August 12, 2020

August 12, 2020

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Dear SFUSD Families:

Happy (almost) New School Year! The first day of school is a time to celebrate, and even though we’re beginning this year from a distance to protect the health and safety of our communities, I hope we can all find moments of joy, grace, and compassion to share in this new school year together.

We just completed a Family Distance Learning Guide. It is posted on and is a complement to other information on our website and communication from your child(ren)’s school. We are in the process of having the guide’s content translated and will also be sure the contents of the guide (not just the PDF) are posted online for ease of reading in the next few days. Please keep reading for more important updates about the guide and other news.


Need More Tech Support?

To augment available SFUSD technology support for teachers and families, we’re collaborating with the San Francisco Education Fund to bring you tech volunteers who are available to provide 1-on-1 phone and video support on basic questions about Zoom, Google Meet, Google Classroom, and Seesaw. Appointments are available in Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Armenian, Cambodian, French, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Turkish, and Vietnamese. Volunteers can support you for up to 30 minutes. 

Sign-up for 1:1 appointments at

Distance Learning in the Fall

In addition to providing resources to guide your support of learning at home, the Family Distance Learning Guide highlights key topics and expectations around distance learning. We have noted some critical information from the guide in this FAQ below, and encourage you to read the guide. Below are a few of the questions –– and they are answered in more detail in the guide and FAQ

What will Fall Distance Learning look like?

  • Distance Learning will have two approaches - digital (device required) and non-digital (print based and not device dependent).
  • There are 2 forms of learning in which students may engage during the fall: 
  • Synchronous Instruction/Learning* - A learning event in which students are engaging in learning with an educator at the same time, usually on the computer or telephone. Teachers will provide no less than hundred and twenty (120) minutes of synchronous instruction, daily in grades TK-12
  • Asynchronous Instruction/Learning - Learning occurring when the teacher and the students interact in different places and during different times. This may be through a prerecorded video, web based lessons, or a series of self paced assignments & projects.

How will my child(ren) get materials for school? 

  • Instructional materials (including devices, texts and other instructional materials) are being distributed directly from the school site. School sites are communicating their distribution dates to their school communities directly.  

What’s my child’s schedule? What if I have multiple students in SFUSD?

  • School sites are sharing their specific schedule with families this week. The majority of our schools will begin at 9 am each day. 

  • California state law requires all students to have a minimum amount of instructional minutes per day. These minutes may include a combination of live instruction, and other in person interactions, independent work, homework assignments, and/or assessments. 

What can I expect on the first day and month of school? 

  • Instruction: As with any school year, the start of the year is focused on connection, building community & relationships, and getting oriented to school schedules, expectations and norms. 

  • Technology and other materials: Within the first 30 days all schools will assess and check in around access (confirming that students have the materials needed to engage in distance learning). Sites will host distribution days to distribute devices and other instructional materials (including books, packets etc). School sites will communicate information around these days with families, directly. 
  • Health, Wellness & Community: Within the first 30 days of school, each school community will engage in wellness checks and host virtual back to school and orientation sessions.

Apply Now for 20-21 School Meal Benefits

The Multipurpose Family Income form for the 20-21 school year is available online at The form is available in English, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese. A new application needs to be submitted each school year to qualify for meal benefits. For assistance, please reach out to SNS at 415-749-3604 or


Need to borrow technology for distance learning?

For distance learning in the fall, SFUSD is loaning Chromebook devices and Internet access for students in grades PK-12 who need technology to engage in distance learning. Technology distribution prioritizes students who NEED technology, NOT every student. Schools will distribute technology to families who need it at the beginning of the year along with instructional materials and resources. 

If you need to borrow technology, please fill out the Fall 2020 Technology Request Form. Your school will communicate the opportunities for you to receive needed technology as the school year begins. For more information, visit

Grab & Go Meals Now Available to SFUSD Students Only

As the school year begins with distance learning, SFUSD Student Nutrition Services will continue to provide nutritious school meals for students. Beginning August 19, meals will be available to SFUSD students only. This change is due to federal USDA policies. Families must provide the student’s barcode for their meal account when picking up meals. Each student’s barcode will be mailed to households by August 18. View the list of sites and schedules at

Free meals are available to students who qualify or attend CEP schools. If your student is not eligible for free or reduced-price meals, $22.50 per bag containing 5 days of meals and snacks, will be charged to their SchoolCafe account. Learn more and apply at

Bright Spot

Support from private funders has helped us with both the immediate needs brought on by the pandemic and the long term transformation called for in Vision 2025. The Someland Foundation, which has been giving to SFUSD since 2015, has granted $10 million toward the $25 million we are seeking for our SF Unified Access initiative. This funding will support devices, wifi, teacher training, and family tech support. Salesforce, now in their 8th year of grantmaking to SFUSD, has granted $9 million for this upcoming school year. Salesforce funding is making it possible for SFUSD to implement the nation's first comprehensive PreK-12 Computer Science curriculum, train hundreds of aspiring educators to enter the teaching workforce, and enable middle grades school leaders to innovate through direct funding allocations for school site priorities.

Warm regards,

Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews