Parents, students excited for SFUSD schools to reopen

"Raise the roof, give an air hug, blow a kiss, put a hand on your heart." This is how students will greet each other as they return for in-person learning for the first time in more than a year.

Video Transcript

- After more than a year of being away from the classroom, San Francisco public schools will begin reopening schools on Monday. It will be a staggered return starting with some of the youngest students. ABC 7 News reporter Lyanne Melendez is here now in the newsroom to tell us what that is going to look like exactly.

LYANNE MELENDEZ: Well, Dan, remember as a little kid-- the excitement you felt as you were about to start school? We're a little late to the game. But hundreds of students in San Francisco will have about two months of in-person learning.

The hope is that they make academic gains. But more importantly, that they begin the ever-important interaction with their classmates and teachers.

HEIDI SERETAN: Where are we going to go? Which way do we go?

MARION SERETAN: Down Valencia.

HEIDI SERETAN: Down Mission.

LYANNE MELENDEZ: Marion Seretan is starting a new chapter in her young life-- in-person learning.

MARION SERETAN: I get to see my teachers. [INAUDIBLE] I'm really excited.

LYANNE MELENDEZ: On Thursday, she toured Zaida T. Rodriguez Early Education Center. On Monday, she'll be greeting fellow students in a safer COVID way.

MARION SERETAN: Make the rules, give an air hug, blow a kiss, a hand on your [? height. ?]

HEIDI SERETAN: It's exciting to know that all the staff are vaccinated. It makes me feel really more confident as a parent.

LYANNE MELENDEZ: 11 early education sites will reopen on Monday. So will these 22 schools-- only pre-K through second grade. If your child's school is not on this list, it means they will start one week later. By April 26, every student through fifth grade will be on campuses throughout the district five days a week.

VINCENT MATTHEWS: By the end of April, we will likely have 107 schools open with an estimated 22,000 students returning to in-person learning.

LYANNE MELENDEZ: Distance learning is still an option for families. Middle and high schools will remain closed but are expected to reopen in the fall. We toured Bryant Elementary in the Mission District where the principal said classrooms have to be redesigned.

On Monday, parents will not be allowed inside the schools. Instead, kids will be dropped off. Lunches will be served in the classrooms or outside.

LAURA CODICETTI: We don't have any doubt that our schools are ready to open in a safe and caring and loving way.

LYANNE MELENDEZ: Just a reminder that getting to this point was very trying. Now, the district had to secure enough PPE followed by negotiations with its labor unions, including teachers, and committing to not reopening until teachers and staff were all vaccinated.

But again, here we are. And principals and teachers are telling kids, all you need to know is that we have missed you and please get some sleep the night before. Lyanne Melendez, ABC 7 News. That's good advice for adults as well, Dan.

- Yeah, it is, Lyanne. Good advice. Tough to follow some time with all the excitement. Pins and needles. All right, thanks.