SAN FRANCISCO—San Francisco Public schools will be back in session starting August 17, said Dr. Vincent Matthews, San Francisco’s Unified School District Superintendent. Officials are expected to reach a decision by mid-July on how school is expected to resume for students.

Tony Thurmond, State Superintendent of Public Instruction indicated that the state is considering implementing several social distancing measures that schools must follow in order to reopen. In addition, schools must receive additional federal dollars in order to provide masks, soap, hand sanitizer and other protective equipment.

In order to teach students effectively and safely in the fall, Thurmond stated that more funding will be needed. The May budget that California Governor Gavin Newsom released last week will lead to cuts in education, unless the federal government implements additional support.

“We believe that our school districts cannot reopen safely if they have to implement these kinds of cuts,” said Thurmond in a pubic statement.

Guidelines around after-school sports, equipment cleaning protocols, and lunchtime practices will also have to be discussed and agreed upon. 

The San Francisco Unified School District has not made an official decision, but is in the process of discussing several options for schools in the fall. Current options include continued distance learning, a combination of distance learning and in-classroom instruction, or schedule changes such as half days or alternating weeks of instruction, said Matthews during a town hall meeting with the San Francisco Parent Teacher Association.

During a press conference on Wednesday, May 20, Thurmond noted that reopening guidelines from the California Department of Education should be released in the next coming weeks.