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Community Schools & Family Partnerships

The office of Community Schools and Family Partnerships has students at the center of our work.   A Community Schools approach serves as the unifying framework, with a holistic view of students and an integrated focus on academics, socio-emotional supports, and family engagement activities.  This approach leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities.

Executive Director:  Mele Lau-Smith.  415-379-2703

What We Do

Community Partnerships – provides training and technical assistance to school site staff and community partners, to make the most of their partnerships to support student success.  You can find information about completing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at 

Family Partnerships and Empowerment – provides training and support to school sites and district offices to deepen our collective capacity to partner with families in support of student success.  You can find templates, guidelines and resources from the Family Partnerships Toolkit at

ExCEL After School Programs – provides support and training to ExCEL after school program providers in implementation of the Quality Action Plan, a continuous cycle of improvement to ensure high quality programs that support student success.

Translation & Interpretation Unit – provides translation and interpretation services for district-wide events, family conferences related to Special Education services, and reports to support student success.

SFUSD's Standards for Family Partnership & Empowerment

You can download the standards and values in six languages:

Our standards for partnering with and empowering families:


  1. Building Authentic Relationships:  Schools welcome families, and actively reach out to include and hear from them. Communication processes are clear to families and encourage a mutual exchange of information and perspectives.
  2. Linking Student Learning Between Home and School:  Families are encouraged and supported to be involved in their children’s learning at home and at school.
  3. Creating an Inclusive and Equitable School Community:  Schools respect and affirm the value of students’ diverse cultures, backgrounds and family structures. Staff demonstrate and promote cultural humility.  Schools build community among families across differences, and actively engage family members to resolve conflicts and repair harm.
  4. Sharing Power and Speaking Up for Every Student:  Families are encouraged and feel empowered to advocate for children.  Families who reflect and represent the school’s student population participate in formal and informal structures for leadership and governance, and ensure students are treated fairly and have equitable access to learning opportunities.
  5. Supporting Families to Navigate SFUSD and Access Resources:  Schools provide information in multiple languages and support families to navigate SFUSD systems including the enrollment process, Special Education and other services, and help families access community resources and services.

Our standards were adapted from national, research-based models to reflect the needs of our diverse student and family populations, in collaborative discussions among district staff, parent leaders, and community partners.

Posted by SFUSD-Family and Community Engagement.