Facilities & Operations Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Facilities & Operations Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Updated February 2, 2021

What has been done to prepare my student’s school for a safe return?

The Facilities Division is conducting two types of assessments at each site: 

  • The Building Systems Assessment will be conducted by Buildings & Grounds, who will determine if heating, ventilation, electrical, plumbing and other building systems are functioning as intended. 
  • The Ground Truthing Site Assessment will be conducted by SFUSD staff, assigned city Disaster Service Worker (DSW) employees, or volunteers. The Ground Truthing Site Assessments will: 
    • Reconcile the physical classroom or office number with the building floor plan 
    • Count the total number of classroom/office windows, noting those that are operable vs. inoperable, and of operable windows, if they function 
    • Confirm the presence and functionality of handwashing sinks 
    • Describe the number and type of student desks present in classrooms 
    • Confirm working condition of restrooms

The Facilities Division will also organize a series of site preparation (“stand up”) activities including: 

  • Designation of entry, exits and circulation paths throughout the school site 
  • Posting of appropriate COVID-19 safety signage throughout the building reminding students and employees to: 
    • social distance 
    • wear face coverings 
    • wash/disinfect hands frequently 
  • Repairing windows where necessary to ensure improved ventilation 
  • Arranging classroom furniture to allow for 6-foot social distancing 
  • Delivery and installation of partitions and desktop shields where necessary 
  • Confirmation that all hand sanitizer dispensers are working and filled 
  • Replacing ventilation filters older than six months 
  • Flushing the building’s plumbing

What about ventilation? How is my student’s school being equipped with appropriate ventilation?

Ventilation of classroom or office spaces can be accomplished via mechanical or “natural” (passive) means. “Natural” or passive ventilation refers to air circulation that occurs due to the unforced movement of fresh air into and out of a space via windows, doors, or being outdoors. Mechanical ventilation utilizes a wide range of approaches and systems to force air into and/or out of a defined space.  

The majority of SFUSD classrooms and offices are designed to utilize passive ventilation methods to ensure adequate air circulation. Mechanical ventilation is in place as the sole means of ventilation at only a few administrative and instructional sites in the District. 

At this time, the district is reviewing which classrooms have operable windows to ensure passive ventilation and is also exploring how to add mechanical ventilation to classrooms when called for. 

Is there enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help ensure safety at schools?

Yes. SFUSD has invested in significant structural and operational improvements to the District warehouse to meet the demand for storage and distribution of supplies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. PPE deliveries to school sites are scheduled monthly, based on employee assignment and student enrollment. 

The following supplies will be provided to schools: 

  1. Surgical masks 
  2. Reusable masks (both adult and youth sizes) 
  3. Hand sanitizer in every classroom, office and public-interfaces 
  4. No-touch thermometers (for use if a child presents symptoms)
  5. Face shields (for adult employees) 
  6. Disinfecting wipes 
  7. Facial tissues 

Additional supplies will be available for employees with specialized needs: 

  1. Surgical gowns (Nurses, custodial, food service) 
  2. Disposable gloves (Nurses, custodial, food service) 
  3. Clear face masks (Special Education, Early Education)

In recognizing the safety precautions necessary to meet the needs of students in a Moderate/Severe SDC, additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may be needed for staff. Special Education Services has communicated this requirement to the Warehouse and will deploy these additional supplies as requested. 


How much cleaning will be in place at schools?

Custodians will clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces several times a day. “High-touch surfaces” are those surfaces that multiple people come in contact with frequently throughout the day and can include door knobs, light switches, and railings. SFUSD has invested in electrostatic sprayers, a new technology that improves efficiency, effectiveness, and reduces the use of chemicals. In some cases, custodial staffing may be increased to meet the new cleaning demands. 

Hand hygiene is an important part of reducing the spread of germs via contaminated surfaces. SFUSD has replaced over 3,000 soap dispensers and installed 6,000 new hand sanitizer dispensers in restrooms, classrooms and offices. Additional hand sanitizer will also be available to employees. 

In the event of a positive COVID-19 test result, custodial employees will close all areas used by the sick person, increase air circulation, and wait 24 hours or as long as possible, before cleaning. Following CDC cleaning guidelines, custodians will wipe clean all vertical and horizontal surfaces, fixtures, and equipment. The entire area will be vacuumed and/or swept and mopped. The area will then be disinfected using the electrostatic sprayer.