San Francisco launches new tool to track school reopenings

San Francisco has launched a new tool aimed at helping families know when their school will resume some in-person instruction. 

Schools in San Francisco have been shuttered for months, but now there are signs of a return. More than 80 schools including Adda Clevenger School, have submitted waivers to reopen as soon as the first week of October. 

"It's been about six and a half months since spring break and the process for submitting the waiver has been about six weeks to get to this milestone," said Adda Clevenger School Director of Operations, Benjamin Harrison.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health is in the process of reviewing applications from schools around the city. 

"We have created an application process that is open to all schools," said Ana Validizic from San Francisco's Department of Public Health. "To date, we have only received applications from parochial, private, and charter schools. The San Francisco Unified School system has not submitted an application to date."

San Francisco unified schools confirmed hat so far it has not a waiver to reopen. The schools that have applied will open in a staggered fashion, with younger grades starting first.

The city's dashboard will be updated every morning so families can see where their schools stand in the reopening process. 

"If you're not able to find your school to date, that means the letter of interest from your school has not been submitted to the Department of Public Health," said Emily Reid Vontsolos from San Francisco's COVID Command Center.

before schools can reopen they have to go through a multi-step process, culminating with an onsite inspection. 

"The crew came out yesterday of inspectors, a very professional group very thorough," said Harrison.

The Department of Public Health said the aim will be to keep those schools open even if there is a surge in coronavirus cases. 

"With the state guidance this allows us to keep schools open in the event of a surge," said Validizic. "We would recommend more stringent adherence to prevention and mitigation measures and possibly more testing, but we would not be closing schools."

Click here to access the dashboard