SFUSD Shares Timeline and More Details About In-Person Learning
San Francisco (March 8, 2021) - The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) has released an updated Return Safely Together Plan which contains additional details regarding how the District will offer in-person learning options at a select number of schools for the District’s youngest students (those in Phase 2A) starting on April 12, 2021, and in-person options for additional students before the end of April.
“This is an important step on our path to reopening schools. And, we continue to be committed to ensuring every student and family in the San Francisco United School District is receiving the support they need,” SF Board of Education President Gabriela Lopez said. “Our schools are open now conducting distance learning and at the same time we’ve been working through hundreds of detailed plans we can all feel okay with –– plans that meet the health and safety, social emotional and learning needs of our students and their families.”
“In SFUSD, our goal has been and continues to be to provide more options and opportunities for our students to learn,” Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews said. “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.”
The SF Board of Education unanimously approved the SFUSD Return to School Safely Resolution 2011-10A1 on November 17, 2020, which formalized the District’s plans for gradually returning to in-person learning while recognizing a need to safely open school buildings on a rolling basis to attend to changing health and safety factors. The resolution, “SFUSD Return to School Safely,” was co-authored by then Vice President Gabriela López and Commissioners Jenny Lam and Stevon Cook.
Since the publication of SFUSD’s original Return Safely Together Plan plan in December 2020, state and local agencies have released revised guidelines which the District has taken into consideration in the updated plan. SFUSD has made progress in preparing school site facilities; and, in collaboration with labor partners, reached agreements for health and safety guidelines and an Assessment Center.
New Details about Instructional Plan and Schedules
On the evening of March 5, 2021, SFUSD and the teachers union reached a tentative agreement for instruction.
In many elementary schools, in-person learning will be offered for TK-2nd grade students who choose to return for five nearly full days of instruction a week with the same classroom teacher they have been with this school year. At schools that have more requests for in-person instruction than SFUSD can accommodate while still maintaining physical distance during instruction, students will be offered a hybrid schedule. This means students will come to school in person two days a week for full days of instruction and learn online in a distance format for three days a week. By having this schedule, students can learn in small stable cohorts and more students can have access to in-person instruction. This is likely what instruction will look like for students in grades 3-5 as well for the remainder of this school year.
For families of students in preschool, grades TK through 2 and students in some special education and county school programs who have already indicated through an SFUSD in-person survey that they want to return, the District will be sending a placement packet with information about health and safety requirements for in-person learning and a variety of forms the District needs to collect before students return. Families are also required to attend a virtual orientation before the first day of in-person learning.
SFUSD is sending a personalized survey link on March 9 to families who have a child in grades 3-5 or a child in a focal population for middle and high school, including students in foster care, experiencing homelessness and other student groups in SFUSD’s Phase 2B.
All families have the option to remain in distance learning, and will continue to receive at least 120 minutes of live instruction five days a week with additional asynchronous learning, as they do now.
“SFUSD’s goal has been to offer schedules that maximize in-person instruction and maintain as much consistency as possible for students,” said Deputy Superintendent for Instruction Enikia Ford Morthel. “For all of our schedules we are incorporating research-based best practices coupled with our learning over the past months related to distance learning.”
SFUSD continues to work to expedite vaccinations for all staff members who are a critical part of the District’s return to in-person learning. Last week the District sent 4,000 personalized priority access codes to staff and today shared more expedited and convenient vaccine appointments available this week. SFUSD staff who have yet to be vaccinated will be able to receive a vaccine on site at SFUSD Headquarters at 555 Franklin Street between March 11-13.
The District also continues to prepare school sites to meet all health and safety requirements. Reopening applications for Wave 1 schools have been approved by the San Francisco Department of Public Health. Inspections for Wave 2 schools begin this week, and preparations for Wave 3 school inspections are underway.
More specific information will be shared with families who will be returning to in-person learning this spring through placement packets that families will receive in the coming weeks.
SFUSD is the seventh largest school district in California, educating over 56,000 preK-12 students every year. San Francisco is both a city and a county; therefore, SFUSD administers both the school district and the San Francisco County Office of Education (COE). This makes SFUSD a “single district county.”
More information regarding SFUSD’s preparations for in-person learning:
- SFUSD Return Safely Together Plan
- SFUSD School Reopening Dashboard
- Labor Updates
- Return Safely Together Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- SFUSD Weekly Family Digest