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Reopening SFFS

Please note: this page will be updated frequently. Last updated on July 10, 2020. 

As we prepare for the 2020–2021 school year, we are thoughtfully considering all factors that will play an important role in a healthy (and joyful!) reopening of San Francisco Friends School campus.

The guiding priorities of our planning process are to:

  • Maintain Our Strong Community and Connection: We remain committed to doing everything we can to keep our entire SFFS community whole and connected, and;
  • Cultivate Our Rich Academic Program: We will continue to deliver the SFFS curriculum, as guided by our mission to inspire curiosity, cooperation, and hard work, as well as our strong focus on working towards the Quaker ideal of a caring and just society.


We also have established a list of guidelines for reopening:

  • The school will be closed to visitors; parents, guardians, and caregivers will be asked to drop students off and pick students up at their assigned location and to wear masks and maintain distance from others during the drop-off / pick-up routine
  • Parents, guardians, and caregivers will need to answer daily COVID-19 screening questions, without exception, in order for their child to be allowed on campus
  • All faculty, staff, and students will be expected to wear masks at all times while on campus, and appropriate distancing (six feet) will be maintained whenever possible
  • Students will be grouped in small, stable cohorts and will remain in their cohort's designated areas throughout the school day 
  • Strict hygiene and cleaning regimens will be maintained at school, with rooms cleaned and supplies sanitized frequently and thoroughly, per Department of Public Health recommendations

Below you will find our most up-to-date and detailed plans on subjects ranging from schedule to facilities. We ask that you check back often, as we will continue to evolve and expand this plan, making adjustments as needed in order to align with recommendations from the San Francisco Department of Public Health and other public health authorities. 


We will welcome our students to campus each morning with a staggered check-in schedule that will allow for distancing and spacing as our Friends arrive. Similarly, pick-up will be staggered in the afternoon. Our goal is to have as many students on campus as possible for a full day of instruction. We are still determining how to make this work in the space we have, but unless we are required by public health authorities to run a full virtual program, all SFFS students will have some portion of their week—if not all of it—at 250 Valencia with their teachers. Many more details about Lower School and Middle School schedules, including drop-off and pick-up windows, will be shared in the coming weeks.

Important systems and considerations for all schedule models that we are considering include: faculty and student check-in, lunch and snack, recess, bathrooms, hand-washing, and designated drop-off and pick-up locations and times.


SFFS has retained Hines Facilities Maintenance to help us maintain our heightened standards of cleaning and get the most use out of our campus space. We are also exploring possible off-campus spaces for instructional use, and we plan to use our outdoor spaces, such as the Front Yard and the Patio, as additional teaching spaces.

Within the building, we are setting up our classrooms for appropriate social distancing—we are reducing the amount of furniture in every room and we will be using individual desks rather than tables whenever possible. Additionally, students will have their own devices and materials so that there is a minimal sharing of supplies. 

The building and outdoor equipment will be cleaned throughout the day, and the entire campus will be deep cleaned every night. We are also installing touchless faucets/sinks, paper towel dispensers, water bottle fountains, and hand-sanitizing stations around the building. 


The school is currently in the process of hiring a full-time health coordinator, who will act as a key administrator on campus, caring for sick children until they can be picked up, advising the school on best practices, and keeping current health records for all students.

Parents/guardians/caregivers will be asked a series of screening questions each morning to check students for symptoms of COVID-19 before they will be allowed on campus. 

Students, faculty, and staff will all be required to wear masks at all times while on campus. 


SFFS has adopted a number of individualized tech platforms that will be used both in our on-campus and Friends@Home learning models, with spaces to demonstrate student work (and receive teacher feedback) in programs such as SeeSaw and Google Classroom. We also have distance learning portals in place for both our Lower and Middle School students if we need to return to distance learning at any point during the school year. 

Additionally, students will each have their own set of tech learning devices, including iPads, keyboards, and headphones, and students will not turn these devices in to teachers or share devices with their peers in order to minimize contact.