Philly schools will delay classes 2 hours on Monday after Super Bowl

Philadelphia Eagles mascot Swoop signs an autograph for a young Eagles fan during the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl Send-off Party. ((Jetta M. Holiday/WHYY))

Philadelphia public schools will have a delayed start Monday whether or not the Eagles claim Super Bowl victory.

All school buildings will open with a two-hour delay “to ensure the safety of students and staff traveling to school,” School District of Philadelphia officials said in a message to families and staff Wednesday.

“While we look forward to a great game and an Eagles victory, we look forward to welcoming students back to classrooms the next day,” the message said. “Go Birds.”

Improving student and teacher attendance is one of Superintendent Tony Watlington’s immediate goals as he works to make Philadelphia “the fastest-improving large, urban school district in the country.”

Part of the district’s approach focuses on making sure families know the importance of regular attendance. The hope is, if a family is running behind, they’ll at least bring their child to school late, rather than have them miss the entire day.

Consistent attendance is one of the greatest indicators of student success, along with access to a high-quality teacher.

The district’s average daily attendance rate for students was 87% in December and 89% for teachers, which is the most recent data available.

Its regular attendance rate — the percentage of students attending 90% of school days a month — was lower. Fifty-eight percent of students had regular attendance in December compared to 69% of teachers.

Several other Philadelphia-area schools have also opted for two-hour delays, including Upper Merion and Radnor school districts.

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