SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco Unified School District has released an update to its plan to resume in-person classes next month, days after a judge said he would decide soon whether to grant a preliminary injunction the city attorney has sought to force to schools to reopen as soon as possible.
A Superior Court judge on Thursday denied that request.
The update to the plan was shared at the district's Board of Education meeting this week and provides dates for the resumption of in-person classes for secondary students.
Junior high and high school campuses will reopen April 26 for Special Day Classes and the district's focal populations, which include newcomer students, foster youth, students who live in public housing, homeless students and students with limited online engagement. High school athletic teams can hold practices and games beginning April 12 after a separate decision the district announced last week.
Prior to this week's announcement, the district's plan had provided dates only for reopening in-person classes for students in elementary grades, which begins April 12 in phases still being determined.
The updated plan is available at https://www.sfusd.edu/covid-19-response-updates-and-resources/return-person-learning.
Last month, City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a lawsuit to compel the district and school board to come up with a plan to reopen schools for all students for the remainder of the school year, as public schools have been closed for a year and replaced with distance learning.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ethan Schulman on Thursday denied the request for an emergency order.
"Obviously this was not the decision we hoped for, and we vehemently disagree with the court’s reasoning," Herrera said in a statement. "Today’s decision was not a victory, but the court recognized the tremendous toll that being unable to return to school has taken on children."
Herrera spoke of the adverse effects a year of distance learning has taken on students and their families.
In the suit, Herrera alleged the district has impeded students' rights to attend public school under the state's Constitution; discriminated against students due to wealth, in violation of the state Constitution's equal protection clause; and violated state law by failing to offer in-person learning "to the greatest extent possible."
"It was only after we sued the school district and parents mobilized to demand action that school officials finally began making progress on reopening," Herrera added. "It’s unfortunate that it took a lawsuit and families rallying in the streets to get the school district to focus on the most important thing – getting its students back in class."
KTVU contributed to this story.