SF Board of Education Approves Resolution for a Safe Return to In-Person Learning
San Francisco (November 19, 2020) - The San Francisco Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution that formalizes the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD)’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 Vice President Gabriela Lopez and Commissioners Jenny Lam and Stevon Cook.
“We understand the immense fear behind opening school doors and also the impact Distance Learning is having on our students,” said Lopez. “What we want this resolution to make clear is the amount of planning, details and collaboration from City partners that is required, much of what has already been done by our district, if we want to assure a safe return to in-person instruction through concrete timelines and budget asks.”
Per the resolution, SFUSD will develop and present to the Board of Education a SFUSD Return Plan, including a phased plan and timeline for grades PK-12. The plan will ensure that students and families who wish to continue with remote learning may do so.
“As a city, we need to focus squarely on putting schools first,” said Lam. “Students are falling further and further behind while suffering the social emotional consequences. As a district, and city, we must devote all available resources toward safely and systematically returning our students back to classrooms where they learn best.”
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vincent Matthews also shared an update with the Board of Education, including a target date to open the first group of schools (Wave 1) January 25, 2021 and more schools (Wave 2) on February 8. Earlier this fall, SFUSD Superintendent Matthews shared criteria that would need to be met prior to returning students back to school buildings. Progress updates related to these preparations and further information about in-person learning plans can be found at sfusd.edu.
“This has been and remains a very challenging time and we know that there are a range of feelings about the possibility of returning to in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Superintendent Dr. Matthews. “We will not reopen any school campuses to students until we can implement all health and safety measures recommended by the SF Department of Public Health. When we are ready to offer in-person learning, families will have a choice about whether to return to in-person or stay in distance learning.”