SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The San Francisco Unified School District announced Wednesday that it has taken the first step with the city’s Department of Public Health on reopening schools to in-person learning.
SFUSD said in a statement that it has submitted a letter of interest to public health officials to receive city approval for reopening. Under public health guidance, TK-12 schools must submit the letter, along with a plan for Health Officer review and approval before resuming in-person learning.READ MORE: San José School District Secures Vaccine for Entire Workforce
“We know that schools are places for interaction and connection, and there are critical components that must be in place for in-person learning to happen safely,” said SFUSD Superintendent Vincent Matthews. “This is new for all of us and it’s important that we approach this work in a systematic and thoughtful way, providing opportunities for us to learn and make adjustments and improvements along the way.”
In its letter of intent, the district requested that six schools would reopen as early as January 25 (described as “Wave 1” by the district), with another 18 schools as early as February 8 (described as “Wave 2”). Additional schools in the letter had their earliest opening date set for March 22.READ MORE: Golden Gate Fields Races to Make Up for Missed Vaccine Appointments
The schools under Wave 1 are Alvarado, William Cobb, Glen Park, Lawton and John Muir. The schools listed under Wave 2 are Alamo, Bryant, Cesar Chavez, Dr. Charles Drew, Grattan Elementary, Bret Harte, Dolores Huerta, Francis Scott Key, Starr King, Lafayette, Frank McCoppin, George Moscone, Jose Ortega, Sanchez, Rosa Parks, Sheriden, Sunnyside and Yick Wo.
Schools would open classes first to those in pre-Kindergarten and Special Education classes, followed by reopening to students in TK through second grade, district officials said. Groups invited to return to in-person would then grow to homeless and foster youth, along with students described to have the “lowest overall online engagement.”
In its statement, SFUSD said any reopening date is subject to change based on many factors, including the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community, along with completing the bargaining process with teachers and other labor groups. In the meantime, SFUSD has posted a dashboard showing real-time progress on how ready schools are for resuming in-person learning.MORE NEWS: Study Shows Stockton Universal Basic Income Experiment Led to Increased Employment
The district has sent a questionnaire to families with students in the first phase of in-person learning, asking if they want to return to the classroom or continue distance learning. Families are being asked to submit their responses by Friday to help schools plan for the number of students and space needed, officials said.