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2021-22 School Year Updates

Updates and information about The San Francisco School’s 2021-22 school year in response to COVID-19

Updated September 14, 2021

The San Francisco School prioritizes the health and safety of its students, staff, and families and complies with the mandates and guidelines of the California (CDPH) and San Francisco (SFDPH) Departments of Health, including the SFDPH’s Programs for Children and Youth  and Guidance for TK-12 Schools for In-Person, On-Site Instruction for School Year 2021-2022 . 

TRAVEL. When planning for the Thanksgiving and winter breaks, we request that all community members adhere to the CDC travel guidance , which recommends all unvaccinated travelers get tested with a PCR test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after domestic and international travel and vaccinated travelers get tested after international travel. All test results should be uploaded to Magnus and require approval by the school nurse prior to returning to school. Please see our SFS After Travel Guidance for more information.

COMMUNITY EXPECTATIONS. Please make decisions not only for the wellbeing of your family but also for our entire school community. Regarding off-campus behavior, please see CDC guidance on Activities, Gatherings, & Holidays and Small & Large Gatherings .

VACCINATIONS. SFS now requires all school-based adults to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, with the exception of individuals who obtain a medical or religious exemption. Currently, 100% of SFS staff has received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. In the case of unvaccinated staff, regular testing will be performed per SFDPH guidelines.
We urge all eligible students (12 and older) and all SFS family/household members to get vaccinated at their earliest opportunity. SFS will continue to assess the possibility of requiring the vaccine for eligible students.

COVID TESTING. Throughout the school year, SFS will provide surveillance testing of any exempted unvaccinated staff. The school will also perform immediate testing of any symptomatic staff or students with a rapid antigen test and subsequent PCR testing if needed. All test results should be uploaded to Magnus and require approval by the school nurse prior to returning to school. 

DAILY HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS. Please keep your child home if they are sick. Keep this list of COVID-19 symptoms  handy. If your child is sick or has any of these symptoms contact School Nurse Maddy Sandoval (nurse@sfschool.org ) and have your child tested for COVID-19. Families are expected to continue to self-screen daily at home for symptoms.

– All staff and students are required to wear face masks indoors AND outdoors (except when eating or drinking) to provide an additional layer of safety and allow students greater flexibility in their activities.

Lunch and recess 
– Eating will take place outdoors when possible. Students eating indoors will maintain as much space as possible and enjoy a “listening lunch” while unmasked. 

Programmatic Mixing of Grades – Cross-grade activities are permitted indoors for specific programmatic activities. When possible, students will be kept separated by grade or color group when indoors, but will mix when programmatically important. For now, mixing indoors will be permitted for 4th and 5th grade Fridays, Middle School Town Meeting and electives, and afterschool athletics and Extended Day.

Ventilation – The ventilation was upgraded last summer and all classrooms have MERV-13 or MERV-18 filtration systems as well as portable HEPA air filters which will be kept on while indoors. During wildfire season, carbon filters will be used to decrease volatile organic substances. We will keep windows and/or doors open whenever feasible and comfortable to maximize natural ventilation. The use of outdoor space will be maximized whenever possible.

Campus Visitors – Though we are currently allowing staff members only on campus during school hours, we will be gradually loosening restrictions on visitors in the coming weeks. Procedures are being developed to check in and out at the front desk, confirm vaccination status, and other logistics (specifics will be included in next week’s TNH).

Safe transportation practices 
– Students who carpool with other families should remain in stable groups. Please treat the vehicle as an indoor space, open windows, turn the fan on high and set to outdoor air, and wear face masks. When taking public transit, CDPH requires everyone to wear face masks, including those who are fully vaccinated.

COVID CASES ON CAMPUS & MODIFIED QUARANTINE. In the event of a COVID case at school, SFS will follow the SFDPH’s guidance for schools (summarized here ). If there is an exposure on campus, all staff and students within the class will be tested and may be permitted to attend school as part of a modified quarantine as long as they do not have symptoms. Unvaccinated contacts will be tested twice a week during the COVID positive individual’s quarantine has ended.

AIR QUALITY POLICY. Our school nurse monitors the Air Quality Index (AQI) throughout the day and works in conjunction with school administration to ensure a safe environment for staff and students. 

  • When air quality exceeds 100 (orange, unhealthy for sensitive groups), preschool/kindergarten students will be brought indoors. 
  • When air quality exceeds 150 (red, unhealthy) all students will be brought indoors, and if necessary, we may consider school closure. 
  • When air quality exceeds 200  (purple, very unhealthy) school will close.


James Harding - Music Teacher and Faculty Trustee
Tiffany Fong - Athletic Director, Health and Wellness Teacher, and parent to George (K)
Kim (Burke) Fabiani - Kindergarten Co-Head Teacher
Laura McGourty - Upper School Counselor, SEL Coordinator, and parent to Raeya (K)

Neeta Takhar - Family Association Past Chair, and parent to Rohan (5th)
Darpun Sachdev, MD - SFDPH Clinical Prevention Specialist, and parent to Celina (1st) and Aristu (6th)
Prassana Jagannathan, MD/PhD - Infectious Disease Specialist, Stanford Medical School, and parent to Mika (7th)

Maddy Sandoval, RN - School Nurse
Kate McElvaney - Head of Lower School
Laura Post - Strategic Initiatives Manager, and parent to Lila (8th) and William (’17)
Carly Reiter - Director of Design, Engineering, and Technology
Steve Morris- Head of School, and parent to Harper (4th), Mason (’21), and Rowan (’19)