The San Francisco Unified School District will require its teachers and other staff members to be vaccinated by Sept. 7 or to submit to weekly Covid-19 testing, school district officials announced Tuesday.
With the school district set to reopen schools Monday for in-person learning, Superintendent Vincent Matthews said in a statement that officials want to ensure safety measures are in place when students and teachers return to the classrooms.
“Given that we are in the midst of rising cases and new variants in our community, a vaccine requirement is a necessary step to keeping our students, staff and families safe.”
Officials said they have been sending emails in the last two weeks to its 10,000 employees requiring them to report their vaccination status. About half have so far replied. Just last week, Matthews said the district will be using that data to determine what the next steps should be.
In a statement supporting the district’s decision, Cassondra Curiel, president of the United Educators of San Francisco said:
“Because United Educators of San Francisco love our communities and care for our students, we took the lead on advocating for a vaccine requirement paired with testing in SFUSD. As we all return to school buildings in person, we are glad that we can move forward welcoming students and families with excitement and ensuring the safest conditions possible in the midst of this continuing pandemic.”
The vaccine requirement does not apply to students. Staff and students will have continued access to Covid-19 testing during the school year. All students and staff are required to wear face masks regardless of vaccination status.
School districts in Marin County and San Jose have issued similar vaccination and testing requirements.
Jerold serves as a reporter and San Francisco Bureau Chief for SFBay covering transportation, City Hall, and the Mayor's Office in San Francisco. His work on transportation has been recognized by the San Francisco Press Club. Born and raised in San Francisco, he graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in journalism. Jerold previously wrote for the San Francisco Public Press, a nonprofit, noncommercial news organization. When not reporting, you can find Jerold taking Muni to check out new places to eat in the city.