June 10, 2020
Dear SFUSD Community:
I am writing to let you know about some of the important work we are doing to prepare for what the next school year will look like for SFUSD. In addition to the learning and social-emotional needs of our students, a variety of logistical and public health considerations must be addressed in order to ensure that any return to in person instruction is done as safely as possible.
We continue to monitor the evolving situation with COVID-19 and assess the conditions that must be addressed as we make plans to resume school in the fall with the modifications necessary to prioritize student and staff safety concerns. We are working diligently to plan, including reviewing and assessing the most up-to-date guidance from the San Francisco and California Departments of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and the California Department of Education.
We are considering all options at this time including the possibility of remote learning for some or all of our students if in-person instruction cannot happen in accordance with public health guidance. If we open any school campuses to in-person instruction, it will require intensive collaboration and support; including access to adequate protective and cleaning supplies, a robust system of COVID-19 testing and contact tracing. Both the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Education have released guidance for schools and school based programs. For any in-person instruction, here are just some examples of the types of conditions that we would need to meet:
- Screen students and employees for symptoms every time they arrive at school
- Ensure everyone is wearing a face mask
- Ensure physical distancing both inside and outside the classroom
- Keeping the same students and staff within the same group throughout the day
- Frequently clean and disinfect high touch areas throughout the day and intensify daily cleaning
- Protocols for isolating anyone who shows symptoms and quarantining
- Protocols for partial or total closures in the event of a confirmed COVID-19 case at a school site
We are all eager to have answers so that families, students and staff can make plans and know what to expect to the greatest extent possible. Updates will be shared regularly over the summer through website announcements on sfusd.edu; Wednesday evening emails; and texts and calls as needed to alert you to major developments.
Throughout June and early July, we will be gathering input and working diligently to create plans that incorporate health guidance, our district’s priorities and values and the input of our diverse community of staff, students and families.
While there remain many questions that need to be answered, we are working on a daily basis to better understand this evolving and unprecedented situation and to consult with the experts in our community and beyond. The health, safety and wellness of our students, families and staff remains our top priority.
Dr. Vincent Matthews