1st wave of SF public schools set to reopen

BACK TO SCHOOL, AT LAST: After more than a year of remote classes, dozens of public schools are reopening in San Francisco.

Video Transcript

LUZ PENA: For more than a year, this has been Roshan's classroom. And even though it's been difficult, he says there's been some perks to it.

RISHAN SIVARAJ: It was kind of good because I got to actually stay in bed most of the time.

LUZ PENA: Starting tomorrow, 33 San Francisco public preschools and elementary schools will be back to in-person classes.

What is something that you're looking forward to when it comes to going back to school?

RISHAN SIVARAJ: Being in the classroom.

LUZ PENA: By the end of this month, SFUSD will likely have 107 school buildings reopened and an estimated 22,000 students back. According to Gabriella Lopez, the board president of San Francisco's Unified School District. Every teacher who wanted to get vaccinated is now fully vaccinated, but safety measures will continue to play a big role in this return.

GABRIELLA LOPEZ: It actually starts at home. You'll be doing a short survey to check off all of any symptoms that you might have.

LUZ PENA: Now, in addition to at-home questionnaire, students are also required to do a second health screening when they arrive to school in-person. As you can see, the school has these red dots ready for social distancing.

Parents won't be allowed inside schools, and lunches will be served outside or inside, depending on the school.

When will middle schoolers and high schoolers have that opportunity to come back to the classroom?

GABRIELLA LOPEZ: April 26. And that will be for a select group of middle school and high school students.

LUZ PENA: A timeline that worries San Francisco parent Sivaraj, who's glad his eight-year-old will go back to in-person classes. But his high school-aged son won't be back until next school year.

- And the longer he stay in distance learning, the worse it's got.

LUZ PENA: This week, the school district is allowing high school sports to return. As to when all students will go back to in-person classes five days a week, San Francisco Unified School District says that won't happen until next school year, starting August 16.

GABRIELLA LOPEZ: It really is a sign of hope to be able to open up our school buildings, and we know that this is just the beginning.

LUZ PENA: San Francisco, Luz Pena, ABC 7 News.