Photo by Mike Koozmin - Mission High School 9th grade math class (geometry).

SFUSD fully staffs classrooms for first day of school

The San Francisco Unified School District’s teacher shortage appears to have been quelled, at least for the start of the 2015-16 school year.

District officials hired more than 375 classroom teachers for the school year after reporting some 90 vacant positions as of mid-July, and less than a week ago nearly 20 still unfilled, Superintendent Richard Carranza said in a statement Monday morning.

“As we celebrate opening day for [the] SFUSD, I want to commend everyone who worked tirelessly to ensure our students have a teacher in every classroom,” Carranza said.

The teacher shortage has extended across California and even the U.S. as the economy improves and educators of the baby-boomer era retire, but it has been exacerbated in San Francisco due in part to the increasingly high cost of living.

The City’s situation even called for measures unprecedented in recent years, including a letter from Carranza to teachers over the summer encouraging them to recruit candidates, and year-round recruitment programs implemented by the SFUSD throughout the past school year.

Meanwhile, city and district leaders welcomed the opening of the first new public school constructed in San Francisco since 2005, Willie Brown Jr. Middle School in the Bayview.

The new school, located at the same site as the former Willie Brown Middle School building in the Bayview that was taken down in 2011, boasts a three-story glass building with science labs, a digital media lab and maker space. The school also offers an on-campus health clinic, a dental facility and advisors to craft personalized lesson plans for each student.

At El Dorado Elementary School, SFUSD officials highlighted the San Francisco Teacher Residency program, which trains new educators by staffing them in classrooms. Washington High School, home of a new computer science class as part of a first-of-its-kind district-wide curriculum, was also highlighted among the opening day celebrations.

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