• January 28, 2023

A Push To Get Students Back In School : NPR

San Francisco City attorney Dennis Herrera, featured in 2019, filed a lawsuit against the San Francisco Unified School District Wednesday to try to get public school students back into personal learning. Janie Har / AP hide caption

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Janie Har / AP

San Francisco City attorney Dennis Herrera, featured in 2019, filed a lawsuit against the San Francisco Unified School District Wednesday to try to get public school students back into personal learning.

Janie Har / AP

The city of San Francisco sued his school district on Wednesday in a drastic attempt to get students back into the classroom. The city argued it was safe enough and the district was preparing for the students’ return.

Prosecutor Dennis Herrera quoted an “absolutely inappropriate” reopening plan of the Board of Trustees of the San Francisco Unified School District. He is backed by Mayor London Breed who said: “This is not the path we would have chosen, but nothing is more important right now than getting our children back to school.”

Although the state lifted its Regional Stay Home Order last week, more than 99% of Californians are more than 40 million people, are still subject to strict COVID-19 guidelines, including residents of San Francisco. The city saw a coronavirus peak in early January, with 562 new cases per day. But these numbers are declining.

The prosecutor said he would file a motion on Feb.11 asking the court to issue an emergency injunction. If the order is given, it would force the district to take action and prepare for the students to return to campus, Herrera said.

He claimed the school board failed to deliver one comprehensive plan to get students back on campus while neighboring counties and private schools have had students on campus for months. SFUSD Superintendent Vincent Matthews refuted Herrera’s allegations in a press conference on Wednesday.

“It appears that the prosecutor did not read through our plans or attend the hours of open discussion we had on the subject of safe return to face-to-face learning,” he said. “It is just wrong that the board and district have no plan to reopen schools. SFUSD has a very comprehensive plan with specific steps related to health and safety and what personal learning will be so that our focus student populations will return as soon as we can carry out all the clear steps. “

Education Committee President Gabriela Lopez insisted that the city continue to work with schools instead of “making politics”. She said the board had asked the city to step up efforts to conduct surveillance tests for staff and students, but the city had not seen any results. “Instead, SFUSD needs to go through a bidding process and find a vendor to manage this critical component of school reopening,” said Lopez.

It is common knowledge that students are in many places have suffered of being from the classroom. The Performance gap, an imbalance in academic performance among students, continues to grow. Children with more educational resources develop while others do falling further behind their peers.

There are many empty school buses in San Francisco in July 2020. San Francisco Mayor London Breed endorsed the prosecutor’s decision to sue the school district. He believes the students need to go back to school. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images Hide caption

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Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

There are many empty school buses in San Francisco in July 2020. San Francisco Mayor London Breed endorsed the prosecutor’s decision to sue the school district. He believes the students need to go back to school.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Debby Rosenthal is a kindergarten teacher at the Buena Vista Horace Mann K-8 Community School. She told NPR the pandemic had left many families afloat. The hardships lead to depression and anxiety, which spread to the children.

“One student remains in the care of her older siblings while her mother sits on the street selling things she doesn’t use to make some money. She … is part of my group of struggling students.” Said Rosenthal. “They have little or no support at home, and the performance gap between children like them and children with support is growing. The lack of academic growth at this time of the school year is very noticeable and very worrying.”

Did closing schools save lives or cost lives?  The debate continues

The Bay Area residents are by no means out of the woods, but the falls appear to be falling. cases in San Francisco are roughly where they were in early December. A moving average of 163 new cases per day.

The state administered approximately 3.8 million Doses of the coronavirus vaccines, including just over 90,000 in San Francisco. According to the state’s vaccine distribution plan, teachers can now be vaccinated.

NPR’s Anya Kamenetz contributed this story.

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