SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco Unified School District took a major step towards reopening schools on Saturday by signing a tentative agreement with a group of unions on health and safety standards for personal learning for students of all grades from preschool to high School has met.
The tentative agreement covers basic health and safety standards, including the return of students to classrooms when the city and county reach the red tier of California’s blueprint for a safer economy, like the California’s, according to district and union officials Ministry of Health and all employees returning to schools or workplaces “had the opportunity (authorization and access) to get vaccinated at the recommended dose,” a district announcement said.
Students could also return when the city and county hit orange or lower, “regardless of vaccine availability,” the district said.
“I would like to thank all of the district employees who have been working for months to get our schools ready so we can get back safely as soon as possible,” said District Manager Dr. Vincent Matthews in a statement. “This agreement would not have been possible without their efforts. I look forward to opening our school doors so more staff can start preparing to welcome the students back. “
Union leaders said a number of items included in the tentative agreement were proposed by workers in December, including helping the district to prioritize vaccines, availability and educate members; Masks and PPE for students and staff; socially distant classrooms and work areas; regular tests for students and staff; Health examinations; Ventilation upgrade and monitoring; a “safe and effective” cleaning protocol; and a contact trace and ladder diagram with the County Department of Public Health.
The availability of vaccine doses remains a problem.
“This agreement creates the conditions for the safe reopening of schools in San Francisco. Now we need city and state officials to reinforce school staff and provide vaccines while the UESF continues to focus on making classroom and timetable arrangements and distance learning for students and families who choose not to even return to keep improving with these standards, ”said Susan Solomon, president of United Educators of San Francisco.
Talks between the district and its unions began in September. The city announced on Wednesday that it would file a lawsuit to obtain a court order to instruct the district and the Board of Education to work out a plan to provide face-to-face learning as safely and as quickly as possible .
“After months of consistently at the table, we’ve known all along that the key to protecting our entire school community and reducing transmission in a school environment would require multiple layers of protection, and we’re confident that this agreement can be made to do exactly that, ”said Caroline Satoda, president of the United Administrators of San Francisco and supervisor in the district’s professional growth and development department.
“Skilled construction workers are ready to reopen learning centers safely and in the best possible conditions,” said Rudy Gonzalez, SF Building & Construction Trades. “We are still aware of the limitations due to underfunding, retention and staffing issues, but we see hope in this agreement. We look forward to receiving assistance from our federal, state, and local leaders in creating learning environments and facilities that are worthy of our students. “
The preliminary agreement “does not address or resolve any negotiable implications of the district’s hybrid teaching plan,” the SFUSD said. “The district continues to meet with the United Educators of San Francisco to finalize negotiations on the negotiable impact of hybrid education.”