SAN FRANCISCO – At high schools across San Francisco, freshmen and sophomores will both be stepping into new territory. After a year and a half of Zoom school, Wednesday was sophomore orientation day at Galileo High School.

“It’s like school again. I haven’t been to school since 8th grade in real life,” said Galileo sophomore Cole Centino.

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Students in the San Francisco Unified School District are returning to full-time, in-person learning, five days a week. Campuses like Galileo that sat silent for more than a year, will once again spring back to life with the blessing from the Department of Public Health.

“We absolutely support the re-opening of schools to their full capacity,” said Dr. Naveena Bobba, deputy director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

She says of the private and public schools that did return to the classroom last year, there were only 7 cases of COVID-19.

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“Really where we’ve seen transmission is staff-to-staff or staff-to-child, as opposed to child-to-child transmission.”

Students, staff and faculty will all be masked and the adults are under a vaccine mandate.

As for the older SFUSD buildings where ventilation was a concern, Dr. Vincent Matthews says those issues have been resolved and there are air cleaners in classrooms now.

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“Imagine schools December 2019. It will look just like that, but with masks,” said Dr. Matthews.