On December 4, 2020 San Francisco county issued a new shelter-in-place order which took effect Sunday, December, 6 at 10 p.m. When this order was issued, The Urban School had already organized and begun group conditioning for sports teams and weekend activities. The Urban Legend interviewed Charlotte Worsley, the assistant head for student life, to better understand how this order impacts Urban.
Worsley said, “[the SFDPH] says you shouldn’t be with people outside your household.” Having conditioning as well as group activities would go against this recommendation.
However, the school has been allowed to continue both because schools that had opened previous to December 4 were allowed to stay open. Urban had started outdoor activities previous to December 4, and SFDPH viewed these activities as “outdoor education.”
Worsley said, “it’s safer to run classes outside than it is to run classes inside.” So, SFDPH said “[Urban’s] allowed to run classes outside, and that’s what [Urban’s] doing.”
In terms of sports restarting, things are a bit more complicated. Worsley said, “what you can have is sports conditioning.” The difference between sports practices and conditioning is critical because “The California Interscholastic Federation that runs sports has not approved the beginning of any seasons.”
When asked why the SFDPH is allowing Urban to continue outdoor education amidst a spike in COVID-19 cases, Worsley said, “In their mind, front and center, they’re weighing the physical safety of students and the mental health safety there.” After her experience participating in an Urban planned activity last Saturday, she said “It was amazing just how much it lifts your spirits, just to walk with somebody.”