SFUSD Offers Free Consultation Services to Early Education Families to Improve Distance Learning Experience

SFUSD Offers Free Consultation Services to Early Education Families to Improve Distance Learning Experience

Press Release

San Francisco (September 28, 2020) - Shoestrings Children’s Center, an early intervention program in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), will begin offering consultation services to families of younger students this fall to help them improve their experience learning from home.

Shoestrings will offer free consultation services to families that are struggling with distance learning through the Shoestrings Bridges to Learning Project. Shoestrings staff will facilitate detailed interviews with families and their child’s respective teachers to assess what is needed in the home so that children can receive developmentally appropriate resources to access instruction. 

As each child and household’s needs may be different, Shoestrings staff will use information gleaned from interviews along with teacher consultation to assist with creating a learning space in the home. Learning spaces would differ from home to home, but will use sensory and educational items to support academic and social-emotional learning. 

Interviews may consist of families virtually showing Shoestrings staff what space or area in their home is used for children to access instruction. Staff will use this information to decide what type of strategies and resources would best match the amount of space provided. Based on information gathered from the family interview, Shoestrings will purchase materials for the family and support with both setting up the learning spaces as well as modeling use of materials.

Staff will use recorded videos via the Shoestrings YouTube Channel to give additional instructional support for use of the materials provided. The emphasis is on strengthening parental expertise with implementation of materials in order to support children with being socially, emotionally and academically successful.

Staff with Shoestrings have been consulting families in previous Shoestrings cohorts with distance learning since March, and are making these consultation services available to any Early Education family looking for support during the fall.

“Shoestrings is one of our long-term strategies to close the racial opportunity gap by working with young children and their families to provide school success tools and strategies that can be utilized both in the home as well as in the classroom,” Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews said. “This expanded consultation service is another great example of the Shoestrings staff doing whatever they can to support our early education students.”

The Bridges to Learning program will be available to all Early Education families starting October 1, 2020. Referrals services for Bridges to Learning are made through site team collaboration meetings, known as Coordinated Care Team or Student Assistance Program meetings. Teachers / Family Support Specialist/School Social Workers and Site Administrators can fill out the Shoestrings “Bridges to Learning” Consultation Request Google Form on behalf of children and families. Once aware of the program, families are able to make self-referrals. 

About the SFUSD Shoestrings Children’s Center

The Shoestrings Children’s Center is part of the Early Education Department’s Multi Tiered Intervention and Support System, which includes instruction, family partnership, positive behavior interventions and supports and inclusive practices.  Shoestrings is an intervention designed in response to the significant disproportionality of over representation of Black students receiving special education services for emotional disturbances and disproportionately represented in suspension/expulsion rates. The intent of the Shoestrings program is to support students and families who continue to face barriers to school success particularly in settings which struggle to create and sustain nurturing school environments.

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