SFUSD Receives $33.7 Million in State Grants to Support Community Schools Partnerships

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SFUSD Receives $33.7 Million in State Grants to Support Community Schools Partnerships

Press Release

San Francisco (May 20, 2022) - The San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) are pleased to announce that through a joint effort to apply for California Community Schools Partnership Program (CCSPP)’s Implementation Grants, SFUSD has been awarded over $33.7 million in grants from the California Department of Education (CDE) to fund partnerships at schools to align community resources in support of improving student outcomes.

Of the 59 SFUSD schools that submitted applications to the California Community Schools Partnership Program, 29 are receiving funding given the approval by the California Board of Education on Wednesday, May 18.

SFUSD has long been a frontrunner in partnering with community-based organizations to serve students and families and in staffing schools with social workers, nurses and numerous other positions to support students’ social-emotional and physical well-being along with their intellectual growth. According to a recent analysis conducted by School Services of California, SFUSD has more student support personnel per student than any other urban district in California.

SFUSD’s approach to community schools includes a comprehensive, unifying framework built upon the foundational elements from the district’s guiding plans - Vision 2025 and Transform Learning. Transform Lives. It articulates the essential programs and practices that any community school embraces in order to achieve positive, replicable, and equitable results for its students. It also describes the structures and values required to create and sustain the authentic relationships which are at the center of this approach.

The Community Schools strategy builds upon SFUSD’s efforts to unite diverse and engaged stakeholders to make the school community stronger and support the whole child — meaning children are supported in academics, as well as learning in environments that make them feel safe, valued, engaged, challenged, and healthy. In 2018, the Department of Children, Youth and their Families (DCYF) expanded the Beacon Model to 27 SFUSD schools, which is also aligned with the Community Schools strategy, and will be further supported by funds from the state’s Community Schools funding. 

In addition, in 2022 SFUSD and its non-profit foundation Spark SF Public Schools received a grant of $15 million from an anonymous donor to expand student wellness programs at middle schools and K-8s in partnership with the Beacon initiative.  The DCYF-SFUSD Middle School Beacon Centers Mental Health Initiative is designed to support the implementation of SFUSD’s Comprehensive Community Schools Framework utilizing the Beacon Model. Each Beacon Center is operated on-campus by a non-profit agency that works closely with their school’s leadership to provide targeted and time-sensitive services that address the unique needs of the school community. Starting with two schools in 2021 and gradually expanding, the Initiative will eventually serve students in 13 middle schools and three K-8 schools with existing Beacon Centers.

“SFUSD is committed to serving the whole child and the resources to do this well could not be more urgently needed,” SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews said. “We have many practices with deep roots in our schools, and this new CDE grant is an opportunity to serve students better and align current practices such as the San Francisco Community Schools Toolkit and our Family Partnership model in order to establish system-wide uniform standards and measures that result in even more equitable implementation and impact.”

“Community Schools provide an incredible opportunity for our school communities to center the experiences of students, families and educators in order for our young people to thrive and grow. These monies will provide a foundation where the entire community can come together, solve problems, align practices and resources across the school, and to meaningfully partner with families and community. We have seen so much research and stories from across the country that this model can yield tremendous results. United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) is excited and eager to hit the ground running in ongoing partnership with San Francisco Unified to support our most under-resourced schools,” said UESF Secretary and Community Schools Coordinator Leslie Hu. 

The implementation grant funding from the California Department of Education (CDE) can be used for purposes of staffing, coordination to provide student and family support services and training. SFUSD is currently engaging in planning efforts toward grant implementation.  Funding will begin in July and will extend until June 30, 2027. There is another opportunity for other eligible schools that might be interested in applying to the California Community Schools Partnership Program, which will be initiated in Fall 2022.

Read more about the Community Schools Partnership Program here.


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