PFT President Jerry Jordan on Closure of Gideon Building Due to COVID-19

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PHILADELPHIA—"We continue to emphasize the importance of an ongoing, trackable database of positive COVID-19 cases in buildings, and have made this ask of the District. The temporary closure of Gideon Elementary's building is the right decision because it will help stop the spread of this virus--but it is very troubling. This is the second closure of a school building in just a few short weeks.

"It is clear that this virus is not over, and we cannot let our guard down. We must be vigilant and also extremely cautious in our approach to reopening of buildings. It's why this union has negotiated and insisted upon a series of very stringent protocol related to the reopening of buildings. Our goal has always been to return students to school buildings when it is safe to do so, and our agreement to reopen buildings is reliant on the strict adherence to safety protocol. We need to have the information necessary to evaluate the spread of COVID within school buildings. A publicly accessible dashboard will be critical to this evaluation.

"The closure of Gideon's building is alarming, and we will be in discussions with the District on how to move forward. Our top priority has been, and will continue to be, ensuring that students and staff are safe in their school buildings."