SAN FRANCISCO—On September 14, disadvantaged elementary school students will be able to attend socially-distanced classes in various locations throughout San Francisco as part of the Community Hub Initiative. These classes are available to students experiencing foster care or homelessness. 

According to the SF Department of Children, Youth, and their Families (DCYF), the classes, called community hubs, will prioritize the following groups: “residents of HOPE SF, public housing, RVs and SROs, families that are experiencing homelessness, children in the foster care system, English language learners, and low-income families, with a focus on historically impacted communities, including people who identify as African American, Latino/a/x, Pacific Islander, and/or Asian.” The department reports it will eventually provide education to 6,000 disadvantaged grade-school students in the San Francisco Unified School District. 

Classes will take place at locations which vary in size and include existing community based organizations at their own facilities, local parks, and libraries. Opening day on September 14 will include 40 classes at 4 locations: the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco, Jamestown Community Center, Buena Vista Child Care, and a Recreation and Parks Department site. The DCYF will open additional classes on the two following Mondays, for a total of 92 community hubs to complete phase one. 

Currently, spots are only open to families who have received offers. The process requires that a community-based organization reaches out to an eligible family, the guardian completes a Community Hub Application, the DCYF reviews, and, if the child is eligible and there is space available, they may attend. According to the DCYF website, prioritized individuals are multi-system involved, and lack access to the internet or a digital learning device. 

The second and third phases, set to carry out in November and October, will include older students, English learners, and those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Each phase will bring an additional 2,000 students. 

Public health orders dictate that public and private schools in San Francisco which meet health criteria can reopen for in-person classes on September 21.