SFUSD Shares Resources to Help Students and Families Prepare to Return to In-Person Learning

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SFUSD Shares Resources to Help Students and Families Prepare to Return to In-Person Learning

Press Release

San Francisco (March 31, 2021) - The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) is preparing to gradually return up to 22,000 students to in-person learning before the end of April and is sharing critical information with families and schools to ensure students who are returning to in-person learning and students who will remain in distance learning are supported.

Families who have been offered an in-person placement for spring 2021 will receive placement packets at least 10 days before their start date. As of March 30, SFUSD has mailed 16,700 placement packets to families whose students will be returning to in-person learning April 12 and April 19. Families at schools reopening on April 26 will be receiving packets at a later date.

This packet includes important information such as their in-person placement letter, required forms, and health and safety guidelines. Placement packets are being sent by mail, email, and available on education communications platform ParentVUE. SFUSD will also send families who are on the list to return a notification through phone and text. If families have not received a placement packet 10 days before their in-person start date yet believe their child is scheduled to return, they should contact the Educational Placement Center at 415-241-6085 to get a copy. Packets are also available at sfusd.edu/placementpacket, though these website versions of the packets do not include placement letters since that's personal student information.

SFUSD has shared a grade level breakdown and timeline for all those with the option to return before the end of April, PK-12. While information is subject to change, this timeline represents the most current plan. Students in grades 3-5, with the exception of those in a Moderate/Severe Special Day Class (SDC), will return one week following the date when PK-2 students return at most schools, with the exception of those schools that are set to begin on April 26. 

In addition to the placement packet, families will be invited to participate in a mandatory orientation hosted by their school site. Families can view informational videos, available in multiple languages, with their child that show what learning will look like when in-person instruction resumes. Here is how returning families can prepare now. 

Spring 2021 school schedules for in-person and distance learning have been set centrally, with the goal of getting as many students who wish to return back to in-person learning as possible. The outcomes reflect careful planning and consideration based on physical space, school enrollment, family preference, staffing, and health and safety requirements, including those agreed upon with SFUSD’s labor union representatives.

SFUSD is compliant with all the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) guidance and the baseline health and safety requirements agreed upon with the district’s labor unions.

SFUSD will strive to keep student desks 6 feet apart but in the instance that a 4 foot distance could accommodate more students, up to the original classroom list, the site will adopt the 4 foot parameters between student desks. Teacher desks must be at least 6 feet apart from student desks and tables. As the district plans for the fall and future student groups, it will use the updated guidance of 3 feet apart for student desks. 

SFUSD has to meet physical distancing requirements as outlined in its labor agreement even if those requirements have changed in the public health guidance. Therefore schools with more requests for in-person learning than capacity after adopting the 4 foot distancing requirement may need to offer a 2-day a week schedule to accommodate all students.

SFUSD is providing educators with instructional guidance to support both in-person and distance learning. Schools will spend the last weeks of school like they would spend the last weeks of any school year: celebrating what has been learned, building unity, and reflecting. 

“No matter whether students are learning at home or at school, every student is a part of their school and classroom community,” Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews said. “We recognize that students and families will experience this last part of the school year in different ways and we want to be sensitive to that and meet students where they are.”

“We understand schools are often spaces that offer caring, and above all, safety. We strive to continue to provide that for students who are returning in person and for students who choose to stay in distance learning,” SF Board of Education President Gabriela López said. “Classrooms are still one community, whether in-person or virtual, and we remain committed to supporting all students in ways that best meet their needs.”


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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