SAN FRANCISCO—On Wednesday, July 15, San Francisco Superintendent at San Francisco Unified School District, Vincent Matthews, announced that the district will start school on August 17 but it will be distance learning.

In a letter written by Matthews, he stated “After reviewing the best available evidence-ased sources of guidance from health officials, and gathering input from staff, students, and families, we have determined that on August 17, 2020, our fall semester will begin with distance learning”.

According to Matthews, the SFUSD has hope that they will implement a hybrid approach which would be in-person and distance learning for specific students when science and data  says it is safe to do so.

This is a process that isn’t finalized as of yet but the San Francisco Board of Education plans to provide more information on July 28 at 3:00 P.M.

“I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has taken the time to ask a question, share their thoughts, and participate in the process of planning for the fall. I know it takes longer when we involve so many people in weighing in, but it is critical that we do so as this will assist us in creating the most effective plan possible. We have heard from many in our community and continue to gather feedback” said Matthews.

One of the themes that has been brought up was students and families needing consistent access to technology and the internet as well as the support and training to learn about how to use SFUSD’S various online platforms.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us in so many ways. There is a range of viewpoints regarding the best course of action. I want you to know we are listening and I am grateful to be apart of a community that cares deeply for all children” Matthews stated.

This isn’t the first announcement by a school district to go the distance learning route as Oakland, Santa Clara, Berkeley, and Brentwood have announced they will be start the school year online as well.

Representatives of San Francisco Unified School District have not responded to the San Francisco News for comment.