May 12, 2021

Back to All Updates

Dear SFUSD Families:

SFUSD has welcomed back 19,000 students to in-person learning and will be welcoming an additional 565 students in Grade 12 to hybrid learning activities starting May 14, 2021. Connection, learning and health remain as our top priorities during the Return Safely Together effort. Please continue reading for more updates.

Return Safely Updates

  • 23 campuses have been reopened to secondary students in focal populations since April 26. Secondary students in focal populations who returned to in-person demonstrated improved attendance rates compared to those who chose to remain in distance learning. SFUSD remains committed to a full 5-day return to in-person learning for Fall 2021.
  • Due to staffing shortages for in-person learning we are making a concerted effort to recruit, hire, and onboard substitute teachers. Central office staff have also been deployed to support school sites and classrooms. 
  • SFUSD continues to observe health and safety guidelines with vigilance in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 during the reopening efforts. Our monitoring efforts have yielded 20 positive cases across all in-person school sites and grade levels and 14 cases reported by community members not teaching or learning in person. The COVID-19 dashboard is updated daily. SFUSD follows public health and districtwide safety protocols in the event of positive test cases, including notifications for families and staff who are impacted.
  • On May 11, SFUSD ratified a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) for 12th-grade students to return in-person. The District is preparing for the return of 565 high school seniors who are not in focal populations, and have indicated that they are interested in limited in-person opportunities for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. Returning students have received a registration notification and will be contacted by their school sites with more details. Review the Question of the Week to learn more about the Grade 12 Return to In-Person efforts.

As San Francisco has moved down into the Yellow tier, the SF Department of Public Health has updated its guidance for protocols and responses going into effect immediately in the event of a positive COVID-19 case. 

Quarantine and Isolation

  • Close contacts must stay in home quarantine for 10 full days after they were last in close contact with the person with COVID-19. 
  • Close contacts who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 do not have to quarantine after close contact with someone with COVID-19, as long as they are asymptomatic.
  • Close contacts who have had COVID-19 within the previous 3 months do not have to quarantine after close contact with someone with COVID-19, as long as they are asymptomatic.

With this new guidance, any staff or students who have been identified as close contacts and are on a 14-day quarantine may return to work immediately if they are fully vaccinated.

Distance Learning Updates

SF Loves Learning

SF Loves Learning invites you to explore new segments in our deck celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Would you like to learn about experiments? We have countless segments where students learn about experiments and experimenting! You can find all of our segments and full episodes on our website. Highlights from this week are below!

This week’s theme is Students’ Questions. Check out these segments that are airing this week:

  • Fruits vs. Vegetables (Lesson): Maestra Meza answers the questions "What's the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?" We identify some fruits and some vegetables and chart them out. She defines a fruit as having mature seeds and vegetables as parts of plants that are edible except for the fruit. She identifies produce and organizes what parts of the plant they are. (May 14)  Seesaw activity
  • My Last Farewell (Music): This is a song about José Rizal, national hero of the Philippines. It includes the first stanza of José Rizal's final poem before his death. (May 10)
  • Love Is (Read Aloud): Ms. Nikki and her daughter share this beautifully illustrated book, which tells the heartwarming story of a little girl and a duckling, who both grow to understand what it means to care for each other as they learn that love is as much about letting go as it is about holding on. (May 13)
  • Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month: The Punjabi-Mexican Communities of CA (Movement): Ms. Joti and Mr. Bongo explore the Punjab-Mexican communities of California from the early 20th century. Ms. Joti introduces students to movements and spoken word poetry from their performance "Half and Halves," about these Punjabi-Mexican communities. (May 13)
  • Tamborterapia! - Drum therapy! (Community): Explore how to combine therapy or sport items and practice your drum exercises to gain strength and endurance! (May 13)
  • Did you know? (Community): Giving your child helping jobs shows them we all need to pitch in and work together. Encourage conversation with your child about being a helper. (May 14)

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.

Wellness Tip

Wellness Resources for Families: Compassion and Self-Compassion

Embrace that you and your family are probably different now that you have experienced the pandemic. You may look and feel different than you did a year ago.  A way to cope with these changes is to be self-compassionate. 

Self-compassion is treating yourself with kindness and fairness, the way you would a good friend, when facing a setback, disappointment or other trying times. This practice can help improve happiness, motivation and confidence while reducing anxiety, fear of failure and depression. Instead of just ignoring your pain, you can stop to tell yourself, “This is really difficult right now, how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?”

Tech Tip

Need Support Filling Out the Multipurpose Family Income Form (MFIF)? We’re Here to Help! 

  • You can book a free, personalized appointment with a volunteer technology tutor for support with the MFIF, Online Enrollment Form, Zoom, Google Suite, and almost any other district digital tool! 
  • Appointments are available in multiple languages.
  • Visit bit.ly/sftechtutors to make an appointment.

Did You Know?

What is the purpose and intent of reopening in-person opportunities to Grade 12 students?

SFUSD is working on more opportunities for high school seniors who are celebrating this milestone in life to come together in the last weeks of school. We want to offer an opportunity for students to connect with other seniors before the end of the school year, including time for college and career assistance, tutoring/study hall, and/or wellness support. 

These opportunities will be offered to students who replied "yes" on the in-person survey sent to seniors and their families. These in-person activities are not related to in-person graduation ceremonies.

Why is in-person not happening every day for seniors who want to return?

Returning students will participate in a hybrid schedule beginning May 14 and most will participate in at least three days of in-person learning before the school year ends on June 2. Scheduling considerations included staffing constraints—high school teachers are also teaching remote students and nearly half of all student survey respondents chose to stay in distance learning. In addition to staffing, school staff considered planned end-of-year activities, including graduations and final exams. Seniors need to focus on successfully completing their final exams and turning in all of their assignments to graduate. 

For more information on 12th Grade Students Return to In-Person, check out these FAQs or this news release.

Bright Spot

Today is National School Nurse Day, and we thank our school nurses every day for all that they do. This past year we’ve faced a health emergency like never before and school district nurses have stepped up to support SFUSD students during this challenging time. 

Warm regards,

Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews