Input from all our stakeholders is a valued and essential component of our Fall Learning Plan. Opening the 2020-21 school year will take ongoing coordination and collaboration across all schools, departments and stakeholders. As we turned our attention to the coming school year, it was critical to provide multiple ways to hear from our students, staff, families and community partners to understand their experiences and identify what worked during our shift to distance learning, what needed to be improved and what areas needed to be considered as we think about when, and how, to reopen schools.
SFUSD gathered input from stakeholders in a variety of ways:
- Work Groups
- Town Halls for staff, students, families and community partners
Three work groups were convened consisting of representatives from SFUSD staff, labor, parent, student and community based organizations. Work groups discussed issues surrounding logistics, teaching and learning and personnel.
Seven town halls were hosted by SFUSD in the first week of July. Agendas for the meetings, with particular focus on the opportunities for participants to respond to questions, were designed with input from a planning team comprised of SFUSD staff as well as parent and student serving advisory committees and community based organizations.
SFUSD selected a new technology platform called ThoughtExchange because any number of people could actively participate without advance sign up. With many other platforms there is a limit to the number of people who can participate and people need to download the application on their device. ThoughtExchange doesn’t need to be downloaded; those with older computers or only smartphones and no internet could still access and participate in the meetings. Lastly, input can be seen by others immediately and is easy to analyze for the planning process.
Top Thoughts from Town Halls
- Cantonese Town Hall for Families: Top Questions and Suggestions
- English Town Hall for Families: Top Questions and Suggestions
- English Town Hall for Families: Biggest Concerns from Spring
- Spanish Town Hall for Families: Top Questions and Suggestions
Two online surveys related to COVID-19 were conducted between May and July. In May all SFUSD staff were invited via email to respond to a survey regarding overall wellness during COVID-19 and reflections on the district’s response. The survey was part of a shared research project between SFUSD and Professor Susanna Loeb, Director of the Annenberg Institute at Brown University.
In the first week of July SFUSD sent a family survey in 7 languages. Families were notified of the survey through multilingual emails, texts and phone calls and the survey was promoted on the district’s home page and through weekly family digest emails. Calls were made to the greatest extent possible to Spanish speaking families and families of African American students to provide staff support in filling out the survey for those who requested it.
Other Ways of Listening
Throughout the spring and summer, SFUSD listened to the experiences of stakeholders by holding user-centered design sprints and hosting focus groups to hear from students, parents, site leaders teachers and CBO partners. In addition, community partners and labor representatives shared feedback they gathered with district leaders.