Late Friday night, the San Francisco Unified School District and teachers union reached a tentative agreement to reopen some schools for in-person learning on April 12.
The reopening will be limited, however. The first students to return to classrooms will be those in pre-K through 2nd grade, as well as those with disabilities. Older elementary school students, in 3rd through 5th grade, will begin returning to classrooms on April 26. All told, 24 of the district’s 64 elementary schools are expected to reopen in April, as each campus must be cleared for reopening by public health officials. Families who want their children to remain in distance learning will be allowed to do so, and students, whether in-person or remote, will remain with their current teacher.
The announcement comes after weeks of strained negotiations between the School District and teachers unions. After agreeing to a basic framework for reopening, the two sides reached an impasse over the length of the school day. Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, a former school board member, stepped in to mediate and helped the two sides reach an agreement. The agreed upon plan, released in full on Monday, will bring the youngest students back for four full days and one half day per week. As 3rd through 5th graders return to classrooms over the course of April, they will do so on a “hybrid basis” coming to school some days and continuing remote learning on others.
In anticipation of reopening, the city sent 4,000 vaccine priority codes to teachers and School District staff last week.
Despite these developments, there remains much more work for the School District to get all of its students back in classrooms. With the exception of students with disabilities, public middle and high school students are not expected to resume in-person learning until next fall.
This article was updated to reflect new details on reopening released by the School District on Monday.