April 6, 2020 - Staff Digest

April 6, 2020

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Dear SFUSD Staff:

I hope you continue to keep in mind that as difficult as things may be right now, we are all here in support of each other. You are not alone, and together we will get through this. As we head into the weekend, please take time to rest and take care of yourself and your loved ones while finding bright spots and moments of joy wherever you can.

Updates

Limited School Site Access Available the Week of April 6

School site staff will be able to access their schools to pick up materials from Monday, April 6 through Friday, April 10 from 8 am to 4 pm. Beginning April 13, no staff will be allowed back into schools. This includes dropping by just to pick something up. Learn more in this School Site Access FAQ.

New Schedule for Week of April 6 - Technology Access

While schools are temporarily closed, SFUSD is working to provide access to technology for students in need of a device for distance learning, to the greatest extent possible. In service of this effort, the district will loan Chromebooks to SFUSD students in grades 3-12 who do not have access to a computer during the day at home to support distance learning.

  • For the week of April 6, pickups will take place Monday, April 6 through Wednesday, April 8 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at centralized locations based on a staggered schedule to reduce crowding and prioritize health and safety. 
  • Home delivery will be available for a limited number of students who are unable to pick up at one of the centralized locations.
  • Please fill out the device request form at bit.ly/sfusd-device before picking up a device. Have your student ID number ready at the time of pickup.
  • All devices are SFUSD property and will be on loan to families. They will need to be returned to SFUSD when schools reopen. There is a limit of one device per student.

For information on pick-up times, locations, and identification needed to pick up a device, visit sfusd.edu/device.

Internet Connectivity Update

SFUSD is working with the City and County of San Francisco, community-based organizations, and local philanthropists to expand Internet access for students in grades 3-12 who need WiFi to engage in SFUSD’s Distance Learning Plan to the greatest extent possible. We are prioritizing our students who are homeless, students living in single room occupancies, and students in public housing to start.

In support of our efforts, several Internet providers are offering free and/or low-cost options to SFUSD families now. In addition, we are working toward the strategic distribution of SuperSpots, hotspots, and access through San Francisco’s Fiber to Housing program. These targeted strategies will continue during the weeks of April 6 and April 13 in phases that prioritize need. Learn more about these options at sfusd.edu/internet. SFUSD will follow up directly with families that have completed our technology request form to share with them the available options.

School Properties Closed to Public

In alignment with the City’s Shelter in Place order, which has closed the City’s Recreation and Park playgrounds and other facilities, all SFUSD school yards, playgrounds, sport courts, and playgrounds will be closed to the public during the school closure period.

Notice of Virtual Meetings

SFUSD is currently in Phase 2 of a three-phase plan to implement our vision of distance learning. Teachers and central office content teams are currently developing rigorous, standards aligned, grade level curriculum to implement during Phase 3, which begins the week of April 13th. Please see the Notice of Virtual Meetings for Synchronous Learning for guidelines for student communication during school closure.

Family Partnership Tips

During this time families are having to assume the majority of the responsibility of facilitating their children’s education, as well as all of the other things they are holding (work, family, community, stress and worry, health, and other needs), which will create anxiety that they are not “doing enough.”

You can help alleviate their anxiety by recognizing and honoring the cultural wealth and knowledge of all of our SFUSD families. When communicating with families, affirm for them that the everyday activities they are doing with their children as they shelter in place help their child(ren) learn. Remind families that any time they spend together with their children and share stories, cook, play, read, and/or discuss current events is a piece of education.

Staff Resources

Video conferencing is great for connecting groups of people from all over into one virtual space. But just like an in-person gathering, some norms/social agreements need to be put into place. On Monday, April 6, DOT will be hosting a “Setting Norms for Online Environments” at 1:00 p.m. Get more webinar information and view SFUSD’s Virtual Meeting Guide for SFUSD Educators.

Wellness and Emotional Wellbeing

Be extra kind to yourself. This is a hard time for everyone. Humans across the world are sharing this experience with you. We are all in this together and we may all emerge with a renewed appreciation for our interconnectedness. Helping others in need is critical to get through this well, and creates more purpose to our days and well-being. Seize opportunities to share lightness and humor. Laughter right now is a relief for all of us! Tips for everyone!

Bright Spot

Student artwork from the 2020 SFUSD Arts Festival can now be experienced online! While our ability to gather in person to celebrate our students’ creative brilliance may be limited, we can still enjoy and reflect on their artistic achievements. Read more about the Arts Festival and view the gallery online.
 

Warm regards,
Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews