Part of Reopening

Preliminary reopening guidance for schools

Documents needed by public, private, and parochial TK to 12 schools, when allowed to reopen.


Health directive about best practices for schools.

For preparation only. Middle and high schools are not allowed to be open for in-person instruction at this time. Elementary schools must apply for approval to reopen.


Preliminary health guidance for the school year 2020 to 2021, provided by the Department of Public Health. Each school district will develop their own plans and decisions to reopen from this guidance.


See this guidance in 中文 | Filipino | Español

Action required for schools providing in-person support services: Complete and post a Health and Safety Plan from this fillable PDF.

Action required: The Health Order requires that businesses post certain signage during the coronavirus pandemic. This poster meets the requirement for communicating indoor risk, for all businesses doing indoor operations.

Quick Guide for schools for when someone has suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Includes sample letters to students and staff.

Guidance aimed at staff, for how to do COVID-19 health checks and what to do if a check is positive. Includes a handout for parents.

See this Guidance in 中文, Русский, Pilipino, Español, Tiếng Việt, العربية 

Guidance about ventilation from the Department of Public Health, for businesses, offices, schools, faith-based and similar organizations.

Guidance accompanies Directive 2020-22 and provides specifics about what is allowed for outdoor instruction, administration, housing, dining, etc in Higher Education Programs, which includes colleges, universities, vocational, ESL, and other adult educational settings. See this Guidance in 中文 | Filipino | Español

Tips for minimizing risks for people who choose to have Learning Pods

See this guidance in 中文, Русский, Pilipino, Español, Tiếng Việt 

Health Directive about best practices for institutions of higher education and adult education programs.

Health directive about best practices for schools providing specialized targeted support services.

The Shelter-in-Place Order that states what activities are allowed and prohibited during the COVID-19 emergency.

General requirements

Schools must apply for approval to reopen. See more information from the Department of Public Health about the approval process.

Check the school reopening dashboard to see where schools are in the process.

Youth programs, childcare programs, and in-person support services at schools are available right now

Childcare programs and recreational programs outside of school are open for all children.

Schools can provide in-person support for vulnerable children and youth. These children may be:

  • In a special education program or other specialized support service (including for disabilities)
  • Experiencing homelessness, housing insecurity, or food insecurity
  • Learning English

In-person support can include:

  • Occupational and physical therapy
  • Speech and language services
  • Behavioral services if part of an individualized educational program (IEP) or individual family support plan (IFSP)
  • Educational support as part of a targeted intervention strategy

Physical distancing requirements for any facilities serving youth

Keep a maximum of 14 children in each space, or however many can stay 6 feet apart (whichever is less). Keep groups of children separate from each other in a different room or space.

Assign up to 2 adult staff per group of children. Have up to 4 adult staff only work with each other and with the same 2 cohorts of children.

Sessions must last at least 3 weeks. Children and youth can enroll in only 1 program at a time.

Remind parents and caregivers they must wear face coverings while at these facilities, including dropping off and picking up children. Prohibit face coverings for children under 2 years, due to risk of suffocation. Encourage face coverings for children between ages 2 and 9, and only with adult supervision. Have children 10 years and over wear a face covering.

More information to prepare for reopening

See general information about schools, childcare, and youth programs during the coronavirus pandemic.

Daily health screener you can use with staff, teachers, and students.

Download signage to print yourself, or get printed posters.

Find SF vendors who sell face masks, hand sanitizer, and other protective equipment for your employees.

See general information about operating a business during the pandemic.

More languages

See other health and safety guidance for schools from Department of Public Health, including in other languages.

See health directives and plans in various languages.