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San Francisco, Berkeley Schools Plan to Fully Reopen in the Fall

San Francisco and Berkeley parents can now plan on sending their kids back into classrooms full-time next school year.

San Francisco Unified School District announced Tuesday that it’s “preparing for a full return to in-person learning for all students on August 16, 2021.”

“Given what we know now, everyone, families, staff and students, should plan for a full return to in-person learning in the fall,” said Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews in a press release.

The district said every school will start at either 7:50 a.m., 8:40 a.m. or 9:30 a.m., with varying end times.  Schools will also have one early release day per week to accommodate teacher professional development and planning.

The change in start times is being implemented to comply with SB 328, a state law requiring later start times for middle and high schools. “Research shows that later start times can improve teens’ physical health, mental health, and academic performance,” the district said.

You can view a list of start and end times for each school here.

Berkeley Unified still has to negotiate with its teachers union, not over COVID protocols, but over the regular teachers contract that is up for renewal.

The district also said it will have contingency plans in place in case of a resurgence of the coronavirus.

While the governor has said that he will not extend the law that allowed for distance learning during the pandemic, some students may continue to learn remotely, via independent study.

Berkeley and San Francisco schools say they are exploring that option, pending state directives, at least until all children have the chance to be vaccinated.

—Julia McEvoy and Jon Brooks

Copyright 2021 KQED