Families leaving SF Unified for schools with in-person learning

"We feel like their school community has been taken from them... We just feel really let down as a family."

Video Transcript

KATE LARSEN: 11 months after San Francisco closed its schools, parents are at their wit's end.

LINDSAY SINK: It's been a real struggle. It's, I dare say, been a nightmare this last year.

KATE LARSEN: SFUSD Superintendent Vincent Matthews does say the city's schools are getting organized.

VINCENT MATTHEWS: We are getting closer to opening our sites to students every day.

KATE LARSEN: But there's still no set date that kids will be back in the classroom. As a result, the city's deputy superintendent of instruction said families are leaving the district.

- It was a reality pre-pandemic and it's definitely a reality now as families look for other solutions.

KATE LARSEN: Comparing the pre-pandemic fall to this past fall, SFUSD says their enrollment is only down about 500 students, or 1%. But families who we've spoken to say they believe that number is much higher.

LINDSAY SINK: There's no way, just from our community, that it's only 1%. We know multiple families that have gone private or that have moved.

KATE LARSEN: Lindsay Sink and her partner have a blended family of four. Their three oldest have been enrolled at SFUSD, but this week they're starting at a private school.

LINDSAY SINK: Our children were jumping for joy when we told them they were going to go to school.

KATE LARSEN: Still, a deeply undesirable decision as Sink and her partner have already lost one of their two bars to the pandemic and business at Yield Dogpatch is down 75%. But--

LINDSAY SINK: Their mental health is at stake and so we've been forced into a position that we're uncomfortable with, but we've got to do it. You know, we're going to dip into our savings. We're going to be scraping by.

KATE LARSEN: Sink says even if SFUSD does reopen they've lost faith in the district and don't plan on returning.