San Francisco teachers and district reach agreement on what distance learning will look like

San Francisco public school teachers and the district have reached an agreement on what distance learning will look like when school starts in less than two weeks. 

The San Francisco's union says that agreement came after a 16-hour bargaining session with school district officials.

San Francisco Unified is starting the school year with remote learning, just like most of the rest of California. 

But teachers and school district administrators in San Francisco and other districts had to negotiate how distance learning would work, how many minutes and in what way would teachers be giving their lessons, live online, versus pre-recorded lessons.

The details of the agreement have not officially been released.

But according to the San Francisco Chronicle, the agreement does include things like a $400 stipend for teachers to purchase equipment to work from home, like increasing their internet speeds and using their personal phones.

The agreement also calls for a plan for teachers who must return to classrooms to be able to do it safely.

District Superintendent Vincent Matthews in a statement said that all sides carefully listened to input from families. “We are unified in our commitment to each and every student having the best possible learning experience while learning from a distance. We heard from parents and students that they wanted more connection with their peers and teachers than was possible last spring."

Teachers' union president Susan Solomon said the agreement meets the state's educational requirements, and that now that both sides have had a chance to sit down and figure out how distance learning will work, they hope it will work better for families.

"This is something that we're striving for," said Solomon. "Something that is clearer and better than it was in the Spring."

While many parents in San Francisco say they're happy that a distance learning plan is in place for the August 17 start to the school year, others say they want their students back in the classroom.

"They want to be in class, they miss their friends," said San Francisco father Jerry Lou. "On top of that, they can understand the material better in school instead of on the computer."

The union said they'll have a town-hall meeting for their members later on Friday to discuss the details with the hope that the agreement will be ratified on Monday.

If the teachers vote to ratify the agreement it would remain in place through January 2021. It does not lay out a timeline for when in-person instruction would resume. 

KTVU's Christien Kafton contributed to this story.