Health officials to begin taking waiver applications from elementary schools

53 schools have indicated interest in in-person teaching so far

San Francisco health officials will begin distributing waiver applications next week for elementary schools hoping to teach classes in person.

As of Friday, 53 San Francisco schools have told the Department of Public Health they want to apply for those waivers. Three of those are charter schools, 13 are parochial, and 37 are private schools.

If approved, that would bring 9,679 students and 1,672 staff back to 67 locations, city officials said.

SFUSD is not included in the schools that have applied. The district began distance learning earlier this month and has said it will bring students back to campus in phases once it is deemed safe.

San Francisco is still on California’s coronavirus watch list, limiting the types of reopenings allowed, with an average of 8.6 new cases per day per 100,000 residents. The goal is 1.8 cases per day per 100,000.

The announcement comes as the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families began accepting focused applications this week to bring eligible children into “community hubs.” Various nonprofits from 826 Valencia to Jamestown Community Center have reached out to low-income families, public housing or Single Room Occupancy residents, homeless youth, foster youth, and English learners for the first phase invites.

Ultimately, DCYF plans to bring in 2,000 of those students for an extended-summer camp type of day to assist with remote learning across 70 sites by Sept. 14. The next phase would expand to 2,000 students and another 2,000 for the third phase, DCYF Executive Director told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

“Schools, community hubs and after-school programs provide a critical source of support for children, youth, and their families, and helped mitigate socio-economic disparities through school meal programs and social, physical, behavioral, and mental health services,” Mayor London Breed’s office said in a statement. “Therefore, returning children to learning environments, whether it is a classroom, a community hub, or after school program, remains a top priority for the City.”

Joshua Sabatini contributed to this report.

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