SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District announced Wednesday that students will begin the upcoming school year with distance learning, amid a surge of COVID-19 cases in the Bay Area and California.

“After reviewing the best available evidence-based sources of guidance from health officials, and gathering input from staff, students, and families, we have determined that on August 17, 2020, our fall semester will begin with distance learning,” Superintendent Vincent Matthews said in a letter to the school community.

“We know our entire community needs to make plans since we are not opening for in-person instruction, so we wanted to share this news now, even as we are still finalizing more details,” Matthews went on to say.

Additional details of the district’s distance learning plan are expected at the upcoming San Francisco Board of Education meeting scheduled for July 28th at 3 p.m.

Matthews said they hope to offer a combination of in-person and distance learning for some students when conditions are safe to do so. In the meantime, the district plans to distribute additional technology to students who did not receive it when schools were forced to go online in the spring.

The announcement from SFUSD comes as other districts in the Bay Area and across California have decided to begin the school year with distance learning. In the Bay Area, districts in Oakland, Berkeley, Western Contra Costa County, Brentwood and Santa Clara have already announced the start of the school year will be online.

Meanwhile, schools in Los Angeles and San Diego, the two largest districts in the state, have also announced online learning plans to start the year.

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