(Photo via Pixabay)

The San Francisco Unified School District will partner with the city of San Francisco to bolster the district’s school facility assessment staff before some in-person classes resume in January, the district said Thursday.

While the district has inspected 20 of its schools in advance of students returning, an additional 65 must still be assessed before the district will allow its youngest students and other vulnerable groups to return to in-person classes during the coronavirus pandemic.

Through the district’s agreement with the city, 20 city employees from San Francisco’s COVID-19 Command Center will be deployed to help the district inspect the remaining school campuses to ensure their ready for students to return.

The district’s youngest students and some elementary school students in special education programs are currently expected to return to the classroom on Jan. 25, according to Matthews.

“While SFUSD conducts annual inspections and regular maintenance related to classroom operability, new inspections are necessary in order to assess conditions in the context of COVID health and safety,” district Superintendent Vincent Matthews said.

The inspections include examining operability of classroom windows and hand washing stations as well as a classroom’s basic conditions like ensuring classroom lights work as expected.

“The city will continue to find ways to support the district’s plans to open in whatever way we can because nothing matters more than ensuring that our children and our families are supported during this challenging time,” Mayor London Breed said.