SFUSD Shares Updates Regarding In-Person Learning Plans

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SFUSD Shares Updates Regarding In-Person Learning Plans

Press Release

San Francisco (March 24, 2021) - San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews shared an update at Tuesday’s SF Board of Education meeting regarding the district’s preparation for gradually returning students to in-person learning and noted the district remains on track to begin offering in-person learning April 12, 2021.

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 students. Students return starting on April 12, 2021 for the first groups and more students will return continuing through the end of April. Based on family responses to date, the district expects to serve over 20,000 students in person by the end of April.

Reopening Timeline

Provided that all schools have been approved by the SF Department of Public Health, SFUSD will open elementary and stand-alone Early Education sites for students in PK-2nd grade and Moderate/Severe SDC classrooms first, followed by students in grades 3rd-5th one week after younger students return at most schools. Secondary middle and high school sites will begin opening for focal student groups on April 26. SFUSD’s updated timeline for reopening campuses and returning students to schools in phased-in groups is available on the district website.

SFUSD has previously shared that also beginning April 12, 2021, the district is preparing for the return of extracurricular athletics for high school student athletes to practice and compete this spring.


SFUSD is making every effort to staff classrooms for the spring. The district has sent 2,085 assignment letters to teachers and paraeducators who are being asked to return to in-person learning in the first three waves of schools. 

PK-5 teachers and paraeducators who are at “increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 or who cannot safely distance from household contacts who belong to a group at increased risk” can request an accommodation to work remotely this spring. To date, 274 staff members have requested an accommodation, which amounts to approximately 13% of staff who have been asked to return to in-person learning.

The district is also surveying substitute teachers and working to recruit and hire additional substitutes; 138 substitutes have expressed a willingness to return to in-person learning to date.

Student and Staff Testing

SFUSD has entered into an agreement with Color Lab to provide student and staff surveillance testing beginning the week of April 5. Self-monitored test kits and drop off boxes will be used for staff testing, and a blend of fixed locations and mobile test sites will be used for student testing along with comprehensive communication to families. Multilingual accessible support will be available on-site and by phone, including a dedicated hotline for SFUSD staff and families.

Family Communications

The district has shared a multilingual Return Safely Together Guide for families along with informational videos in multiple languages to help students and families prepare for in-person learning. Families returning to sites will receive a placement packet with more detailed guidance and be invited by their schools to participate in a mandatory site-specific orientation where they will receive more information and be able to ask questions about their child’s schedule.

Family Survey

SFUSD has surveyed over 30,000 families to date regarding their preference for in-person learning, including families of all students in grades TK-5 and focal student populations in grades 6-12. This week SFUSD site and central office staff are confirming final student assignments, placement letters, transportation options, and more.


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:


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