United Kingdom

San Francisco schools 're-open' for just ONE day so the district can get $12million in funding

San Francisco's high school seniors will return to school for just one day so the city can qualify for $12million in state funds.

The deal between the district and teachers union, which has been described as a blatant money grab, will see the class of 2021 not even receive any in-person instruction from teachers but will instead have 'in-person supervision'.

Most students will not return to their own schools as only two high school sites are being made available to seniors who will be welcomed back 'for at least one day before the end of the school year'. 

San Francisco's high school seniors will return to school for just one day so the city can qualify for $12million in state reopening funds. Pictured: students at George Washington High School in 2019 

Parents and health officials have been pushing for district schools to reopen for months after private schools opened up again in the fall.

But the teachers union argued it was not safe for students to return until educators were vaccinated.

Even then, only a small group of vulnerable middle and high school students were allowed to return in San Francisco despite neighboring cities Berkeley and Oakland welcoming back a large share of older students.

After months of pushback, the teachers union announced Sunday the 'exciting news' that they had reached an agreement with the district to allow seniors to return, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The details of the plan were not specified in the announcement, but it has since been revealed that each cohort of students will have two staff members supervising them on campus.

The cohort size is not yet known but activities will include 'end of high school conversations' and 'college or career exploration', district officials said.

Most students will not return to their own schools as only two high school sites are being made available to seniors. Pictured: Abraham Lincoln High School

Students will return to two high school sites meaning most seniors will not return to their own schools.

It is not yet clear how many students will accept the offer and the district is polling families to assess how many of the 4,000 potential seniors will return.

District officials believe the plan would see $12million offered in state reopening grants.

State law required districts to reopen elementary schools and at least one grade in middle or high school for in-person instruction before May 15. 

The legislation was sponsored by assemblyman Phil Ting who said he does not know if the district's plan qualifies for the funding.

He said: 'It definitely doesn't meet the spirit of the law. Kids were supposed to come back in person. Kids were supposed to come back to learn.'

Parents and health officials have been pushing for district schools to reopen for months after private schools opened up again in the fall. Pictured: Lowell High School

He is now pushing for a full reopening in the fall without flexibility for districts to prevent a similar situation occurring.

A school reopening advocacy group run by parents, Decreasing the Distance, slammed the plan, saying: 'What message does this give our kids about what they are worth and how adults take care of our vulnerable populations, including kids? Does this show them that they matter, or just that the money matters?'

They added a senior said she did want to return to school but not like this, saying it's too little too late. 

Elementary schools were reopened in early April and sites for middle and high school students with high needs were set up at the end of the month.

The sites were designed for students who were learning English, in public housing, disabled or struggled with distanced learning.

Of the total 52,000 students in the district, around 19,000 have so far returned to school.  

The district had set out a reopening plan before the state's announcement of the grant funding which did not include secondary grade students.

Officials and the union then scrambled to get the potential $12million and came up with the plan to reopen for one day. 

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