Return to Urban 2020-21
- Communications & Updates
- FAQ - Hybrid / Virtual Urban
- Schedule: Hybrid Urban
- On Campus Health and Safety Plan
- Risk Acknowledgment Form Community/Student Health Pledge
- Hybrid Instruction Technology Plan
Spring Term Update from Dan (February 26, 2021)
Redux/Update from UrbanConnect (February 16, 2021)
Hybrid Urban Update (January 28, 2021)
New Year Update from Dan (January 3, 2021)
Update from Dan (November 12, 2020)
Update on Urban Application to Reopen and Academic Schedule (October 20, 2020)
Current Update from HOS (October 5, 2020)
Latest Update from Dan (September 14, 2020)
Assessment and Grading Updates for 2020-21 (August 16, 2020)
Fall Term at Urban Announcement (August 5, 2020)
>Health and Safety During Hybrid Urban
>Programmatic Questions in Virtual and Hybrid Urban
Do independent high schools in San Francisco currently have permission to return to school, now or in the next couple of weeks?
Urban School has received approval for our health and safety plan from the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH). However, on November 12, San Francisco Mayor London Breed and SFDPH asked all high schools that had not started to classes to put their in-person plans on hold. At this time, we continue to host the Saturday and after school small group activities outdoors.
Many schools are requiring a waiver or Risk Acknowledgment form from parents/guardians before their children can return to school. Will Urban require this prior to Hybrid Urban?
Yes. Urban's full Safety Plan as well as the Risk Acknowledgment Form and the Community/Student Health Pledge may be found below under the Hybrid Urban tab. Parents/guardians will need to sign both forms before their child may participate in in-person, school-related activities.
Will on-campus student attendance be voluntary, even for those without a medical excuse, and will students who cannot or do not wish to attend in person be able to participate virtually during the four on-campus days?
Students do not need to attend in-person school, regardless of the rationale. Stay-at-home students will be able to engage synchronously using Zoom and other technologies.
Will Urban be distributing a comprehensive safety plan in advance of a return to Hybrid Urban?
Urban's comprehensive Safety Plan, along with the Risk Acknowledgment Form required by the SFDPH and the Community/Student Health Pledge may be found below under the Hybrid Urban section.
Is Urban's physical campus ready for on-campus school for when SFDPH allows it?
Yes. We have been preparing since March in all areas, from classroom and office set-up, to air filtration, to touchless faucets and toilets, to signage – all the changes needed to meet state and county guidelines for a return to school. Please see the Safety Plan below for detailed information.
What specific health and safety protocols has or will Urban put in place for Hybrid Urban?
We have followed or exceeded SFDPH, California Department of Public Health and CDC guidelines for school reopening. A full Safety Plan was submitted to the SFDPH as part of our application to begin Hybrid Urban. Please see the Safety Plan below for detailed information. Highlights include:
- Daily wellness checks completed by students/adults via app prior to entering campus.
- Mandatory masks in the buildings. Optional face shields. Plexiglass dividers in certain areas.
- Orchestrated traffic flows through and between buildings.
- Utilization of outdoor and alternative spaces when possible.
- Updated HVAC system/filters and open windows/doors whenever possible.
- 6 foot separation of desks and seating in classrooms and common spaces.
- Closed campus and no non-essential visitors allowed.
- Touchless hand sanitizers in every room and hallways; touchless sinks, soap dispensers, and toilets in all bathrooms.
- Additional janitorial staff for frequent campus cleaning.
- An on-site, full-time Pandemic Coordinator (likely an EMT) will be hired to oversee protocols.
Additional information can be found in the addendum to the Student/Family Handbook available in the Parent Portal.
Will Urban require and provide COVID testing for its faculty, staff or students?
Yes, although access to testing has been one of the most rapidly evolving and divergent areas of guidance. Currently, we plan to provide testing for faculty, staff and students every other week, prior to in-person, on campus school.
Will students need to provide their own masks during Hybrid Urban?
Students must bring their own mask(s) each day they attend Urban in person. We will have masks available for students who forget or break masks.
What happens when a student/family member/teacher/staff member tests positive or is exposed to someone with COVID-19?
The SFDPH provides specific protocols for each scenario, and school decisions will be made in consultation with SFDPH, including duration of quarantine, contact tracing, required testing, etc. Specifics on this protocol are included in the school Safety Plan, which is available below under the Hybrid Urban tab.
What will you do with on-campus students if a teacher needs to work remotely?
In this instance, the teacher will use Zoom and other technologies to teach the on-campus class remotely. We plan to employ on-campus Teaching Assistants to help coordinate the lesson and provide supervision in the classroom.
How were cohort groups determined and when will students learn which cohort group they are in?
Two cohorts have been established for winter term: the Haight Cohort and the Ashbury Cohort. Starting with an alphabetical division, we then ensured that siblings and 9th grade advisor groups were in the same cohort; that classes will be balanced and small enough to ensure physical distancing; and that students may retain their original course selections. All of this will make changing cohorts very challenging. Students and families have been notified of their cohort group prior to starting Hybrid Urban.
Will there be activities in the afternoon for the morning cohort, and vice versa, morning activities for the afternoon cohort?
We plan to begin cautiously and will ask students to be on campus only when their classes are in session to maintain our reduced population density. However, we do anticipate providing an area that allows for physical distancing, perhaps St. Agnes Gym, as a quiet study area for the morning cohort to stay if necessary, or in the chance that other activities, including athletics, are possible later in the day. Charlotte Worsley will be working with the Deans and others to develop this programming, should it become possible.
Will the basic school calendar of start and stop dates, vacations, etc., be the same?
At this point, we anticipate maintaining the same school calendar, with the same number of total school days. The school will need to add professional days to prepare for the transition to Hybrid Urban.
What about class sizes?
Because only half the student body will be on campus at any given time, on-campus classes will be on average half as large as usual, allowing for a great deal of direct teacher involvement.
Will there be food service and will students eat lunch on campus?
Removing masks to eat increases risk, as does standing in line for cafeteria style food. An advantage of the morning/afternoon cohorts is avoiding on-campus lunch. We are investigating the possibility of prepared box lunches in some circumstances.
What transportation opportunities will be available?
We have secured a safe bus option from CYO for both Marin and the South Bay. Details will be sent to families shortly before hybrid school begins. We encourage students to walk or bike, and ask that families make every effort to establish carpools within their cohort group. San Francisco public transportation options can be found here.
How can I coordinate possible carpool partners?
You may search for possible carpool options on the Parent Portal directory. Login to the Parent Portal, click on Directory in the left column, then search by zip code.
Given that Page Street is now a designated “slow street,” will drop off and pickup still be possible on the north side of Page?
Yes, we have reached an arrangement with the City so that the street remains closed to through traffic but will allow pickup/drop off for Urban and FACES preschool next door.
How will this iteration of virtual learning be different than last spring?
Virtual Urban will be different in a number of ways:
- Our faculty now has first-hand experience teaching in a distance learning modality, and thus have further adapted pedagogy, curriculum and assessments for online learning. We are continuing to provide ongoing training and support for our faculty in online teaching.
- We have built a U1 period into our schedule, to allow for more student life and community connections between students. 9th grade students will be assigned to Inside Urban during U1 and will learn more about how to navigate academics and student life at Urban.
- We will use a different grading system from what we adopted last spring. See the email from Geoff.
- In response to student and faculty feedback, we have tweaked our virtual schedule in a number of ways. Among other things, all periods are now sequential, all longer periods precede shorter periods, and advisories are scheduled at different times.
What technology will students need to be ready to learn in Virtual Urban?
Students need their school-issued laptop and broadband internet access in order to participate fully in online video discussions. Home internet should be at least 25 Mbps download and 5 Mbps per second upload. If many people will be videoconferencing at once in your home, internet speeds should be faster. You can measure your internet speed at this link. Financial Aid funding for an upgrade is available for eligible students. Please be in touch with Dean of Equity & Inclusion Aku Ammah-Tagoe for FA questions and Director of Educational Technology Stacie Muñoz for tech troubleshooting. If students do not have access to a consistently quiet space, they should also have a pair of headphones with a built-in microphone.
Will there be any changes to the college counseling plan for Seniors during Virtual or Hybrid Urban?
College Counseling has added a fourth person to implement a full program for Seniors (and for 11th graders) for the 2020-21 school year. All activities are designed to be virtual or can pivot to in-person, should guidelines allow. The significant change for fall is that the college visit program (more than 100 college rep visits annually) has been moved entirely online! Visit the College Counseling section for information; 11th and 12th grade families automatically receive periodic College Counseling Bulletins from the College Office via email that offer detailed explanations of how the process will work on a virtual platform.
What impact does Virtual or Hybrid Urban have on competitive athletics?
The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) and North Coast Section (NCS) released its calendar for the 2020-21 athletic year, compressing the sports year into two seasons, fall and spring. The "fall" season will begin with boys and girls volleyball and co-ed cross country, starting Monday, December 14, 2020. The spring season has staggered start dates with the first sport, soccer, starting February 22, 2021. Please read more from Director of Athletics Joe Skiffer.
What plans for physical activity is Urban planning or providing during Virtual Urban?
All 9th Graders are required to earn a physical activity credit this fall. Urban is offering virtual classes after school for all 9th graders. For those few who are engaged in outside activities that meet the requirement, they should complete an Outside Activity form available on the Athletics section. We are also offering a few virtual classes for 10th-12th graders who want to earn a credit this fall, including opportunities for our athletes to “virtually train” together through the Volt app.
Will students have the opportunity to participate in clubs, affinity groups and other student activities in Virtual Urban or Hybrid Urban?
Yes, during Virtual Urban and during the week of at-home school in Hybrid Urban, we have built in time for student clubs, groups and activities, including Advising sessions. Additional programming may eventually be possible when students are not in A-D classes in Hybrid Urban.
How does Urban plan to foster social connections between kids?
Grade Deans, our Student Activities Coordinator, the Athletic Department, Advisors and Student Committee have all spent time over the summer planning how to bring students together in a wide range of groups outside of the classroom and advising. We held our Club/Affinity Space Fair the first week of school and groups start meeting immediately. Student representatives are working with their Grade Deans to plan fun activities for the entire class during advising times. 9th grade physical activity classes are designed to have students meet each other while getting active physically. These examples are only a few of the creative ways that our students and faculty/staff are partnering to foster social connections.
Will performing arts (theater, music, circus) classes continue to meet?
Yes. However, SFDPH explicitly forbids in-person singing groups or wind instruments, and all other activities must maintain a 6 foot social distancing. The Performing Arts Department will be planning for these activities to take place virtually, and in-person as allowable. We are still assessing the best times for E periods (including music, journalism and yearbook) to meet in a hybrid Urban schedule.
IF YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS, PLEASE EMAIL US AND WE WILL COLLECT AND SHARE RESPONSES REGULARLY.
To sign the Risk Acknowledgment Form and the Community/Student Health Pledge electronically, parents/guardians should login to the Parent Portal to access the forms. Students received their own link to the Community/Student Health Pledge to sign. Once all forms are signed, you will receive information about the School Wellness Screener app, which must be used daily prior to students coming on campus.
To see a reference copy of the Risk Acknowledgment Form and the Community/Student Health Pledge, please download it here.
Please review the FAQ at left. If you don't see what you are looking for, email us!
Governmental Health Guidelines
San Francisco Department of Public Health Best Practices Directive + School Reopening Guidelines (February 19, 2021 update)
San Francisco School Reopening Dashboard
State of California Blueprint for a Safer Economy
San Francisco Department of Public Health Shelter-in-Place Health Order
California Safe Schools website
*Updated January 14, 2021: COVID-19 and Reopening In-Person Learning Framework for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-2021 School Year
State of California COVID-19 Industry Guidance: Schools and School-Based Programs
California Department of Public Health School Reopening Guidelines
Centers for Disease Control School Reopening Guidelines
4-10 Scheduling Plan
Below are a number of articles outlining the benefits of a 4-10/10-4 approach: