SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A new online, interactive tool with real-time information launched Tuesday to help parents and teachers track the growing number San Francisco schools applying to resume in-person learning.

Dozens of schools have applied for waivers to state and local COVID-19 restrictions for in-person learning, and dozens more await applications. Before reopening, each school must detail a plan that meets state and local health restrictions and ensures adequate testing and contact tracing for students and staff and pass an on-site inspection.

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“We are making sure that schools can reopen for in-person learning with strong safety guidelines,” said Dr. Grant Colfax, Director of Health, in a statement. “The standards and safety plans that schools implement will help mitigate risk for students and staff returning to in-person learning environments.”

The new online dashboard identifies which schools have submitted applications, track each one through the approval process, and provide information about the mandatory onsite assessments.

The dashboard was a collaboration between the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH), the COVID Command Center and DataSF.

Jason Tally, Chief Data Officer for DataSF sees it as a way to maintain transparency.

“It is hard, important work and I’m happy to support this by working with many talented staff across the City to provide timely data that helps communicate what the City is doing to address the pandemic. This truly is a citywide team effort,” said Tally.

Currently, the dashboard shows about a dozen private schools have completed each step of the application process.

San Francisco Unified schools are not part of the timeline, as the District is still negotiating details for reopening with teachrs.

The data is updated daily at 9 a.m.

San Francisco schools were eligible to reopen under the current state and county guidelines on Sept 21 with safety protocols in place. However, the San Francisco Unified school district have not yet announced any timetable for the reopening of public schools.

In a statement, Laura Dudnick, a SFUSD spokesperson said, “SFUSD has been preparing for a gradual return to a hybrid instructional model focusing first on our youngest students, students with disabilities in moderate/severe special day classes as well as homeless and foster youth and those who have shown the lowest overall online engagement. In order to reopen schools, SFUSD has several factors that need to be in place including having a testing plan, training staff, informing students and families of protocols, a minimum of three months supply of PPE for all participating staff and students and labor agreements.”

 

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