Your place on the State vaccine priority list depends on your work, your age, and if you have certain health conditions. You’ll be able to sign up for notifications starting on Tuesday, January 19, 2021. You may not get a notification for months, because vaccines are in limited supply. It depends on when we get doses from the state and federal government." = SF GOV
January 14th, 2021 - SFDPH School Team Updates on School Openings On Tuesday, San Francisco schools offering in-person instruction and School COVID-19 Liaisons attended our regular support meeting with the SFDPH schools team and, in the course of the meeting and as part of their ongoing support, they highlighted some key information which is shared below...
SFDPH Speaking about San Francisco In-school Transmission (edited/summarized for brevity) "We can...say...for the first time that there are less than five documented incidents of in-school transmission…So, the vast majority of all of these cases that have come to schools have come from outside of the community and then [were] brought into the school. It is not spreading inside of the school and that is a credit to all of you [schools] for adhering to all of the prevention and mitigation measures and showing that we can reduce the risk in schools, and that is why we keep moving forward with letting schools stay open because of data like this. So, a big thank you to all of you for all the hard work you're doing." - SFDPH
San Francisco K-12 Schools and Learning Hubs Open for Indoor In-person Learning by December 1st, 2020
San Francisco K-12 Schools and Learning Hubs Cohorts Quarantined September through December 15th
San Francisco K-12 Schools and Learning Hubs Total Cases September through December 15th
January 11th, 2021 - Update from SFDPH around Vaccines and Current Case Surge Today's update from SFDPH: "We are receiving many inquiries related to the COVID-19 vaccination...Below are general talking points about the vaccine. We will release more information as we get it from the State. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Vaccine in general
Vaccine has arrived but we must remain vigilant
Vaccine remains in limited quantity and healthcare workers are top priority for getting vaccinated.
The state of California determines who gets the vaccine when and how.
There is a lot of unknowns and we are doing the best we can to vaccinate as many people as fast as possible.
Each healthcare provider will get vaccines from the state. Each healthcare provider will likely vaccinate their patients.
Once we have vaccinated frontline workers, most people will receive the vaccine from their healthcare providers.
We are working with healthcare providers to administer vaccine as soon as possible. We are not saving vaccine in reserve.
Vaccine and Surge
The vaccine is here and it is being administered, but it will not have much of an impact on this current surge or any post-December holiday surge we may experience in the coming weeks.
We are still in a dangerous position with the virus, but our collective actions are making a difference.
While our infection rate is twice what it was during March, we can still make a difference by supporting each other and continuing to make good choices that we know slow the spread of the virus, such as wearing a mask over your nose and mouth when you go outside.
We also must wait until mid-to-late January to see the overall impacts of these pivotal holiday weeks, when many people have gathered, giving this highly infectious virus a possible foothold.
While our case rate seems to be slowing, the hospital capacity remains a concern across the region and the state.
By staying home and not gathering since December, we have been able to prevent hundreds of hospitalizations and save more than 400 lives.
Due to current ICU bed capacity, we will likely remain in the State stay at home order through the end of January." - SFDPH
January 3rd, 2021 - Current San Francisco COVID-19 Cases Current San Francisco 7-Day Average of New Cases per Day is 226 (As of 12/27/2020). The case increase amplified by travel and gatherings occurring in late November is just starting to decline. Please be vigilant, as we can anticipate another case increase through January, exacerbated by travel and gatherings in late December.
January 3rd, 2021 - Current San Francisco COVID-19 Cases Current San Francisco 7-Day Average of New Cases per Day is 219 (As of 12/26/2020). The case increase amplified by travel and gatherings occurring in late November is just starting to decline. Please be vigilant, as we can anticipate another case increase through January, exacerbated by travel and gatherings in late December.
"If you had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you may be infected. You could spread the infection to others, even before you develop symptoms or test positive. If you are quarantining for travel reasons, you will need to follow these same instructions." - SFDPH
December 17th, 2020 - SFDPH Guidance Updates: Quarantine Shortened to 10 days and Mandatory Travel Quarantine SFDPH has requested that we share the following information with our community.
SFDPH Updated Guidance: "Shorten COVID-19 quarantine to 10 days. SFDPH has updated its guidance on quarantine duration for close contacts of COVID-19 cases to align with recent changes by the CDC and the CDPH. Most people who have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 may end their quarantine after day 10 if they do not develop symptoms during this time. SFDPH strongly recommends that close contacts without symptoms get tested on or after day 6 of quarantine. Because there is a small chance that close contacts may still be infected, they should continue to wear a face mask and stay at least 6 feet away from others until day 14. Given the higher risk and impact of transmission in high risk congregate living settings, people who live in dormitories must quarantine for 14 days after their last close contact with a person with COVID-19."
"Mandatory Travel quarantine. SF issued a mandatory quarantine of 10 days on anyone traveling, moving, or returning to San Francisco from anywhere outside the Bay Area. Limited exceptions apply to people who are traveling for certain critical activities. The new order also strongly discourages any non-essential travel within the 10-county Bay Area region. The travel order becomes effective at 12:01 a.m. on December 18, 2020 and will remain in effect until 12:01 a.m. on January 4, 2021 and may be extended as necessary if the surge continues."
December 17th, 2020 - Updated Travel and Gathering Guidance, Including Mandatory Quarantine
We are leaving school for Winter Break in the context of San Francisco’s highest COVID-19 average daily case count and the state’s upcoming assignment of San Francisco to the Widespread - Purple Tier, effective 12/17/2020 at 11:59 p.m. For the health and safety of our community, please:
Do not travel*
Do not gather with people you do not normally live with, including family members.*
Wear face coverings, maintain required 6-foot social distancing, practice good hand hygiene*
Please be reminded that SFDPH issued a Shelter in Place Orderon December 9th and, yesterday, published a supporting Frequently Asked Questions document for COVID-19 health orders,placing specific and mandatory conditions on travel and gatherings. If you are considering any form of gathering and/or travel during the Winter Break, please read the Frequently Asked Questions and Shelter in Place documents in full, so that you are in compliance with the mandatory health orders as required to return to school. If a student or staff member participates in travel or gatherings that intentionally or unintentionally included activities out of compliance with the guidance, that student or staff member will need to self-quarantine for 10 days, starting from the day following the last exposure / activity. Although SFDPH recommends testing 4-7 days after returning from travel outside of the select ten Bay Area counties listed below, SFDPH does not currently support testing as a means to reduce the length of quarantine. Please contact your child’s teacher AND send an email to attendance if you are supporting community safety with a 10-day self-quarantine. Please contact our Health and Safety Teamif you experienced a known exposure to a COVID-19 case requiring you to quarantine. The school and Golden Bridges School Health and Safety Norms and Community Pledge require adherence to SFDPH guidance. Additional details around guidance are updated on this Community Engagement page as they become available. Select excerpts from the travel portion of the FAQ available below. * Detailed explanation available in the Shelter In Place Order and supporting FAQs:
As always, we are ready and available to support any questions.Thank you for supporting the health and safety of our community and taking the required actions to support student and teacher safety!
Excerpts from the FAQ: NEW TRAVEL QUARANTINE ORDER EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 18, 2020 https://www.sfdph.org/dph/alerts/coronavirus-FAQ.asp (added 12/16/2020) What does the new travel order do? It requires anyone traveling, moving, or returning to San Francisco from outside the 10- county Bay Area to quarantine for 10 days to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Some limited exemptions apply. It also strongly discourages any non-essential travel within that Bay Area region. When does San Francisco’s new travel order take effect? It takes effect on Friday, December 18 at 12:01 a.m. When does the order end? The travel quarantine will remain in effect until 12:01 a.m. on January 4, 2021, and may be extended as necessary if the surge continues. Who is required to quarantine under the new travel order? Anyone who in the 10 days before arriving in San Francisco spent any time outside of the 10 Bay Area counties and stays in San Francisco for at least 24 hours, including returning residents, people moving to the City, and visitors, unless specifically exempted by the health order. There are exemptions for medical professionals, first responders, official government purposes, essential infrastructure work, and others, including any travel required by a court order, like transferring custody of children. What are the 10 Bay Area counties that someone could travel through and not be required to quarantine upon arriving in San Francisco? San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, Sonoma, Napa, and Marin Why is San Francisco doing this? COVID-19 cases are surging in San Francisco and across the country. Our hospitals are close to being overwhelmed. The Bay Area region is now subject to the state’s regional stay at home order because our intensive care units are filling up. We need to take steps now to control the spread of the virus and save lives. The virus is most easily transmitted when people are in close proximity to each other. Isolating people who have been traveling and in contact with others is one way to help manage the spread of the virus. Under the Order, all people should stay home as much as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You may leave your residence to engage in any business or activity allowed under the Order, but whenever you go out, you must: (1) comply with the social distancing requirements—including the requirement to maintain at least six feet of physical distance from people outside of your household; (2) wear a face covering as required in the Face Covering Order, unless expressly exempted from the requirement in that order; and (3) avoid gatherings of any size with people from other households except as expressly allowed Appendix C-2 of the Order. If you have a fever, cough, sore throat, difficulty breathing, or other COVID-19 symptoms that are not explained by another known condition, you may have COVID-19 and must avoid all interactions with people outside your household. If you live in the City and have any COVID-19 symptoms, you can schedule a free COVID-19 test at https://sf.gov/find-out-how-get-tested-coronavirus.
Two people from different Households may meet outdoors as long as they maintain at least six feet of physical distance and wear face coverings at all times except when eating or drinking (subject to the limited exceptions in Health Officer Order No. C19- 12c)." - Order Of The Health Officer No. C19-07q
San Francisco remains under the regional stay at home order. This means you can visit a playground, but only with members of your own household. Everyone over 2 must wear a mask at all times, practice social distancing, and comply with capacity limits. This is not a time to schedule playdates or meet others at the playground.
This decision reflects that playgrounds are essential spaces for children with established benefits to their physical and mental health. Allowing for their use is comparable to the health order allowing park usage for adults to get exercise and fresh air.
They will remain open for use with capacity limits, hand sanitizing stations, and requirements for masks and social distancing.
Follow the rules to stay safe! • Do not visit a playground with anyone not in your household. Do not arrange playdates. • Limit visits to 30 minutes when others are present. • Visitors of all ages must stay 6 feet away from non-household members. • Everyone 2 and older must wear masks. • Do not eat or drink at the playground. • If it’s crowded, come back later or choose a different playground. • Clean your hands before and after playing. • Adults must actively supervise children at all times. Children 2 and under must be within arm’s reach. • To maximize the number of children who can play, only one adult may accompany each child." - San Francisco Recreation and Parks
December 9th, 2020 - Current San Francisco COVID-19 Cases Current San Francisco 7-Day Average of New Cases per Day is 163 (As of 12/1/2020). San Francisco is experiencing our highest number of new cases per day seen during the pandemic. Please note the preliminary (may be updated) daily new case reporting from December 1st indicating a new daily high of 301 cases.
December 8th, 2020 - Current San Francisco COVID-19 Cases Current San Francisco 7-Day Average of New Cases per Day is 146 (As of 11/30/2020). San Francisco is experiencing our highest number of new cases per day seen during the pandemic. Please note the preliminary (may be updated) daily new case reporting from December 1st indicating a new daily high of 297 cases.
December 8th, 2020 - Winter Solstice Spiral Maintaining access to this important experience, and in the context of increased community transmission, our beloved Winter Solstice Spiral, originally planned for the Farm and John McLaren Park, will transition to an on-campus, school-day activity. Students will participate in this experience with their teacher, and within their stable cohort. Our mitigation efforts, including our closed campus, restrict parent, guardian, and caregiver participation, but we will share additional details and information to facilitate participation from home on your own schedule.
We look forward to being together again in health next year.
School Expectations The Stay Safer at Home Order is designed to protect San Francisco and neighboring communities, to increase safety for all, and specifically looks to "...keep our schools open and continue to reopen those that are not yet providing in-person education..."
Perspective from the Health Officer of the City and County of San Francisco (as included in the Order) "We are going to have to live with the threat of the virus for months to come. And for us to be able to keep our schools open and continue to reopen those that are not yet providing in-person education, as well as re-open and expand business and other activities and promote the recovery of our economy, we are all going to have to take responsibility to act safely, including wearing face coverings, keeping at least six feet from others who are not in our household, washing our hands frequently, conducting activities outdoors rather than indoors where possible and avoiding gatherings. We are all in this together, and each of us is going to have to make sacrifices for the good of the community as a whole, including for our most vulnerable members."
Summary from The SFDPH Schools Team "San Francisco is in the midst of a third surge of the COVID-19 virus. To contain this surge as much as possible, the Stay Safer at Home Health Order has been updated with further restrictions. Effective 10pm Sunday December 6th, the following changes will go into effect as it related to youth and educational programs:
Childcare and PreK: No change. These programs are not affected by the additional restrictions.
Out of School Time (OST) Programs: No change. These programs are not affected by the additional restrictions.
Playgrounds: Outdoor public playgrounds must temporarily close. Indoor playgrounds remain closed.
TK-12 Schools: No change. Schools are currently open may continue to provide in-person instruction. This includes those that received an elementary school waiver or reopened while SF was in a less restrictive tier. This also includes schools approved for either indoor or outdoor instruction. All schools that have not yet reopened may continue to serve small cohorts of vulnerable children and youth in person. SF will continue the reopening application process for schools not yet approved to open, including site visits.
Youth sports: This is allowed outdoors only if they are (1) part of an out of school time program, or (2) part of an organized and supervised youth sports program with distancing and face coverings at all times for the supervisors and participants, and provided no competitions can take place and there can be no spectators. Indoor youth sports are not allowed at this time.
Travel: Given the current surge, everyone is strongly encouraged not to travel, especially for recreational or non-essential purposes, and anyone who travels is strongly encouraged to quarantine on return to or arrival in the County. All individuals are required to comply with any travel-related orders—including any requirements for mandatory quarantine and isolation—that are issued by the State of California or the San Francisco Department of Public Health."
Excerpts from Order and Summary of Changes to Order Please review the Order (or Summary) itself for additional details.
Order requires all residents in the County to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission by staying in their residences to the extent possible and minimizing trips and activities outside the home.
Allows people to engage in listed activities, including, for example, working for or going to the businesses listed and certain governmental and essential infrastructure activities, as well as engaging in essential activities, outdoor activities, certain additional activities, and travel related to those activities
RESTRICTED. Small Outdoor Gatherings. Only members of the same household may gather indoors or outdoors. Outdoor gatherings of the same household, when outside their home, are limited to 12 people. Household members must wear face coverings. Indoor and outdoor social gatherings with other households are prohibited.
RESTRICTED. Small Outdoor Meal Gatherings. Only members of the same household may gather outdoors outside the home (with not more than six people) where face coverings are removed to consume food or beverages. A household with more than six people, such as eight could break into two groups of four, separated by at least six feet, to take face coverings off to eat or drink.
SUSPENDED. Outdoor Playgrounds. Outdoor public playgrounds must temporarily close. Indoor playgrounds remain closed.
SUSPENDED. Outdoor Museums, Zoos and Aquariums. Outdoor museums, zoos and aquariums must temporarily close to the public. Indoor facilities were already required to be closed at this time. (Like parks and beaches, outdoor botanical gardens and historic sites may remain open.)
Please note the Stay Safer at Home Order of The Health Officer No. C19-07p was published on December 4th and related (linked) guidance and tip sheets, from as recent as November 29th, are still being updated (and may be out of date). "Where a conflict exists between this Order and any state public health order related to the COVID- 19 pandemic, the most restrictive provision (i.e., the more protective of public health) controls." As always, please contact the Health and Safety Team if questions.
December 5th, 2020 - Current San Francisco COVID-19 Cases Current San Francisco 7-Day Average of New Cases per Day is 122 (As of 11/27/2020). This data includes reduced testing and reporting numbers from the holiday period. Please note the preliminary (may be updated) daily new case reporting from November 30th indicating a new daily high of 246 cases.
As of 10 p.m. on Sunday, December 6, San Francisco will close all personal services, outdoor dining, public outdoor playgrounds, outdoor museums, zoos and aquariums, drive-in theaters, and open-air tour busses and boats. Small outdoor gatherings, must limit themselves to members of 1 household with a maximum number of 12 people (down from up to three households or no more than 25 people). Face coverings must remain on at all times and no eating or drinking is allowed.
November 29th, 2020 - Returning to School after November Break We are retuning to school in the context of San Francisco’s highest COVID-19 average daily case count and the state’s recent assignment of San Francisco to the Widespread - Purple Tier.
In the context of this new tier, the SFDPH advises that: "All schools – TK-12 – that are already open for in-person learning may continue to offer indoor instruction.”
Please be reminded that before the break the SFDPH issued a Travel Advisory placing specific conditions on travel and gatherings over this past week. If a student or staff member participated in travel or gatherings that intentionally or unintentionally included higher-risk activities, that student or staff member will need to self-quarantine for 14-days, starting from the day following the last exposure/higher-risk activity. The SFDPH does not support testing as a means to reduce the length of quarantine.
Please contact your child’s teacher AND send an email to attendance if you are supporting community safety with a 14-day self-quarantine. Please contact our Health and Safety Team if you experienced a known exposure to a COVID-19 case requiring you toquarantine.
Stay home as much as possible. Avoid gatherings. Wear face coverings. Gathering inside with people outside of your household is not allowed. Gathering for more than 2 hours is not allowed.
Participation in Higher-Risk Activities Over the November Break Requires a 14-day Self-Quarantine
San Francisco was assigned by the state to the most restrictive reopening tier (Widespread - Purple) according to California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. This was due to an aggressive surge in COVID-19 cases. Daily cases have nearly quadrupled in the past month.
Office of the Mayor of San Francisco Press Release "All schools – TK-12 -- that are already open for in-person learning may continue to offer indoor instruction. Under the Purple tier, TK-6 schools that have not yet opened, may apply for a waiver from the Health Officer to open for indoor in-person instruction."
† "Close Contact" means you had any of the following types of contact with the person with COVID-19 (regardless of whether you or the person with COVID-19 were masked) while they were contagious‡:
Were within 6 feet of them for a total of 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period
Lived or stayed overnight with them
Were their intimate sex partner, including only kissing
Took care of them or they took care of you
Had direct contact with their body fluids or secretions (e.g., they coughed or sneezed on you or you shared eating or drinking utensils with them)
‡ Contagious Period: People with COVID-19 are considered contagious starting 48 hours before their symptoms began until 1) at least 10 days have passed since their symptoms began, 2) they haven’t had a fever for at least 24 hours AND 3) their symptom have improved. If the person with COVID-19 never had symptoms, they are considered contagious starting 48 hours before their positive COVID-19 test was collected until 10 days after they were tested.
November 25th, 2020 - Critical Covid-19 Advisory Notification Update We are retiring/suspending the General Reported Symptom Advisory notification email commonly sent to class cohorts when a symptom is reported. The similarity between COVID-19 symptoms and symptoms of common illnesses leads to extraneous class cohort notifications and may lead to potential notification fatigue. As designed, this interim notification served our community in taking our first gradual steps towards a return to in-person instruction and has now been suspended.
Critical COVID-19 Advisories, along with other significant health and safety updates shared through the GBS Weekly Newsletter, community emails, and these Community Engagement updates, are required reading, and efficiency in our communications honors this important investment of time.
November 22nd, 2020 - Reminder: Stay at Home. Stay home as much as possible. Avoid gatherings. Wear face coverings. Gathering inside with people outside of your household is not allowed. Gathering for more than 2 hours is not allowed.
Participation in Higher-Risk Activities Requires a 14-day Self-Quarantine If ALL of these conditions are met at ALL times, you do not engage in higher risk activities, AND you do not travel outside of California you may be able to avoid the need to quarantine:
Wear a face mask and stay 6 feet of away from people you do not live with*, including family members.
Avoid spending time indoors with people you don't normally live with*, including family members, to the extent possible. The risk of getting COVID-19 is generally much greater indoors that outdoors because the virus that causes COVID-19 can travel in the air more than 6 feet and collects indoors and in enclosed spaces. If you must spend time indoors, choose a larger room that is well-ventilated or where windows and doors can be opened, and wear a face mask at all times. See more at www.sfcdcp.org/indoorrisk.
Try to limit the number of people you interact with*. For example, if you are traveling to see family, avoid in-person interactions with neighbors or friends.
Don't share vehicles with people you don’t live with*. Vehicles are small enclosed spaces where COVID-19 can spread easily between people. If you must share a vehicle, try to ride with the same people each time, make sure everyone wears a face mask, open windows, and maximize outdoor air circulation as much as you can.
Avoid or limit holiday meals or gathering with people you don’t normally live with*, including family members. Eating and drinking together is higher-risk because people must take off their masks to eat or drink, are more likely to touch their mouths while eating, often sit within 6 feet of each other, and talk while eating, creating more respiratory droplets. If you do have a holiday dinner or gathering, it is safer for people in different households to sit outdoors at least 6 feet apart and to wear masks when they are not actively eating or drinking (such as when talking).” - SFDPH
For added clarity, this means your child (student) will need to self-quarantine for 14-days, starting from last exposure/higher-risk activity IF your family:
Does not wear face masks AND stay 6 feet away from people you do not live with*, including family members.
Spends time indoors with people you don't normally live with*, including family members, unless the area is large, well-ventilated, and face masksare worn at all times.
Shares vehicles with people you do not live with*, unless you ride with the same people each time, make sure everyone wears a face mask, open windows, and maximize outdoor air circulation as much as you can.
Eats indoors with people you don't normally live with*.
Eats within 6 feet of people you don't normally live with*.
Eats outdoors with people you don't normally live with*, BUT does not wear masks when not actively eating and drinking (including when talking during meals).
The SFDPH does not support testing as a means to reduce the length of quarantine. * For the purposes of applying the Travel Advisory guidance to your specific family structure, please consider guardians, and corresponding households, as people the child (student) normally lives with.
November 20th, 2020 - Golden Bridges School Gratitude and Plea
THANK YOU so much for the incredible amount of work, care, and flexibility that has gone into making a return to in-person school possible. We are incredibly grateful that we have been able to support a healthy community and a joyous reunion for so many. As parents, we have had to adjust our hopes, plans, routines, and expectations constantly over the past eight months. We can finally and confidently, open our doors each day to receive the children.
The work is not over though. We are asking you toplease continue to maintain your high level of health and safety vigilance. Each of our personal decisions has the chance to affect the whole.
We are asking everyone to continue to stay informed, follow the guidance, and hunker down so that we can continue to safely, and joyously, be together for the three weeks between November and Winter break.
The attached SFDPH Travel Advisory guidance is comprehensive and everyone should read it. Adherence to the guidance is required by the school. In the briefest of terms... What do families and teachers and staff need to know and do to support the health of the community in the coming days and weeks?
Avoid non-essential travel. If you travel outside the Bay Area but remain in Californiayou are required to self-quarantine for 14 days, starting upon your return, unless your activities meet specific conditions. Refer to SFDPH Travel Advisory guidance for further details. Non-essential travel outside of California requires a 14-day quarantine, starting upon your return.
Stay at Home.Stay home as much as possible. Avoid gatherings. Wear face coverings. Gathering inside with people outside of your household is not allowed. Gathering for more than 2 hours is not allowed.
Any increased risks taken by our community of families, teachers, and staff, are then shared with all of the children, parents, caregivers, and especially, our teachers.
A decision to move forward with non-essential travel must be thoughtfully considered. There are many implications to discretionary travel during the school year when it causes an interruption to planned instruction. Please partner with your child’s teacher for suggestions on keeping up with studies.
Every day our teachers are rising to the challenge - using new tools, modalities, and locations - teaching in classrooms, over distance, and in the weather outdoors, often all in the same day. They are holding our community of children with a clear demonstration of their protection of, and profound love for, their students.
Our role as parents, guardians, and caregivers is to support the work of these amazing teachers by reducing risk at every turn and taking actions to prevent unnecessary individual student or stable cohort transitions between in-person instruction and distance learning.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions about plans, and how they may or may not affect your child’s attendance. And reach out always with any doubts or confusion. We are here to support one another through these new challenges. We are in this together.
Our deep gratitude to all of you, Abbie Coburn and Adam Marquart GBS Health and Safety Team, and fellow parents
SFDPH Shelter in Place Health Order https://www.sfdph.org/dph/alerts/files/C19-07-Shelter-in-Place-Health-Order.pdf "Staying Safer At Home Is The Best Way To Control Risk. All people are strongly reminded that continuing to stay home as much as possible is the best way to prevent the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and therefore minimizing trips and activities outside the home helps reduce risk to individuals and the community. All activities that involve contact with people from different Households increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Accordingly, all individuals currently living within the County are for the time being ordered to stay in their place of Residence to the extent possible."
November 10th, 2020 - SFDPH Travel Advisory & Bay Area Region's Holiday Recommendations SFDPH: "We are experiencing an increase of COVID-19 both locally and also throughout many parts of the country. At the same time, we are also approaching the holiday season, a time when many people typically travel and spend time with family and loved ones.
October 15th, 2020 - Golden Bridges School Plan to Resume In-Person Instruction Golden Bridges School has submitted our application and plan to resume in-person instruction. We are anticipating a return to in-person instruction in early November, starting with Kindergarten and lower grades, and adding upper grades in the following weeks. We will share the return to in-person instruction start date for each class once the timeline is confirmed.
October 15th, 2020 - Health and Safety Norms and Community Pledge In preparation for expanded in-person instruction, we have made significant updates to our Health and Safety Norms and added a Community Pledge, representing our shared understanding of what COVID-19 preventive behaviors and practices are expected in order to attend in-person instruction and support the health of our students, teachers, and greater Golden Bridges School community.
September 20th, 2020 - Perpectives In-Person Instruction Parent, Guardian and Caregiver Perspectives Note: Over 50% of students represented by respondent perspectives collected between 9/10-9/20/2020
As early as next week, SFDPH will likely start approving school applications/plans to resume in-person instruction.
SFDPH Guidance, in order to resume in-person instruction
All TK-12 schools will have to submit a Letter of Interest (LOI) to SFDPH followed by an application/plan for Health Officer review and approval before re-opening for in-person instruction. (GBS has completed that process.)
SFDPH is now accepting applications for TK-8 grades with their assumption that San Francisco will stay in the CA State Substantial Red tier or below for this week.
As part of school reopening, SFDPH will be conducting on site, in person site assessments. “Please follow the TK-12 school guidelines (below) and prepare your school as if it was to open very soon. When you are ready, please contact the SFDPH to schedule a site assessment.” - SFDPH and SFDPH School Guidance
Continuity of Education will be supported through distance learning, regardless of availability of in-person instruction.
Through our hiking program, we have now had our first early experiences to help us start to understand how our teachers, students, and families respond to the availability of, and the safety requirements for, in-person instruction.
Examples of in-person instruction phases/steps
Distance Learning (e.g. Main Lesson, Subject Classes) with supporting In-Person Hikes (our current practice)
Distance Learning (e.g. Main Lesson, Subject Classes) with supporting Outdoor In-Person Instruction (may include hikes, but also class content)
As faculty and staff we are meeting to understand the readiness of our personnel for the increased risk that comes with in-person instruction. Teachers want to provide in-person instruction, but, like you, they also have their own individual and family risk factors to take into consideration.
As a community, we need to continue this important conversation, develop a better understanding of the questions that come up for our families and how best to support needs. Any progress we make towards in-person instruction, we need to make together.
Community Discussion and Q & A We would now like to open up this forum for perspectives and questions that you would like to share with our community.
We have invited the support of Dr. Scott Layne, M.D., a physician-scientist, infectious disease specialist, and former professor of epidemiology, to support us with any scientific questions. Adam will be supporting all school process and policy related questions, including the required process for a return to in-person instruction.
There is much to discuss and learn, and, at times, questions will require further research, but we will do our best to support your questions and work towards the answers we need as a community. Again, Continuity of Education will be supported through distance learning, regardless of availability of in-person instruction.
In-Person Education Next Steps and Town Hall Meeting Wednesday, September 9, 6-7
August 29th, 2020 - SFDPH Sent Out School Requested Waiver Applications for In-Person Instruction Today, we received an application and the Board of Trustees and Steering Committee will begin a process of review, including continued monitoring and assessment of operational readiness and key public health indicators, consistent with our Health and Safety Plan. Teacher, staff and student safety will continue to be our first consideration, and if or when we move forward with the waiver application process, it will be after consultation with teachers, staff and parents. We will facilitate and continue community discussion when more information is available. At all times, we will prioritize and support Continuity of Education for our students not attending in-person instruction.
August 28th, 2020 - CA State Blueprint for a Safer Economy (Updating/Replacing CA County Monitoring List) "California has a blueprint for reducing COVID-19 in the state with revised criteria for loosening and tightening restrictions on activities... Every county in California is assigned to a tier based on its rate of new cases and positivity. At a minimum, counties must remain in a tier for at least 3 weeks before moving forward. Data is reviewed weekly and tiers are updated on Tuesdays. To move forward, a county must meet the next tier’s criteria for two consecutive weeks. If a county’s metrics worsen for two consecutive weeks, it will be assigned a more restrictive tier. Public health officials are constantly monitoring data and can step in if necessary." - https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/
Status updates can be found using this link and entering County: San Francisco / Activity: Schools
Status on August 29, 2020 County: San Francisco Tier: Substantial (Red) Activity: Schools Closed for in-person instruction. Can open for in-person instruction if county remains in this tier for two weeks. (Note: Although in-person, our GBS outdoor hiking physical education program operates under SFDPH distance learning guidance, not the in-person school guidance referenced above, and is not affected by this change.)
August 27th, 2020 - In-Person Learning Process Update We submitted a Letter of Intent, so that we can receive a waiver application, when SFDPH makes applications available and determines it is safe for the community for schools to return to in-person instruction. Once we receive the application, we will review the requirements and make further considerations around whether to proceed with a waiver process. Teacher, staff and student safety will continue to be our first consideration. Through the order of the San Francisco Health Officer or a SFDPH approved CA State waiver, the SFDPH determines when schools may return to in-person instruction. At all times, we will prioritize and support continuity of education for our students not attending in-person instruction.
Week of August 24th Newsletter Back-to-School Updates, including the important topics of: Back-to-School Night, Back-to-School Forms, Distance Learning and Hiking, In-Person Learning (update), Health and Safety (update), Air Quality Responsiveness, Staffing Updates, and so much more. August 19th, 2020 - CDPH County Monitoring List Updated As of today, San Francisco County is currently on day one of meeting the threshold for removal from the county monitoring list. Counties must meet the required public health data threshold for 14 days to be removed from the county monitoring list (watch list). Schools may be able to offer in-person instruction once their county is off the monitoring list and, in our case, the SFDPH authorizes a return to in-person instruction. Update: August 20th and 21st, San Francisco County did not meet the public health and data threshold and remains on the county monitoring list.
August 19th, 2020 - Weekly Community Engagement Call - No Community Questions Steering Committee supports clarifying questions that may come up for your family around guidance in communications previously shared. Please join us for our weekly meetings, Wednesdays, 9:30am-10:30am, if you have questions or if you are interested in hearing the questions of others. Link for future meetings available here.
"The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) developed the COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Learning Framework to support school communities as they decide when and how to implement in-person instruction for the 2020-21 school year. This framework permitted schools and school districts to reopen for in-person instruction at any time if they are located in a local health jurisdiction (LHJ) [San Francisco County] that has not been on the county monitoring list within the prior 14 days. If the LHJ [San Francisco County] has been on the monitoring list within the last 14 days, the school must conduct distance learning only, until their LHJ has been off the monitoring list for at least 14 days. The framework authorized local health officers (LHO) [San Francisco Deptartment of Public Health (SFDPH)] to grant a waiver of this criteria, in order for elementary schools to open for in-person instruction under specified conditions." -CDPH
CDPH placed San Francisco County on the county monitoring list on July 17th. San Francisco County remains on the list today.
SFDPH will inform schools when they have a waiver process in place. SFDPH is not soliciting or accepting waiver applications at this time.
July 18th, 2020 - Golden Bridges School - Staying Connected The Steering Committee, Board, and Faculty have been more active than in past summers as we attempt to forge a new path in understanding what a Golden Bridges School education will look like in the Fall, making ready both distance learning and our new campus for where the path may lead us as we start the school year.
July 17th, 2020 - San Francisco Announces Next Steps on Controlling Spread of COVID-19 and Continuing Pause on Reopening “We are living with COVID, and we all need to do our part to take basic steps to get this virus under control immediately,” said Mayor London Breed. “If we want our schools to reopen, if we want our small businesses to be able to operate, we all need to do the basics: limit our gatherings, cover your face in public, and wash your hands. We also know that we need to see more testing if we are going to identify cases quickly. This requires the entire healthcare system to expand access so when people need a test, they can get one. San Francisco has flattened the curve before, and we can do it again.” San Francisco County was added to the California State County Monitoring List on July 17, 2020.
July 8th, 2020 - SFDPH Preliminary Reopening Guidance for Schools School summer subcommittee work will include supporting communication and community awareness around this guidance as well as operational implementation through updated policy and procedure. Community updates planned for mid-July (preliminary update) and again in early August (comprehensive update / orientation).
Educational Philosophy In the context of COVID-19, our Golden Bridges School educational philosophy remains unchanged and we are committed to the education of our students and providing support to families, teachers and our greater community.
Golden Bridges School operations follow the guidance of the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH), the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). We appreciate our community’s responsiveness as we share information essential to our Golden Bridges School operations and will continue to keep our community updated as to current guidance, offering supplemental information and resources as they become available.
We are standing up at this challenging time, in this place and for the community we love.
The Faculty, Steering Committee, and Board of Trustees have engaged in working groups to prepare for the Fall and lay groundwork for important curriculum work going forward.
Our Golden Bridges School Working Groups Curriculum Development
Life Sciences and Project-based Outdoor Integrated Learning
Health and Safety Guidance and Operations
Preparation of our new campus at 503 Cambridge
Use of Space/Flow and Scheduling under the Health and Safety Guidelines
We are working closely with our norm - Accept and Expect Ambiguity as information is constantly changing, research and learning is continuous, and the needs of our community are in flux.
Life Sciences and Project-based Outdoor Integrated Learning Working Group - Updated July 17th, 2020 The learning process in Waldorf education is threefold, engaging the head, the heart and the hands of the growing child thus the integration of academics, arts and practical skills is the foundation of the curriculum.
The role of the Life Sciences and Project-based Outdoor Learning working group is to build upon this fundamental aspect of the Waldorf curriculum by deepening and expanding opportunities for integrative learning. This will not only increase our ability to offer meaningful outdoor education as a response to the current health and safety requirements, but it will also increase the practical application of academic skills, nourishment of the senses, and engagement in purposeful work. In order to build a foundation for our work, our committee met with an expert in the field of practical skills education and we have been collecting numerous resources from which to support our curriculum development for early childhood and the grades. Over the next few weeks, we will align the developmental stages of the children with specific outdoor activities and practical arts, which will allow teachers to maximize outdoor opportunities while maintaining a rigorous learning environment.
Distance/Online Learning Working Group- Updated July 17th, 2020 The role of the Distance/Online Learning Working Group is to create a structure and schedule for online/distance learning for Dandelion through 6th grade based on internal and external research, including vetted resources for teachers.
What we have done thus far:
Interviewed all GBS teachers and staff who taught online in the Spring of 2020 to understand the opportunities and challenges of this teaching model
Spoke with 15+ schools - Waldorf, independent, and charter schools - to learn from their experience and anticipated offerings
Created a survey for GBS parents to understand the student/parent experience both in review and looking forward
What we have learned thus far:
Creating a consistent rhythm was key
Not all ages/classes had the same needs and any future schedule needs to be tailored by age/class rather than a school wide schedule
Lessons were most successful when they included artistic and physical aspects
Creating pathways for one-on-one interactions between student and teacher is crucial
Creating sharing opportunities for each child to speak to their peers brings joy
It is important to clearly define online etiquette for students and/or parents
Zoom and Google Classroom are useful tools, from the perspective of our teachers and many other schools (awaiting input from the parent survey)
It is helpful to hold more frequent parent evenings and office hours to maintain parent connections with each other and with the teacher
What work remains:
Draft a structure/schedule for distance/online learning for each grade from Dandelion to 6th grade for faculty review by July 31
Collect resources for teachers Draft media use policy for teachers (ie. can teachers use other online tools such as Khan Academy or YouTube with their students?)
Identify access issues for new and returning students (device availability, broadband, parent availability, etc)
Anti-Racist Curriculum Working Group- Updated July 17th, 2020 The role of the Anti-Racist Curriculum Working Group is to create a scope and sequence for a Preschool through 8th Grade curriculum. We will identify and highlight the already existing aspects of Waldorf Curriculum that are inherently antiracist and socially just, as well as modify this 100-year old curriculum to bring transparent adjustments de-colonizing it's European roots.
Questions we have asked thus far:
What will an explicit anti-racist curriculum look like? What resources will we draw from?
How will teachers ensure that the rest of their pedagogy outside of the explicit anti-racist curriculum (i.e. story selection, song selection, history telling, student interactions) is anti-racist and anti-biased?
What tools, resources and support do teachers need to fully integrate anti-racist pedagogy into their practice?
Our work thus far has to been to interview teachers preschool through 4th grade and research traditional Waldorf curriculum to answer the following questions:
Can you share with me an outline of the (enter grade here) curriculum?
How is it racist? How is Whiteness centered?
How is it antiracist?
Health and Safety Guidance and Operations Working Group- Updated July 17th, 2020
What to Expect as We Go Forward / In-person, On-site, Instruction The San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) ordered schools closed for in-person instruction in March AND, for schools to resume in-person instruction, the San Francisco Health Officer will need to issue an order allowing schools to resume in-person, on-site instruction.
The SFDPH issues both guidance and orders in effort to support public health and a safer San Francisco. They monitor and publish daily the Key Public Health Indicators they utilize in making decisions in support of containing COVID-19 in San Francisco. For quick reference, each indicator has four color levels to show where we are in relation to SFDPH targets. Green indicates the city is meeting targets. Yellow, orange and red, indicate an escalation of the distance from meeting targets for safety.
The key health indicators are grouped into these areas:
As we share this communication, on Friday, July 17th, 2020, the Cases Indicator is Red and further details around the case data are available here. San Francisco County was added to the California State County Monitoring List on July 17, 2020. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) says that "schools and school districts may reopen for in-person instruction at any time if they are located in a local health jurisdiction (LHJ) that has not been on the county monitoring list within the prior 14 days." San Francisco County was added to the California State County Monitoring List on July 17, 2020.
On July 15th, San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) announced that they will start the year in Distance Learning. We share with SFUSD that “the health and safety of students and staff is paramount.” Surveying other independent schools in San Francisco, with different resources and constraints from SFUSD, many intend to resume in-person instruction, when the SFDPH health indicators support the decision to resume in-person education and the San Francisco Health Officer issues the required order allowing in-person education.
In the context of the SFUSD announcement, we have reached out to the SFDPH for further guidance for our school, and other independent schools, around the timeline to resume in-person instruction. Excerpt from the SFDPH response: “As SFUSD just voted against in person school for the Fall we are waiting to see if this decision will impact guidance/future health orders for the private/independent school community and also to see if this current surge slows down now that further reopening has been put on hold.”
We have been working this summer in cross-functional working groups to further refine our plans to leverage our use of space, outdoor education, and our training and experience in supporting a social education - fully integrated with a detailed execution of CDPH/SFDPH guidelines - to keep everyone safer during the pandemic, while simultaneously supporting wellbeing.
We have a new campus with large classrooms, indoor, and outdoor spaces. We are installing many no-touch faucets, fixtures, and soap, sanitizer, and paper towel dispensers. With these large improved facilities, we will be ready to support hygiene and physical distancing. Our unique small, stable class cohorts, with teachers who have extraordinary outdoor education expertise, students who thrive in outdoor education settings, and the vast open air experiences of our Farm and John McLaren Park, right next door, will make so many remarkable experiences possible for our students, supporting wellbeing in this challenging time.
When allowed to resume in-person instruction, and following the guidance available today, our school health and safety plan will thoughtfully support student and teacher health and wellbeing, using the most up-to-date resources and guidance, including:
SFDPH Orders - San Francisco Health Officer orders allow or disallow operations (currently, orders prohibit in-person instruction)
Illness - Staff and students who are sick must stay home. Guidance requires that if there is any indication of possible COVID-19 symptoms, not otherwise explained, the Student or Staff Member must stay home. Contact your child’s regular doctor or clinic for advice. The Staff Member or Student must stay home until they meet the conditions to return to school. We used a similar decision tree for screening for symptoms at Farm Camp and it may be representative of what we can expect for in-person educational settings. The Farm Camp / Childcare symptom screener is available here.
Face Coverings - All individuals, including staff and students of all ages, must wear face coverings over both their nose and mouth while at school/on campus, unless medically contraindicated
Stable Cohorts - Guidance states that: Keeping teachers and students in the same group lowers their exposure risk by decreasing the number of people they come into contact with each day.
Physical Distancing - Guidance states that: Staff within schools should stay 6 feet from other adults, as much as possible, staff should stay 6 feet away from students, when feasible, and students should ideally stay 6 feet apart. During group activities, playtime and recess, physical distancing may be relaxed for students in stable classroom cohorts who are wearing face coverings.
Hygiene - The school will put systems in place to support frequent handwashing and hand sanitizer use, as handwashing/hand sanitizing removes COVID-19 germs from people’s hands before they can infect themselves by touching their eyes, nose or mouth
Outdoors - The school will use outdoor space for instruction and meals/snacks, as much as possible.
Operations - When a staff member or student tests positive for COVID-19, the school will contact the SFDPH Schools and Childcare Hub, as soon as possible. SFDPH will help the school determine if the classroom, cohort, or school needs to be closed. Schools with smaller and more contained cohorts are less likely to require school-wide closure.
Note: These resources will adjust to support up-to-date CDPH and SFDPH guidance and orders.
Use of Space/Flow and Scheduling under the Healthy and Safety Guidelines Working Group- Updated July 17th, 2020 The role of the Use of Space/Flow and Scheduling Working Group is to use the most current Health and Safety guidelines issued by the city and state to inform how we will navigate our three spaces (503 Cambridge, The Farm and McLaren Park) to know who is where and when during any give day or moment. Maintaining social distancing indoors will be a priority for all staff, faculty and students. Mask wearing, ventilation of the rooms and hand washing will also be of utmost priority indoors. Should we be allowed to open, and teach an exclusively outdoor program, we will still follow outdoor guidelines for PPE, social distancing and hand washing.
What we have done thus far:
Reviewed communications released by independent and Waldorf schools in the Bay Area and California as to their re-opening plans
Reviewed all communications released by SFDPH regarding Health and Safety Guidelines (Use of PPE, Hygiene, Physical Distancing) for In-Person learning
Began drafting daily and weekly schedules for the Grades classes and Kindergarten, based on all three locations, considering social distancing in the classroom, stable cohorts of students, staggering drop-offs, recess times, bathroom usage and meal times.
Walked through all three locations with a clear understanding of how PPE, Hygiene and Physical Distancing will be maintained for In-Person learning maintaining stable cohorts of teachers and students
What work remains:
Solidify a Fall in-person schedule for each class (stable cohort), detailing the timing of staggering: drop-off, recess, meals, specialty classes and pick-up (to be announced in August)
Directional Hallways and Outdoor Pathways: Physically marking 4-6' visual reminders for students on hallway floors
Flow of Space in outdoor recess areas and snack/lunch times. We plan on having lunch time at McLaren Park as much as possible if learning at 503 Cambridge takes place.
SFDPH Preliminary Reopening Guidance for Schools (published 7/8/2020) School working groups will be supporting communication and community awareness around this guidance as well as operational implementation through updated policy and procedure. Community updates planned for mid-July (preliminary update) and again in early August (comprehensive update / orientation).