The San Francisco Unified School District reopened campuses Monday for the start of the 2021-22 school year with COVID-19 protocols in place.
About 50,000 students and 10,000 teachers and staff were back for in-person instruction after more than a year of mostly virtual classes.
The return to school came with a vastly different look because of the persistent coronavirus pandemic. Some of the health protocols included the following:
- All employees must be fully vaccinated by Sept. 7 or face weekly testing; the district is considering a vaccine mandate for students 12 and older.
- Students must self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms each day and wear a mask at all times.
- All classrooms will have air cleaners.
Although some were nervous to return, there also was some excitement.
"The most exciting time," kindergarten teacher Lauren Goss said. "We're happy to have them and excited that they are excited to learn and families are ready to become part of the community again and help serve students."
San Francisco Mayor London Breed expressed her excitement about students returning to the classroom and emphasized that "it's important that kids also have the ability to socialize , the ability to be around other kids, to learn in a classroom," she said, "what we don't want to do is continue to see their mental health decline."
San Francisco Unified was just one of a handful of Bay Area school districts resuming in-person classes Monday. Others included West Contra Costa Unified, Berkeley Unified, Dublin Unified and Vallejo Unified. It was also move-in day at UC Berkeley.
For San Francisco parents still concerned about COVID-19 or the delta variant and weren't quite ready for their kids to return to the classroom, the district still was offering an online learning option. Those students would still have the option of returning to campus when they are ready.