February 17, 2021

February 17, 2021

Back to All Updates

Dear SFUSD Families:

Today I had the honor of visiting Sunset Elementary School, one of the first six elementary schools in SFUSD that has been inspected by the Department of Public Health, to see firsthand all of the work to prepare for when the school returns to in-person learning. Though we are making great strides, the challenges and complexities of reopening our public schools during the pandemic cannot be overstated and are not unique to SFUSD. Please keep reading for more important updates.

Return Safely Updates

SFUSD continues to plan and prepare to reopen school sites. Here are some current events related to the preparation process. 

  • Six SFUSD elementary school sites have completed public health inspections and applications to open for in-person learning. Get a glimpse of what you’ll see at school sites in this TK-2 Instructional Space Virtual Walkthrough. Find answers to some of your questions about Facilities and Operations in the “Did You Know” section below. 
  • California has launched an interactive map as a part of the Safe Schools for All Plan, which provides a statewide snapshot of schools across California. Notably, as of February 16, 2021: 
    • Out of the 10 largest public school districts in California (of which SFUSD is one), 9 remain entirely in distance learning, and
    • Out of the 10 largest public school districts in the Bay Area (of which SFUSD is one), 9 remain entirely in distance learning.
  • The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has released federal guidance for reopening schools during COVID-19. California’s plan includes standards that have the force of law, while the CDC guidance merely assists states and local districts in making decisions. 
  • After months of negotiations, our tentative agreement regarding baseline health and safety standards with joint labor groups reflects a compromise that addresses the state and local public health guidance and the interests and concerns of our labor partners.

Distance Learning Updates

Individualized Support to Use Video Conferencing Apps

  • As PK-8 parent conferences approach, your child’s teacher may invite you to join them by video, using Zoom or Google Meet. Would you like support with learning to use these tools?
  • You can schedule a personalized, 30-minute session to learn about Zoom, Meet, and many other SFUSD distance learning tools at bit.ly/sftechtutors!
  • Sessions are available in multiple languages.

SF Loves Learning

Find new videos in our Black History Month Deck as ways to celebrate this month!

Would you like to share how you are celebrating Black History Month on SF Loves Learning? Email sfloveslearning@sfusd.edu to share your ideas or submit your video using this submission form.

“How do habitats help living things meet their needs?” is next week’s theme on SF Loves Learning. Check out these segments that will air next week:

  • Animal Habitats (Daily Lesson): Maestra Meza defines what a migration is and why animals move habitats. We follow the monarch life cycle to explain how different habitats help the monarch butterfly survive and why they move from Mexico to California.
  • The Harlem Renaissance (Music): The song is about The Harlem Renaissance, a period in history when African American visual, literary, and performing art thrived in Harlem, New York and became well known around the globe.
  • Las vidas negras importan (Music): Ms. Peña-Govea and her family sing a song about acting in solidarity with and expressing appreciation for Black lives. Ms. Peña-Govea y su familia cantan sobre la solidaridad y el aprecio por las vidas negras. En español.
  • Papa, Do You Love Me? (Read Aloud) Set in Africa and featuring the Maasai culture, the beautiful watercolor illustrations, lyrical text, and enduring message are sure to make this another instant classic. Read by Dr. Matthews.
  • The Seeds of Hip Hop (Movement) We celebrate Black History every day through the movement and traditions that have been passed down. Journey with Ms. Sammay to the Bronx of NYC in the 1970s and learn how the origins of Hip Hop came from a habitat that wasn't meeting the needs of its inhabitants.

You can search for any content from the show in two 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 is now airing every weekday, 8:30-9am on KTVU Plus and any time at sfusd.edu/sfloveslearning.

Wellness Tip

Brush your teeth twice a day, and visit the dentist every 6 months, as recommended, to keep teeth and gums healthy.

Low- or No-Cost Dental Clinics:

Did You Know? 

Efforts are underway to prepare school sites for a safe return

The Facilities Division is conducting two types of assessments at each site: 

  • The Building Systems Assessment will be conducted by Buildings & Grounds, who will determine if heating, ventilation, electrical, plumbing and other building systems are functioning as intended. 
  • The Ground Truthing Site Assessment will be conducted by SFUSD staff, assigned city Disaster Service Worker (DSW) employees, or volunteers. The Ground Truthing Site Assessments will: 
    • Reconcile the physical classroom or office number with the building floor plan 
    • Count the total number of classroom/office windows, noting those that are operable vs. inoperable, and of operable windows, if they function 
    • Confirm the presence and functionality of handwashing sinks 
    • Describe the number and type of student desks present in classrooms 
    • Confirm working condition of restrooms

The Facilities Division will also organize a series of site preparation (“stand up”) activities including: 

  • Designation of entry, exits and circulation paths throughout the school site 
  • Posting of appropriate COVID-19 safety signage throughout the building reminding students and employees to: 
    • social distance 
    • wear face coverings 
    • wash/disinfect hands frequently 
  • Repairing windows where necessary to ensure improved ventilation 
  • Arranging classroom furniture to allow for 6-foot social distancing 
  • Delivery and installation of partitions and desktop shields where necessary 
  • Confirmation that all hand sanitizer dispensers are working and filled 
  • Replacing ventilation filters older than six months 
  • Flushing the building’s plumbing

Learn more in this FAQ.

Bright Spot

This week more than 1,500 students from across the district are being honored at the 27th annual African American Honor Roll Celebration in three Zoom ceremonies over three days. Congratulations to all of our African American Honor Roll students!

Warm regards,

Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews