SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) – Hundreds of San Francisco Unified School District teachers and aides were out of school Tuesday amid a rise in COVID-19 cases, according to the teachers’ union, which criticizes the district’s handling of tests for the virus.
Teaching resumed this week at schools in San Francisco after the winter break, but more than 620 employees were out alone Tuesday, according to the teachers’ union, United Educators of San Francisco.
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There were only 157 substitutes available, so district employees with teaching credentials were ordered to take a class, including the district principal.
The challenge facing the district is to try to keep children, teachers and families safe while preserving the value of personal learning.
“I think they learn a lot more personally by having their teacher with them,” said West Portal Elementary Schools parent Logan Truman. “Both of my kids are vaccinated now, and if they wear their mask and keep their distance, they should be fine. We’ve been fine so far.”
Union officials say the district did not develop an appropriate plan to deal with the recent increase in COVID-19 cases and did not require students and staff to show a negative test result before returning to campus, as some other districts have done. . They also accuse the district of not having a plan to distribute a shipment of COVID tests to arrive from the state later in the week.
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“It’s only three days ago. It’s the third day of the week and it feels unbearably long,” said United Educators of San Francisco President Cassondra Curiel.
United Teachers of San Francisco is asking San Francisco Unified to increase their game during the rise by providing better masks and more efficiently distributing home test kits.
“We know personal education is the best, but it must be safe for the system to work,” Curiel explained.
The union was scheduled to hold a briefing Wednesday afternoon to discuss the issues surrounding the COVID increase and how they plan to help distribute the tests to students and staff.
KPIX contacted San Francisco Unified to get a response from the union. They said they will issue a statement later Wednesday.
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