April 21, 2021

Back to All Updates

Dear SFUSD Families:

George Floyd’s death at the hands of a police officer in May of last year sparked our ongoing movement for racial justice. Today and every day, we recognize that Black Lives Matter and SFUSD is dedicated to providing an education for each and every student that contributes to an anti-racist, fair, and just society. We invite our staff, students and families to continue engaging in dialogue about the relationship between white supremacy, white privilege, racism and police violence in a developmentally and socially responsive way. We continue to share resources with our educators to hold a space for all of the feelings and thoughts related to current events. 

Please keep reading today’s digest for important updates.

Return Safely Updates

SFUSD is excited to welcome more students back to in-person learning while maintaining health and safety as our top priority. Here are some of the latest updates:

  • On April 19, SFUSD welcomed students (early education, elementary, and county schools) back at 51 additional school sites. In addition, students in 3rd-5th grades returned to in-person learning at elementary sites that have been open since April 12. 
  • On April 20, the San Francisco Board of Education ratified a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SFUSD and teachers union United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) pertaining to return to in-person instruction for secondary students in focal populations for Spring 2021.
  • Wondering why we haven’t committed to opening a full secondary grade this school year? See Question of the Week below.

For Secondary Students in Priority Populations Returning April 26

  • Preparations continue to welcome 1,996 secondary students in priority populations to return on April 26. 
  • Families with secondary students with an in-person placement should have been notified by text, phone, mail and through ParentVUE. For general information to prepare for in-person learning, visit How Families Can Prepare
    • School sites will contact families about participating in a mandatory orientation and to provide information about scheduled start and end times. 
    • Families can log onto ParentVUE to complete required forms. Information has been mailed to families who do not have an email on file with SFUSD. 
    • Visit Placement Packet to watch a ParentVUE video tutorial (available in English, Chinese, and Spanish) for help with submitting required forms in ParentVUE. Read FAQs for more resources and support with completing the required forms.
  • Due to facilities constraints, and in order to comply with health and safety standards, certain secondary schools will be co-located at host sites:
    • Co-located at Lincoln HS
      • Hoover MS 
      • Ruth Asawa SOTA 
      • The Academy
    • Co-located at Mission HS
      • James Lick MS
      • Arc (Access) 
    • Co-located at Galileo HS
      • Marina MS 
      • Bay (Access) 
    • Co-located at Burton HS
      • Marshall HS 
      • MLK Jr. MS  
      • Willie Brown MS 
  • More questions? Review the Middle and High School Students in Priority Populations FAQs.

Summer Together Programs

  • SFUSD is partnering with the City and County of San Francisco to provide SFUSD families free in-person and virtual summer opportunities.
  • Early enrollment for eligible families has started and will last until May 7. Eligible families will receive targeted outreach and communications through existing programs.
  • General registration for SFUSD families begins on May 8. While space is limited, SFUSD families will be prioritized over non-SFUSD families. SFUSD families will have to provide their student’s SFUSD student ID number for verification.
  • For more information, including key dates and times, visit dcyf.org/summertogether.

For In-Person Families: Substitute Teachers and Class Schedule

  • We currently have a limited pool of substitute teachers who will be prioritized to cover classroom teachers who are absent or have been granted remote work accommodations. 
  • We will make every effort to assign a substitute teacher but there might be a shift from in-person/hybrid learning to distance learning for the days when a substitute teacher will not be available to cover an in-person classroom teacher’s absence.
  • If we are unable to confirm coverage for the next day’s class by 4 p.m., site administrators will contact families of students who are impacted to inform families that they will be in distance learning that day.
  • We will strive to provide as much notice as possible, and appreciate your patience and understanding while we navigate these unprecedented times. 
  • To learn more, review our Substitute Teachers and Class Schedule FAQs.

Distance Learning Updates

SF Loves Learning

This month SF Loves Learning has created slide decks of videos for Women’s History Month and about Climate Change and Climate Justice. You can find all of our decks so far in this resource deck and our most recent full episodes on our website.

This week’s theme is Land & Erosion. Check out these segments that are airing this week:

  • Rock textures (Lesson): Learn different words to describe textures we find in rocks. (April 20)
  • Why Can't Every Day Be Earth Day? (Music): Michael Ryther sings about Earth Day and the importance of taking care of the planet every day. (April 22)
  • I love you with all my heart (Read Aloud): A polar bear cub wonders how to measure his mother's love in this enchanting picture book. (April 20)
  • Celebrating the Vaishakhi Festival (Movement): Ms. Joti and Mr. Bongo celebrate the Sikh and Hindu festival "Vaisakhi" with Bhangra, a Harvest dance from Punjab, India and Pakistan. (April 22)
  • Drawing a Solar System (Community): This video teaches students how to draw the planets in the Solar System. And which order they are in as well as fun facts about each planet. (April 21)

You can watch any content from the show in these ways:

  • Segments Library: Find any segment (read aloud, daily lesson, music, movement, community)!
  • YouTube channel: Subscribe to this channel, explore the playlists, and receive notifications when new content is published.

SF Loves Learning airs every weekday, 8:30-9am on KTVU Plus and any time at sfusd.edu/sfloveslearning.

Resource Highlight

Vaccine Eligibility Open for Ages 16+

All people age 16 and over in San Francisco are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible people age 16 and over should visit SF.gov/getvaccinated to learn about options for receiving the vaccine and to find links to schedule appointments at different vaccination sites.

People under 18 can only get the Pfizer vaccine, and need permission from a parent or guardian to be vaccinated. However, not all sites will have the Pfizer vaccine. Check when you book.

Wellness Tip

Wellness Resources to Support Families Returning to School

As students return to school, it can be stressful to adjust to new routines and expectations. By practicing mindfulness we can be present with our thoughts, feelings, and senses without becoming too overwhelmed. Here is one activity you can practice right now with your family to help relieve stress and focus when you need it. 

Senses: Ask children (your family) to look around the room and notice and name 3 things they can see..... and pause. Now ask children to listen carefully and notice and name 3 things they can hear... and pause. Then ask children to notice and name 3 things that they can touch.

Video resources: 

Question of the Week

What are the challenges for SFUSD to open to a full secondary grade before the end of this school year on June 2 and by the May 15 state deadline?

It is possible that we will be able to open to more students before the end of the school year. We aren’t taking it off the table but are addressing the priority populations first.

SFUSD has been planning to serve focal student populations in middle and high school, including newcomer students, students demonstrating limited online engagement, homeless students, foster youth, and students in public housing. There is a lot of preparation under way to do this by the target opening date of April 26.

We have indications that there will be a shortage of staffing due to the number of staff accommodations (that is staff who cannot work in person). We are actively recruiting substitutes and contracting with firms as a last resort in the event there are not enough SFUSD substitutes available.

In addition, each classroom has to be inspected and set up. While some of this can be and is being done by contracted help and skilled volunteers, facilities staffing needs to direct the work and ensure all sites are up to the safety requirements. Each site needs to have a flow diagram to manage circulation. This is a specialized skill and must be done with the site leadership.

For more information about Return Safely Together plans, please see the FAQs.

Did You Know?

SFUSD SEL/Culture Climate Survey Window is April 19-May 4

Please make sure you are taking the Social Emotional Learning/Culture Climate Survey.  Families should receive the link to their school’s Culture Climate Survey from their school. Results of this survey will be used to help assess our school programs and are used in our district and school site level planning.  

As we shared last week we have three surveys—one for students in grades 4-12, one for all staff and one for all families.  The survey is voluntary and confidential and survey reports use summary aggregate data, not individual level data.

Bright Spot

Tomorrow is Earth Day, and you can celebrate every day with these resources, challenges/contests, and special events for students, families, and educators!

Warm regards,

Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews