The San Francisco Unified School District is seeking to open 72 elementary schools, 12 early education sites and county schools. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

The San Francisco Unified School District is seeking to open 72 elementary schools, 12 early education sites and county schools. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

School district submits letter of interest to open schools

The San Francisco Unified School District has taken the first step in the approval process before reopening some schools to in-person instruction, school district officials said Wednesday.

The district has submitted a letter of interest to the city’s health department as part of its plan to offer in-person learning to students in certain grades and programs at 72 elementary schools, 12 early education sites and county schools.

Most of the city’s schools have had their doors shut for the last nine months, however, some elementary and middle schools, have already been allowed to reopen through the city’s permit process.

Health department approval is one of several steps the district must take before reopening school buildings. TK-12 schools must submit a letter of interest, followed by an application/plan, to the health department before re-opening.

The number of students and staff in the letter of interest is an estimate and depends on how many students return, the space available and staff resources. The final application is more specific. The district also plans to offer in-person education to preschool students who attend programs at its standalone early education schools.

The district does not have to submit a letter of intent or go through the approval process to serve preschoolers in small cohorts.

The day before, on Tuesday, San Francisco Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer introduced legislation with the board urging the San Francisco Unified School District to come up with a “robust comprehensive plan” for schools to reopen. Fewer is pushing for all schools to reopen in the coming months.

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