SFUSD to Conduct Wellness Check Calls with 54,000 Students
San Francisco (May 11, 2020) - The San Francisco Unified School District is undertaking an ambitious plan to contact every one of its 54,000 students’ families to do a wellness check. Information will be recorded in the same form across all 119 PreK-12 schools so that the district can assess the needs of students and their families and better support families in coordination with service providers.
On April 14, 2020, the San Francisco Board of Education passed the resolution “To Establish Policies and Procedures for the San Francisco Unified School District to Provide Trauma-Informed, Coordinated Care that Promotes Resilience and Healing During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic” to expand the ongoing work of coordinating care for students and to capture the information about student wellbeing in a systematic way.
“Trauma can often adversely impact young people, and in the midst of this ongoing public health crisis, it is especially important for educators, administrators, and other staff to attune to young people’s possible trauma and focus on healing practices for students and families,” said the resolution’s lead author Commissioner Faauuga Moliga.
Since the beginning of the Shelter in Place Order the district has been reaching out and connecting with students and families to provide a trauma-informed coordinated care approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each school community took its own approach to assessing need.
“Every day, our school staff are using their hearts and minds when engaging with students,” said SFUSD Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews. “This system-wide wellness check is building on and leveraging what has already been happening and continues the practice of schools connecting with students and their families to support and offer any resources we are able to provide.”
Following the Board of Education resolution SFUSD staff created a framework for a standardized approach for schools to take when assessing and recording the needs of their community as students and families. The key components of this framework are:
- Connect with Families in a District-wide Coordinated Effort
This Family Wellness Check-In is a coordinated moment in time for schools across the entire district to conduct a deeper dive and to intentionally connect with families during the same time frame.
- Leverage Existing Staff Mobilization and Coordination at School Sites
This framework allows school communities to create an implementation plan that is tailored to the needs of their students, families, and community partners and leverages the school’s existing support system to meet families’ needs through mobilization and coordination of their staff and Community Based Organization (CBO) partners. The implementation of the Family Wellness Check-in will occur in place of the ongoing wellness checks and within the agreed upon work day for staff.
- Utilize a Centralized Process to Complete the Family Wellness Check in
The Framework calls for a standardized protocol for the Family Wellness Check in and standardized data collection tools.
- Gather School and District Data to Inform Policies
District-wide implementation will allow for district-wide data analysis to inform district-wide policies and protocols. District reports may include/reference reports developed by CBO partners and City agencies where applicable.
- Continue to Build Partnerships with Families and Community Partners
As the needs for students and families evolve over time, the framework provides a guide for schools to maintain an ongoing process to implement a schoolwide wellness check in on a regular basis based on need and as time permits. In some cases, outreach conducted by CBO partners may be the best way to get in touch with families that we have not reached.
Staff are starting the formal wellness checks with families they haven’t been in regular contact with. Given that they plan to reach each student, families with multiple children and at different schools may receive more than one phone call.
SFUSD is also providing a resource for staff who are conducting wellness checks. In addition to mental health services available through their health plans, SFUSD staff may access supports provided through the Heal San Francisco Rapid Response Team coordinated by Our Children Our Families (OCOF) Council, an initiative under the Department of Children, Youth, and their Families (DCYF) and SFUSD, in partnership with a variety of entities including the San Francisco Department of Public Health, Trauma Transformed, and UCSF.
Read the full SF Board of Education Resolution No. 204-14A1 “To Establish Policies and Procedures for the San Francisco Unified School District to Provide Trauma-Informed, Coordinated Care that Promotes Resilience and Healing During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic.”