School officials are still considering different learning options for fall. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

SFUSD to host town hall meetings for parents to plan for fall semester

The San Francisco Unified School District will be hosting a series of virtual town halls in early July for updates regarding fall learning.

The district is currently planning for the fall semester, which begins on August 17. School officials will provide updates about the different learning scenarios under consideration, an overview of public health guidance for schools, lessons learnt from spring semester and the district’s planning process.

“We are considering all options at this time, including the possibility of remote learning for some or all of our students if in-person instruction cannot happen in accordance with public health guidance,” SFUSD superintendent Vincent Matthews wrote in a letter to families this month. “If we open any school campuses to in-person instruction, it will require intensive collaboration and support.”

For instance, the district would have to screen students and employees for symptoms when they arrive at school, Matthews wrote. It would also have to ensure that everyone wears face masks and practice physical distancing inside and outside classrooms. Students and staff would have to remain with the same group throughout the day.

Whether California will mandate school children to wear face masks remains unclear. When pressed by a reporter at a press conference Thursday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said state officials are still discussing the issue as “it’s a more complicated question than you can imagine based on the thousan-plus school districts and the myriad of opinions.”

Meanwhile, the education trailer bill AB-77 accompanying the 2020-21 budget which legislators and Newsom agreed to this week, would require schools to regularly communicate with parents and guardians about students’ academic progress. Schools must also provide academic support for English learners, those in foster care or experiencing homelessness, among other students. And, the district has to confirm that students have access to computers and the internet.

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