SF Unified Targets April 12 for Reopening Select Schools

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San Francisco Unified School District has set a target date of April 12 for reopening select campuses to the district's youngest students, according to an announcement Friday.

District Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews and school board President Gabriela Lopez said SFUSD will begin offering in-person classes to students in Phase 2A on that date, with a plan to add more students before the end of April, according to a news release.

Six elementary schools are expected to be part of the initial reopening, with maximum class sizes of 22 students.

"From what we can tell, it’s a few students that are going to go back to a few school sites," parent Shiva Raj said.

Raj has a third grader who will be among the first groups to return and a high school freshman who constantly received high grades before the pandemic.

"He doesn’t seem to have a desire to learn anymore," Raj said. "He’s just so turned off and so demotivated by the school experience he’s having."

The district said it has reached a tentative agreement with the teachers union to return as many students as possible in focal groups to a nearly full school day and week.

Under the plan, elementary students will stay with their teacher the entire time, and the district will follow all COVID-19 physical distancing guidelines inside classrooms.

"This is an important step on our path to reopening schools. We continue to be committed to ensuring every student and family in the San Francisco Unified School District is receiving the support they need," Lopez said in a statement.

For the rest of the 2020-21 school year, the district will continue to provide distance learning for those students not returning to campus and for those who wish not to return, officials said.

"We recognize that distance learning is not ideal for most students, and many families have struggled with a full year of distance learning. We truly wish we could reopen schools for everyone," Matthews said.

SFUSD said it continues to work to get all teachers and staff vaccinated. The district this week sent out 4,000 personalized access codes for teachers and staff to secure vaccination appointments.

The district said will not reopen any schools until all required health and safety measures are implemented. District officials share more details Monday.

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