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The Digital District

SFUSD - Building a Digital District

To deliver upon the vision of a world-class education, SFUSD will need to embrace a digital approach to education based on the best of the changing technologies around us.
Digital District 3 Components
This Digital District Plan articulates the role technology will play as a critical enabler to our vision, building on the foresight of both our education professionals and thought leaders within our communities and across the country. From the lunchroom to the classroom, the promise of technology to positively impact the learning and lives of our students is clear.

To learn more about SFUSD’s transformation into a digital district, visit:

Strategic Digital District Initiatives

Laptops for Educators

The Laptops for Educators Initiative proposes that in order to effectively educate our students, all full-time, certificated special educators, teachers taking attendance, and counselors in the SFUSD will receive a district issued laptop. These laptops will also serve district operational needs including online IEPs, attendance, assessments, and counseling. The goal is to complete the initiative by the start of the new school year, with ongoing deployment as new hires enter the district.

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Middle School Grades Leadership Initiative

The Mayor’s Middle Grades Leadership Initiative continues to set the standard for a STEM focused partnership across tech, education, and city government to prepare the next generation of local STEM leaders and innovators in San Francisco. The Salesforce Foundation investments in leadership, digital classrooms/schools, innovation and teacher professional development are dramatically accelerating STEM at the middle grades. We are making profound differences in 20 schools and for thousands of students every day. By the end of this year, we will have baseline data on progress toward our bold goals that will help us refine our strategies for maximum progress over the next two years.

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PreK-12 Computer Science

With unanimous Board support, SFUSD will soon teach computer science (CS) to all students in the district. This decision is rooted in the importance of developing knowledge and skills in all students and the need to break current trends in who is accessing CS courses. In order to give more equitable access to CS education, we must begin teaching children much younger and ensure that we reach every student. With this in mind, SFUSD has made a bold commitment that is unprecedented among other large, urban school districts: to expand CS education to all schools and all students, beginning in pre-kindergarten and extending through 12th grade.

At the elementary level, itinerant CS specialists will likely co-teach CS with classroom teachers for about 20 hours per year. Next year, we will likely pilot in 8-10 schools starting in the middle of the school year. We plan to implement at a wider scale in 2016-17.

At the middle grades level, CS specialists will teach trimester- or quarter-long courses to all students. Next year, 12 schools are piloting our curriculum, impacting about 30% of students in grades 6-8. We plan to scale to all middle grades schools in 2016-17.

At the high school level, CS will not be compulsory. We expect that by providing engaging, early, and persistent CS instruction, more students will pursue CS, and we will broaden participation to those who are traditionally underrepresented in computing. Only about half of our high schools have CS courses now, but we plan to provide opportunities for all students in 2016-17.

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Early Literacy

Startup: Education Grant through the Mark & Priscilla Zuckerberg Foundation) Closing the digital divide through a multi-generational approach through family digital literacy training aligned to classroom early literacy strategies in four SF high-needs neighborhoods utilizing devices and adaptive reading software

To learn more, visit:$1-million-commitment.html


The 21st-century teaching and learning outlined by Vision 2025 requires students to have access to digital devices, applications and content throughout their pre-k-to-12 experience. SparkLearning is a citywide campaign to raise the necessary funds to bring new technology to all of its schools and will help schools integrate digital devices into classrooms to support learning and prepare students to live and thrive in the San Francisco of today and tomorrow.

Donate to Spark* SFUSD

SFUSD Technology Department

The SFUSD Technology Department leads SFUSD’s efforts to transform into a digital district. Under the leadership of our Chief Technology Officer, the department convenes district, community, and industry leaders to align resources and investments strategically and to prioritize major technology projects in a coherent way to enable the district to embrace a digital approach to education that is interactive, intuitive, and personalized to the needs of our students, educators, and families.

Melissa Dodd
Chief Technology Officer
San Francisco Unified School District