SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Officials with the San Francisco Unified School District released additional details Monday about a plan to resume in-person learning for some schools starting in April, after reaching a tentative deal with teachers late last week.
“I am enthusiastic to share this progress, and I also know that some students and families who want to return will not be able to at this time,” said Superintendent Vincent Matthews.
On April 12, in-person learning for students from pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade, along with those in some special education and county programs would resume at 76 sites, according to the district website. Additional sites would open on April 19 and April 26. In person learning for grades 3-5 would start on April 26 as well.
Reopening plans for middle or high schools were not announced Monday.
For students who choose in-person classes, learning will be offered at many elementary schools for four full days a week, with one minimum day. But officials acknowledged that hybrid learning would take place at schools that have more requests for in-person instruction than what can be accommodated for physical distancing. Under hybrid learning, students would be in-person for two days a week, with the remaining days under distance learning.
The district said families who want to continue distance learning for the remainder of the school year will have the option to do so.
SFUSD parent Jennifer Butterfoss told KPIX 5 that Monday’s reopening announcement was, “Probably too little too late.”
“Of course parents are definitely frustrated it’s taken so long and there’s still a lot of questions about which schools, which phase,” said Butterfoss, who is among a group of parents mobilizing against the city’s school board.
Butterfoss is among those supporting a plan to have Board of Education members appointed by city leaders instead of through elections.
“I believe a lot of decisions they made haven’t been in the best interest of students and families. We haven’t seen a whole lot of accountability for some of the lack of focus that they’ve had on the priorities,” she said.
The San Francisco City Attorney’s office, which is currently suing the district to reopen, said additional information about the reopening plan is needed.
“We have not seen a written agreement. We are concerned that the school district’s statements do not provide all of the information necessary for parents to know when their children will be offered in-person instruction. We eagerly await additional information from the school district,” said spokesperson John Cote.
“Health experts at every level say schools can be open right now with basic safety precautions, like masks, physical distance and good ventilation. More than 15,000 private and parochial students have been attending school in San Francisco for months. We hope SFUSD is finally dedicating all of its time and energy to getting kids back in school, but until the district offers in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible, our lawsuit must continue,” Cote went on to say.