SF Releases Guidelines for Reopening Schools This Fall
Thanks to ABC7 for letting us know that San Francisco health officials have release interim guidance on how to safely reopen schools (possibly this fall) if COVID-19 conditions improve.
The guidance, released on July 8th, details the steps that should be taken for K-12 schools for a potential in-person school year 2020-21. These guidelines are for preparation purposes only. Schools have not yet received permission to reopen for in-person instruction yet. Each school district will develop their own plans and decisions to reopen from this guidance.
The Chronicle reports that it’s unlikely that San Francisco Unified will be ready to welcome students back for the first day of school, originally scheduled on August. 17.
Preliminary Reopening Guidance For Schools | San Francisco
Highlights of the new guidance include the following
- Prioritize students who are likely to experience the greatest negative impacts from not being able to attend school in-person, keeping equity in mind.
- Do not exclude students from in-person attendance solely because of medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, leukemia and other malignancies, and autoimmune diseases that may put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19. Allow the child’s medical team and family to determine whether in-person attendance is safe.
Screen everyone entering the campus
- Ask all persons entering the building or campus about symptoms and exposure to COVID-19,including staff, students, parents/caregivers, contractors, visitors, and government officials.
- Consider asking or requiring students and staff who have travelled out of the San Francisco Bay Area to stay at home for 14 days before returning to school.
- Limit non-essential visitors, including volunteers.
Stable “Cohorts” of Staff and Students
- Keeping teachers and students in the same group lowers their exposure risk by decreasing the number of people they come into contact with each day.
- Consider block schedules or other schedules with longer classes and fewer subjects per day, to decrease the number of students that a teacher interacts with each day.
- Have teachers rotate into the classroom for different subjects while students remain in the classroom, when feasible.
In the Classroom
- Arrange desks facing in the same direction, so that students do not sit facing each other.
- All individuals, including staff and students of all ages, must wear face coverings over both their nose and mouth while at school/on campus
- Elementary school students and those with developmental delays should not be excluded from class if they cannot consistently wear a face covering. Continue to encourage and remind them to wear their face covering.
- If students have difficulty wearing a face covering for the entire day, designate times for them to remove face coverings, for example, when working individually at separate stations.
- Limit sharing of art supplies, manipulatives, and other high-touch materials as much as possible. If feasible, have a separate set of supplies for each student
Group Singing/Chorus, Band, Sports and Field Trips
- Avoid group singing. Suspend choir and wind instruments (band). These activities are higher risk for COVID-19 transmission due to the larger numbers of respiratory droplets produced. Percussion and string instruments are allowed.
See the entire guidance document (as of 7/8/20 – subject to change)