PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On Monday, it’s back to class for 1,500 Pittsburgh Public Schools students.
But for nearly a thousand others, they’ll be sitting at home. That’s because the district had staffing issues for its Summer Boost Program.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Police Investigating Shooting In Homewood
“I felt like during the fall and spring there was a gap in education with kids being virtual,” said PPS parent Jazmine Harris.
This is why Harris wanted her soon-to-be first-grader Peyton to take part in the program. For other parents, their kids won’t have that option.
“One of my friends, her son was not accepted into the program. At this point, what is she doing for childcare?” said Harris.
Childcare is something Harris said a lot of parents were counting on with the program. But just last week, parents were told there wasn’t enough staff to work, so some kids wouldn’t make the cut. On Thursday, parents were notified by robocall or email if their child got into the program.
“They needed to give parents enough time to secure different options and they didn’t,” said Harris.
Options like other summer programs, which Harris said she and her friend turned down because they were banking on the Summer Boost Program. While the district announced Thursday it managed to find additional teachers to work this summer, it’s still not enough to satisfy the demand.READ MORE: 'Unity In The Community' Event Held In Greensburg
The district was forced to select students based on need. However, PPS stressed students won’t be left behind.
“Every student originally slated to attend Summer Boost, we did not collect their devices. And so on the website, we’ve provided programs and resources that the district has that students can access over the course of the summer,” said PPS Chief Academic Officer Minika Jenkins.
Once students head back to class next week, the district said it will be paying close attention to attendance.
“Students who are not attending, we will then reach out to those families to see if they’re going to attend. If they’re not, if they’re willing to release their seat,” said Jenkins.
As for what’s next for parents, there’s still a lot of unanswered questions.
“We don’t know what supplies she may need, the plan or the curriculum, is there a certain dress code,” said Harris.
PPS said families will receive an email Friday letting them know what’s going on, including transportation options.MORE NEWS: Community Liver Alliance Hosts 'Walk The Talk For Liver Health' 5K At Kennywood Park
As for childcare, the district says parents should click here for more.