San Francisco schools reach agreement with district's unions on COVID safety

Sanchez Elementary School and other San Francisco schools will remain open during the omicron surge.
Sanchez Elementary School and other San Francisco schools will remain open during the omicron surge. Photo credit Matt Bigler/KCBS Radio

The San Francisco Unified School District and a handful of unions representing teachers and district employees have agreed to COVID-19 health and safety conditions for the remainder of the school year.

The district, United Educators of San Francisco and four other unions on Thursday agreed that the district will provide high-quality face masks to students and staff, 10 days of additional COVID-19 sick leave for employees and enough tests for students and staff to test once a week.

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"I'm grateful to our labor partners for their work in ensuring we can continue to support students where we know they learn and thrive best – in school," SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews said in a release on Thursday night. "We are glad to be able to provide additional sick leave in recognition of our employees' ongoing commitment to the health and safety of our school communities."

Last week, the district provided over 73,000 KN95 masks to school employees and distributed 46,000 Color PCR tests to schools, with more being delivered this week.

The school district has partnered up with Safer Together to provide rapid testing to the community at certain schools and district offices. Also, they sent out over 60,000 at-home test kits to every student and classroom teacher and those should arrive by the end of this week.

The agreement with the district's unions will go through July 31 of this year. The district said the precautions are set in place with the intent of keeping schools and facilities open for in-person learning.