The private schools in San Francisco are quickly reopening by the dozen, while the public schools in San Francisco are moving more cautiously towards reopening with a long checklist.
The Ministry of Health had granted a personal waiver to six of 83 interested schools on Wednesday, and another 12 schools were in the final stages of a pre-approval site assessment, according to a data tracker launched on Tuesday.
In contrast, the San Francisco Unified School District this week established a “decision tree” for several milestones and health plans that are required before it reopens. Some of these are prepared, but they are unlikely to grow together in the near future.
“All of this is not sequential, but we must have all of this to resume personal operations,” SFUSD Superintendent Vincent Matthews said at a Board of Education meeting Tuesday. “We don’t just want to open to shut down.”
In order for all students to return, The City must remain on the California coronavirus red stage for 14 consecutive days, changing the order of on-site placement, and re-ordering personal surgeries and instructions, which it currently does.
The first phase of the district’s hybrid reopening plans, known as Phase 2a, consists of small cohorts that prioritize students with moderate or severe disabilities, grades from pre-kindergarten through first grade, and early education in standalone locations. That could be 500 to 1,000 students in about 15 locations.
Board chairman Mark Sanchez said he believed these groups could return by the winter break.
However, the city’s coronavirus testing capacity could limit the number of returning students and staff. All employees must undergo staggered testing every two months as part of the plan where the district is reviewing an agreement with Kaiser Permanente.
“We’re currently unsure of how many tests there will be if The City has the capacity,” said Sanchez. “That could limit the number of staff and students who can come back.
In Phase 2b, pupils with limited online engagement and the homeless would join and promote young people, which would expand personal learning from 2,500 to 15,000 pupils in around 60 locations. SFUSD has approximately 57,000 students.
SFUSD also needs a plan to support students at increased risk of infection, assess classroom ventilation and reorganize classroom furniture, and a new memorandum of understanding with the unions. The negotiations have started.
“We are ready and able to come to the negotiating table as often as necessary,” said Susan Solomon, president of United Educators of San Francisco, to the school board on Tuesday. “Very, very few people prefer remote crisis learning. We are not trying to avoid teaching in person – we prefer it very much – but we have to be safe and we need funds for our schools. “
SFUSD also needs curricula such as a community health pledge, new doorbell plan, after-school activities, outdoor classes, and technology plans. General health and safety requirements also include having students screened every morning, signage posted, meals served in smaller settings, and requiring facial covers for third grade students and above and more in a strict regime.
The district has a three month supply of personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, desktop partitions, and a schedule for repeated closings.
Convent & Stuart Hall, a Sacred Heart school with approximately 1,100 students enrolled in K-12 classes, just got the exemption on Wednesday but was ready with an improved HVAC system, UV disinfectant, and other precautions to start.
Many of the private schools also have no unions. Sanchez, a third grade teacher in Daly City, said he was personally grateful to have a union that helps protect the safety of staff and students.
“It is clear that private schools outside of parishes have resources that public schools do not,” said Sanchez. “You also have a smaller number of students. In general, it is easier for them to manage a reopening than it is for a large complex district like SFUSD. “
Bay Area NewsCoronaviruseducationsan Francisco News
If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Learn more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/