San Francisco is preparing to open more than 40 “Community Learning Hubs” this fall. (Shutterstock)

SF to open sites to assist thousands of high-needs students during distance learning

San Francisco plans to turn more than 40 public facilities into “Community Learning Hubs” to support thousands of high-needs students during distance learning this fall.

Mayor London Breed announced Thursday that the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families will launch the hubs on Sept. 14 at sites like recreation centers, branch libraries, cultural centers and nonprofit sites.

The sites are intended for children and youth in low-income households, those living in public housing and single-room occupancy hotels, those who are homeless, foster youth and English-language learners.

Breed called the effort an “innovative solution so that students still get the support and education that they need.”

“Many young people in San Francisco are struggling with being away from their friends and the support systems they have outside of their homes, and some students don’t have the space or resources to successfully participate in distance learning from home,” Breed said in a statement. “It will take a village to address the wide range of learning needs for our City’s children and youth during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Community Learning Hubs will provide a much-needed resource for our most vulnerable students.”

The announcement comes as the Board of Education is expected to vote Tuesday on the San Francisco Unified School District’s distance learning plan.

The Mayor’s Office estimates the hubs will serve approximately 5,000 to 6,000 children and youth and provide full-day programming with access to technology for distance learning. Nonprofits will staff the sites. Meals would also be served.

Enrollment for the sites, which are intended to exist within walking distance of the students, will run from Aug. 15 through Sept. 4. DCYF will work with public housing, the Human Services Agency and the San Francisco Unified School District to identify the students in need of the support.

The plan requires approval from local and state health officials.

City Librarian Michael Lambert said that “libraries are sanctuaries of learning, and we look forward to welcoming students through our doors and doing our part to ensure a successful academic year.”

Breed also announced the extension of emergency childcare services for frontline workers by invite only.

The Recreation and Park Department will offer emergency child care spaces at five recreation centers for children of health care workers and The City’s disaster service worker. The programs will begin at Aug. 31 at the Glen Park, Richmond, Sunset, Hamilton, and Potrero Hill recreation centers.

For information on the hubs or childcare visit DCYF’s website by clicking here.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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