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March 21, 2018

Philadelphia public, archdiocesan schools to open on two-hour delay on Thursday

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Stock_Carroll - The School District of Philadelphia Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all state schools to close for two weeks to prevent spread of coronavirus. But Philly officials did not want to shut down the School District of Philadelphia.

All School District of Philadelphia and archdiocesan schools will open Thursday on a two-hour delay.

Public school buses will operate on a delayed schedule and pick up students two hours later then normal, said the district, which asked parents and caregivers to be patient as certain yellow bus routes may experience moderate to significant delays in the morning.

All district-operated early childhood programs will open on a two-hour delay as well. After-school activities including athletic programs and professional development sessions set for Thursday will continue as scheduled.

Administrative offices will open at their regular time, but district urged staff to take their time and travel safely getting to school and work on Thursday.

The School Reform Commission meeting set for 4:30 p.m. Wednesday will take place as scheduled.

Archdiocesan high schools and parochial elementary schools in the city will open two hours late. In the suburbs, archdiocesan schools typically follow the decision of their corresponding local public school district and submit closure status independently.

Suburban school districts seemed to be taking two courses of action on Thursday classes.

Some districts in Montgomery and Bucks county, including Upper Dublin, Council Rock and North Penn already have closed schools.

Other districts, including several in the western suburbs of Delaware and Chester counties, including Owen J. Roberts, Downingtown, Rose Tree Media (and Colonial in Montgomery County), have declared a two-hour delay, but are telling parents they will reassess road conditions early in the morning and make adjustments as necessary.

In South Jersey, schools in Camden, Burlington and Gloucester were making the same decisions.

Among those districts giving students the day off Thursday were Barrington, Camden, Haddon Heights, Evesham Township, Lenape Regional, Washington Township, Deptford and Wenonah.

Districts opening with 90-minute or two-hour delays included Cherry Hill, Stratford, Haddonfield, Moorestown Township and Clearview Regional. Many said they would assess conditions in the morning.