November 4, 2020

November 4, 2020

Dear SFUSD Staff:

Here’s a bit of good news from the election results: San Francisco voters have overwhelmingly approved Proposition J by nearly 75% of votes counted on Election Day. Proposition J will replace the parcel tax initially approved by Proposition G in June 2018 with a slightly lower tax. Litigation continues on Proposition G but will now only affect the first three years of the tax, and funding in future years is now secure irrespective of the outcome of the legal challenge.

SFUSD is actively preparing to offer in-person learning options at a select number of schools first to PreK through first graders, students enrolled in County schools and students enrolled in SDC classes who have moderate to severe learning disabilities. More grades and programs will follow. Next Tuesday, November 10 at the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting, SFUSD will share more information about ongoing preparations. Also, our progress dashboard is updated weekly.

Please keep reading today’s digest for more important updates.


Election Guidance

We know that at the time of drafting this communication, there is still a lot of uncertainty about election outcomes.  This can cause unease and distress for adults as well as students.  Thank you to our staff for planning and engaging with our young people in productive conversations and ensuring that we are providing a safe and supportive learning environment always, but particularly in the coming days.

Staff have identified resources to support instruction.  If you have additional resources that have been helpful to you, please share them.

As a reminder, there are laws that govern how we can appropriately engage in political matters.  Please review the Legal Advisory regarding Political Activities.

Thank you for all that you are doing to provide a sense of calm and support during this time.

Technology Tips & Updates for Distance Learning

Seesaw: Use transformative activity templates to create your own interactive activity template for students with backgrounds, photos or graphic organizers for word sorts and virtual math manipulative tasks.

YouTube: Video approvals starting Friday, 11/6!

Zoom Update and Troubleshooting

  • Enjoy new features such as “pinning” multiple participant videos, choosing your own breakout rooms, rearranging the videos, and more by updating your Zoom software to at least Version 5.3 or 5.4.
  • Your Zoom application should update automatically, but you can check for updates by following these steps: click on your profile (top-right of the Zoom popup), and select “check for updates.” Then follow the prompts. Find out more about how to update Zoom.
  • Are your students having trouble logging in to Zoom? Our Zoom troubleshooting video and Zoom Troubleshooting Guide can help!

Synergy: How to Navigate StudentVUE for Teachers 

  • Learn what students see in their StudentVUE accounts by watching the Teachers’ Guide to StudentVUE video. See how they view messages, assignments, and grades!
  • Teachers are able to see student login information, parent/guardian contact information, and are notified which students do not have any parents/guardians with an activated ParentVUE account.
  • Visit for more resources on TeacherVUE Gradebook.

Family Wellness Check-ins and SFCSD Coordinated Care Team Playlist

Updates and resources include:

  • Our continued Commitment to Anti-Racism and Authentic Partnership
  • Coordinated Care Team Support and Development with Coordinated Care Team Google Classroom
  • Up-to-date information on the next Round of Family Wellness Checks (Nov 5th- Dec 11th).

PreK-12 Virtual Enrollment Fair November 6th to 13th

If you have a child starting pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, middle school, or high school next year, you are invited to attend the PreK-12 Virtual Enrollment Fair. 

When: The fair will take place over a week (see schedule), November 6-13, 2020 (except for Wednesday, November 11, Veterans Day). This weeklong format aims to accommodate the routine of families who are sheltering at home.

Workshops: Workshops (How to Apply, About Language Programs, Special Education, etc.) will be livestreamed on Saturday via YouTube Live and Facebook Live.

Town Halls: To replace tables at the fair, schools will host Town Halls, which are Zoom meetings where families can talk to school staff directly.

School Videos: To replace in-person school tours, each school has created a 4-5 minute video showcasing their programs, curriculum, and community. These videos will be promoted before and during the fair to families and have translated subtitles. They will be hosted on SFUnified’s YouTube channel and will be available after the fair.

Connect With Families: To replace community tables, parent advisory committees and CBOs will have a virtual “Coffee Chat” where families can get information about their work and ways to get involved.

Languages: Language interpretation, American Sign Language, and closed captions can be requested for any of the workshops and town halls.

Know Your Rights

Even during distance learning, students and families have rights we want you to know about.  SFUSD has updated its equity-related policies related to: 

Please also see the announcement about detailed changes to the District's Sexual Harassment/Title IX Student Policy (5145.7). For additional information about the District's updated Sexual Harassment policies, made in accordance with TItle IX Changes from the Department of Education, please visit this website. The Student and Family Handbook has more information about these rights and others.

Schedule Changes for Grab & Go Meals

Grab and go meals are available for SFUSD students and their siblings. View locations and more information at Download Grab & Go Calendar

Meal Pickup Changing to Tuesday Afternoons

  • Starting November 10, the weekly pick up time for all grab and go sites will change to Tuesday, 2-3:30 p.m. On Tuesdays, 5 days’ worth of meals, including breakfast, lunch, supper, fresh fruits and vegetables, and milk is available. Brown, Lau and Mission stay open until 4 p.m.

New Second Pickup Day Offered

  • Starting November 13, sites will also be open a second day to pick up additional meals and snacks. On these days, 2 days’ worth of meals, plus snacks, fresh fruits and vegetables, and milk is available. Pick up meals one or both days!

November Schedule

  • Wednesday, November 4, 10:30-12 (5 Day Bag)
  • Tuesday, November 10, 2-3:30 (5 Day Bag)
  • Friday, November 13, 2-3:30 (2 Day Bag)
  • Tuesday, November 17, 2-3:30 (5 Day Bag)
  • Friday, November 20, 2-3:30 (5 Day Thanksgiving Holiday Bag)
  • Thanksgiving: Closed

No Digest Next Week Due to Veterans Day Holiday

SFUSD is closed in observance of Veterans Day and will not send a digest next Wednesday. Please check online at for any new announcements.

Bright Spot

Dr. Sandie Spoering, Principal of Sunnyside Elementary, is creating space for her families to learn strategies to help support their children and families during Town Hall Meetings. Last month she had two, one focussed on technology and the other on wellness. She partnered with Devorah Merling of DoT who reviewed the many ways families can receive tech support and learn about tech through DoT.  Family members learned about the tools and were able to ask technology questions to support their child’s learning. Last week, Dr. Spoering created a space for her community to learn about how the pandemic may be affecting their families.  Have you heard of pandemic rage? This was a new learning for me!  Her SSW, librarian, and nurse each supported the Wellness Town Hall by presenting information about mindfulness, practiced a breathing exercise, and learned ways to cope with the feelings that are cropping up during this time, to name a few. Hats off to Dr. Spoering for continuing to build authentic partnerships with her community during distance learning!

Warm regards,

Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthew