SAN FRANCISCO—On Thursday, November 19, the San Francisco Board of Education approved of a new resolution that details the San Francisco Unified School District’s plans to return students to their classrooms, according to a press release.
The San Francisco Board of Education’s Vice President Gabriela Lopez and Commissioners Jenny Lam and Stevon Cook stated:
“We understand the immense fear behind opening school doors and also the impact Distance Learning is having on our students….What we want this resolution to make clear is the amount of planning, details, and collaboration from City partners that is required, much of what has already been done by our district, if we want to assure a safe return to in-person instruction through concrete timelines and budget.”
The resolution said the Los Angeles Times reported that children younger than 18 only “make up about 0.01% of patients hospitalized with the virus and 0.0005% of associated mortalities.”
The resolution indicated that the schools should reopen because these “numbers are even more impressive considering that many preschool programs have remained open across the state even while K-12 schools were closed.”
According to the press release, the new resolution will respect the needs of the students who prefer remote learning because they feel uncomfortable with returning to school.
“This has been and remains a very challenging time, and we know that there is a range of feelings about the possibility of returning to in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will not reopen any school campuses to students until we can implement all health and safety measures recommended by the SF Department of Public Health. When we are ready to offer in-person learning, families will have a choice about whether to return to in-person or stay in distance learning,” said Dr. Vincent Matthews, the superintendent of of schools for the city of San Francisco.
The resolution said that classes will “support safe learning, instructional ratios, staffing, sanitation and hygiene, safety equipment, and other health precautions.”
“As a city, we need to focus squarely on putting schools first. Students are falling further and further behind while suffering social and emotional consequences. As a district and city, we must devote all available resources toward safely and systematically returning our students to classrooms where they learn best,” said Commissioner Lam.
Dr. Matthews explained that the start date for “Wave 1,” is the first group of schools to open on January 25, 2021. Wave 2 begins on February 8, 2021.