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Some Bay Area elementary schools preparing to reopen

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – San Francisco is now in a position where elementary schools have been given the green light to get ready to resume in-person learning.

Walking into St. Vincent De Paul School, visitors are greeted by a statue of the Virgin Mary holding her hands out next to bottles of hand sanitizer, and there are a lot of kid-friendly signs inside showing how to wear masks and how to greet friends safely.

“Our desks are 4-6 feet apart. We have shields, we have masks available to the students, we have a teacher area where students aren’t allowed to cross over. We’ve done away with a lot of the clutter which is actually a good thing especially for ventilation air and breathing in all those things,” said St. Vincent De Paul Principal Marguerite Pini.

The desks are also surrounded by clear plastic dividers. And while, for now, the teachers are still instructing their students remotely, they are wearing masks and shields practicing for the day students are allowed to come back.

And while that’s a lot of plastic separating the students from their teachers, the principal believes it will still be possible to build community once in-person classes resume.

They are one of 11 city schools that were visited by the department of public health last week. The city’s COVID command center says those reviews are expected to be finished this week.

If all goes well, St. Vincent De Paul could be open as soon as this Thursday.

So far, 80 schools have requested applications for in-person learning, all private.

SFUSF still needs to get a staff testing plan together and figure out a deal with the Teacher’s Union. They expect it will take some time before public schools are ready for students.

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