Salesforce, SFUSD partnership proves it takes a village

Salesforce, SFUSD partnership proves it takes a village

Originally published in the San Francisco Examiner.

There’s a well-known African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child. Here in San Francisco, we’re fortunate that this is not just a saying, but a reality.

One such example is our ongoing partnership with Salesforce. Thanks to their support over the past seven years, we have been able to go much further faster in transforming learning opportunities and experiences to help really prepare future graduates for the 21st century.

With significant investments from Salesforce in STEM, we created the nation’s first PreK – 12 Computer Science program and strengthened our mathematics instruction. Today, students in every middle school, every high school and over half of our elementary schools have access to computer science curriculum — the number of students studying computer science has grown from 700 to over 25,000. Additionally, SFUSD is the first urban school district in California to exceed 50% proficient in mathematics under the new Common Core-aligned assessments.

Salesforce is also helping us transform the middle school experience for our students by encouraging principal-led innovation and enabling more hands-on student learning. In addition to all the staffing, technology and learning opportunities for students and staff funded by Salesforce and deployed by SFUSD centrally, each of our 21 middle school and K-8 principals also receive $100,000 through the Principal’s Innovation Fund to use for individual school priorities.

The company’s most recent gift of $8.5 million to SFUSD for the 2019-2020 school year will help us build upon these successes by ensuring more students will continue to access valuable resources to shape their education.

Through programs like Black Star Rising and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), which provides college preparation for first-generation college students as early as middle school, Salesforce is not only helping us expand access to all students but also supporting our commitment to equity — ensuring we meet students where they are and helping all students achieve their potential.

I’m grateful that Salesforce gets behind our vision that every student will discover their spark, along with a strong sense of self and purpose, so that they graduate ready for college and career. Because of their ongoing support of public education, our village is growing!