Many of you have been following the new monitoring system unveiled by Governor Newsom last week. The State is now using a color coded system for determining a countys’ readiness to open various businesses, including schools. Currently, San Francisco is rated red, while San Mateo and Alameda Counties are rated purple. Technically, after 14 days of a county being “red,” schools can reopen. However, and that is a BIG however, they can only reopen with a waiver, and waivers currently are only available to K-6 schools.
There are additional questions we are trying to get the answers to as well. Waiver’s currently need to be approved by the State Department of Public Health AND the San Francisco Department of Public Health that include a site visit from the public health department (it is not clear which DPH needs to visit). Waivers have not become available to high schools, and the process to submit a reopening plan for high schools is not clear at this time. The San Francisco independent high schools have requested a meeting with SFDPH in order to gain more clarity about the reopening process and I will be sure to communicate our next steps.
Also, Mayor Breed issued a directive on Sept 1 to help create a bit more clarity about school reopening. She notes that elementary schools will be allowed to open first, followed by middle schools in mid October and then high schools in November with an approved health and safety plan. In addition, it is important to note that our local DPH takes authority over the state guidance.
This is all to say that no matter what, we will remain in distance learning though the first quarter.Another question that we just don't have clarity on is whether we can begin to host small groups of students on campus. In particular, we are eager to allow students who need a place that is conducive to supporting their studies and well-being to be on campus. Additionally, some classes have requested small groups come onto campus for labs, shops, etc. At this time we are not sure what we are allowed to do, and are trying our best to get answers from SFDPH.
Thank you for your continued patience as we work to bring our students back to campus. I fully understand that this is a difficult time for all of us, and that providing students with connection to peers and teachers that is at the heart of our educational experience is vitally important. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.
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A private school with public purpose, Lick-Wilmerding High School develops the head, heart, and hands of highly motivated students from all walks of life, inspiring them to become lifelong learners who contribute to the world with confidence and compassion.