a pandemic that forced students to virtual education, and historic social unrest over racial injustice.

However, from the challenges, Hite says there are positives. One is that after the coronavirus shutdown, nearly all students now have Chromebooks.

"The fact that now everyone has technology which we haven't had before," he said. "So there are opportunities that will come out of this."

And with buildings closed for COVID-19, Hite said crews have been able to get into schools earlier to do asbestos remediation, lead paint removal and other work.