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See Which Schools San Francisco Wants to Open First and When

The San Francisco Unified School District took its first step toward reopening in-person learning this week.

On Wednesday, the district submitted a Letter of Intent to the city Department of Public Health, asking for approval to reopen school buildings for certain ages and grades, including preschoolers.

The letter proposes that 72 elementary schools open in three waves. First, students would return to six elementary schools as early as Jan. 25, followed by reopenings at 18 more as early as Feb. 8 and 48 more on or after March 22.  The dates are subject to change, and the teacher’s union must still agree to the plan.

The six schools the district has listed for the earliest, Jan. 25 opening are:

Alvarado William Cobb Glen Park Lawton John Muir Sunset

See the rest of the list here.

“We must implement a phased approach to in-person learning because we know, given the need to adhere to social distancing and other safety guidelines, we will not be able to safely invite all students to return to school buildings at the same time,” said Board of Education President Mark Sanchez in a press release..

The plan is for schools to first reopen to kids in pre-kindergarten and special education classes. Then those same schools will open for students in transitional kindergarten to 2nd grade. The district will also prioritize homeless and foster youth students, and those who have shown the “lowest overall online engagement” in distance learning.

Parents will have the option of returning their kids to school, continuing with distance learning, or a hybrid. Students not in the initial priority groups will keep learning remotely.

More from the San Francisco Chronicle on what’s next in the process:

The notice is the first step in obtaining required authorization from health officials to bring students back. The district must now apply to reopen, specifying which school sites are in the plan and providing a comprehensive plan that meets health and safety requirements — including masking, social distancing, ventilation and more. Before reopening, health officials would do a site visit to confirm all requirements are in place.

In November, officials in the Oakland Unified School District also submitted a proposal to reopen some in-person education, though it has been met with pushback from educators due to health care risks. SFUSD has created an online dashboard of the tasks that must be completed in order to reopen schools, including acquiring personal protective equipment and bargaining with labor groups.

The letter also contains estimates of how many students and staff may return, but final numbers will depend on how many children choose to return, staff resources and space available. District officials sent a questionnaire to families who’d be included in the first wave of reopening to determine their interest in returning. Families have been asked to indicate their preference by Friday.

—Michelle Wiley (@MichelleEWiley) and Jon Brooks (jbrooksfoy)

Copyright 2020 KQED