US San Francisco Unified School District Board pauses its plan to rename 44 of its schools to focus on reopening
The covid-19 stress test in two school districts
How two districts faced the coronavirus pandemic. That’s the subject of this post by David Kirp, a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and author of numerous books about K-12 and higher education, including “The College Dropout Scandal” and “Improbable Scholars: The Rebirth of a Great American School System and a Strategy for America’s Schools,” which was named outstanding book of 2013 by the American Educational Research Association.
The head of San Francisco's public school system said the plan toafter controversial public figures will be pushed to the backburner as the district focuses solely on school reopening.
"There have been many distracting public debates as we've been working to reopen our schools," San Francisco Unified School District Board President Gabriela López wrote in a letter, published in theand shared to her account on Sunday. "School renaming has been one of them."
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Elementary schools in Los Angeles County will be allowed to reopen for in-person learning starting Tuesday, after county health officials announced they expect to reach the state's Covid-19 case threshold for reopening those campuses. © Al Seib/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images Alta Vista Elementary School kindergarten teacher Bridget Vorland prepares the classroom on February 2 in Redondo Beach, California. The Redondo Beach Unified School district has welcomed back some of its K-2 students through a waiver.
López said the renaming process "begun in 2018 with a timeline that didn't anticipate a pandemic."
"I acknowledge and take responsibility that mistakes were made in the renaming process," she wrote.
Sunday's statement, López said, will be her last time commenting publicly on renaming schools, "until schools are reopened."
"We will not be taking valuable time from our board agendas to further discuss this, as we need to prioritize reopening," López wrote.
"I want us to focus our time and actions where they matter most. On the safety of our children, and on safely getting them back into schools."
The news comes about one month after the school board voted 6-1 to rename 44 campuses linked to controversial public figures including former Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and current US Sen. Dianne Feinstein.
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It was the latest school district to make such a decision -- in recent years, city councils and school districts nationwidededicated to Confederate leaders who fought to preserve slavery and White supremacy in America.
In January, following the school board's vote, San Francisco Mayor London Breed said she supported the board's decision to rename the schools. However, she also expressed frustration that the board had not yet created a plan for reopening schools.
"What I cannot understand is why the School Board is advancing a plan to have all these schools renamed by April, when there isn't a plan to have our kids back in the classroom by then," Breed said last month.
"Our students are suffering, and we should be talking about getting them in classrooms, getting them mental health support, and getting them the resources they need in this challenging time. Our families are frustrated about a lack of a plan, and they are especially frustrated with the fact that the discussion of these plans weren't even on the agenda for last night's School Board meeting."
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All members of a California school district's board of trustees have resigned after several were heard making disparaging comments about parents during a meeting. The Oakley Union Elementary School District announced the resignation of the board members on Friday, two days after the public meeting, a portion of which was recorded and shared on YouTube.
The district, which comprises of 140 pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public schools, is among the many nationwide that has implemented distance learning due to the pandemic.
Earlier this month, the San Francisco City Attorney filed an emergency court order to open schools soon after city leaders announced a lawsuit against its own school system for "failing to come up with a reopening plan" for the students the district serves.
On Saturday, thefor hybrid learning this spring. The district said it is committed to prioritizing students for full-day in-person learning, which is determined by physical space, enrollment, staffing and family interest.
The SFUSD did not provide further details regarding the plan, and directed CNN to the letter in the Chronicle.
School reopening: Here's why it's so hard .
Millions of students across the US are still out of the classroom after nearly a year, fueling a heated debate among school districts, teachers and parents about the best -- and safest -- way to educate kids even as President Joe Biden pushes to get them back in buildings. © George Frey/Getty Images PROVO, UT - FEBRUARY 10: A teacher prepares her classroom before students arrive for school at Freedom Preparatory Academy on February 10, 2021 in Provo, Utah. Freedom Academy has done in person instruction since the middle of August of 2020 with only four days of school canceled due to COVID-19 outbreak.