The San Francisco Board of Education voted unanimously on Tuesday to commit to return all public school students to in-person learning in August, at the start of the 2021-2022 school year.
The resolution, drafted by Commissioner Jenny Lam, ensures that all students will be given the option to attend classes full time, 5-days a week. Students will also have the option to continue with distance learning for medical reasons and if they benefit from remote learning.
The commitment to return all students to in-person learning comes just as the district is set to reopen most elementary schools this month, beginning in phases on Monday.
The district has said it would reopen middle schools and high schools on April 26, but only for special day classes and the district's focal populations, like foster youth, students who live in public housing and homeless students, among others. A broader plan to return most high school and middle school students hadn't previously been announced.
"This past year has been full of uncertainty and I hope this unanimous resolution makes it clear that we are united in our commitment to provide full-time in-person school," Lam said in a statement. "The work of getting all of our students back by next fall is our number one priority."
"We appreciate all educators, staff, students, parents, and caregivers for their resiliency and all the effort that has gone into supporting distanced learning this past year. We also appreciate the many who are now executing a safe and gradual reopening for some of our PK-12 students this spring," Superintendent Vincent Matthews said. "We are making progress and look forward to a new beginning next fall that serves all of our students the way we do best -- in our schools."
The commitment to reopen all schools comes just two weeks after a San Francisco Superior Court judge denied the city's request for a preliminary injunction against the district and school board to force them reopen all of the district's 123 schools as soon as possible.