SFUSD and SF County Office of Education Leaders Call on City of San Francisco to Do More to Support Vaccines for Educators

SFUSD and SF County Office of Education Leaders Call on City of San Francisco to Do More to Support Vaccines for Educators

Press Release

San Francisco (March 3, 2021) - SF Board of Education President Gabriela Lopez and San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews are calling on the City and County of San Francisco to improve access to COVID-19 vaccines for educators. Vaccines are a major tool to defeat the pandemic and a way to help ensure educators are safe once in-person learning resumes. 

“As we continue to make progress on our negotiations to return to in-person learning, we need all the support we can get from City partners to get vaccinations, testing and the other resources we need. I’d like for our City partners to join us in putting on a teacher vaccination day like nearby counties have for their educators. Up to now, teachers have been scrambling to make appointments at Walgreens and CVS, but without the priority codes, they had to get things done the best way they could. Many teachers have been taking BART across the Bay to the Oakland Coliseum to get a shot. We can do better. The nation has stepped up, the state has stepped up, now it’s up to us as a city to get this done,” Board President Gabriela Lopez said. 

Notably, before SFUSD can reopen school sites to in-person learning, SFUSD staff who will be teaching in person must have the opportunity to be vaccinated at the recommended dosage to return students if San Francisco is in the red tier, per an agreement between SFUSD and a group of labor unions representing SFUSD employees on the baseline health and safety standards for in-person learning. If San Francisco is in the orange tier, the joint labor unions have agreed to return to in-person learning even if they have not yet been vaccinated. 

“We have an agreement with our employees to begin opening school sites once the City is in the red tier and staff have been vaccinated. Until we move to the orange tier, any delays in getting staff vaccinated will result in senseless delays in opening schools,” said Dr. Vincent Matthews, Superintendent of the SF County Office of Education and SFUSD. “The City has had the ability to vaccinate our educators for over a week and staff are still having trouble getting appointments. As we’ve repeatedly stated, we need the City to immediately prioritize access for our educators.”

As of Feb. 24, 2021, SFUSD staff are eligible for the vaccine and the District has been encouraging staff through phone calls, emails, text messages and other communications tools to get vaccinated as soon as the opportunity presents itself at any available appointment. 

On March 1, 2021, SFUSD expected to receive 5,000 unique codes for teachers so they could receive expedited appointment slots to get the vaccine, but the District did not receive those codes until late on March 2 after learning they had been sent to the City instead of the County Office of Education at SFUSD. SFUSD has now gained access to 2,650 unique codes from the City and is sending those codes to staff who are currently working in person at school sites and/or who are in the first group scheduled to return. SFUSD continues to work with the City to expedite the process of getting vaccines for all staff members who are a critical part of the District’s return to in-person learning. 

More information regarding SFUSD’s preparations for in-person learning:

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