April 10, 2020 - Staff Digest

April 10, 2020

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Dear SFUSD Staff:

Next week marks an important shift in our students’ learning experience while schools are closed. I want to express my deepest appreciation for all of the teachers who will be leading this next phase. Your ability to adapt under challenging circumstances and your heartfelt dedication to each and every one of our students is remarkable and an example to us all.

I also want to take note of the incredible work that has gone into supplying our students with the technology and the learning materials they need in preparation for long-term distance learning, all while keeping our students fed despite unprecedented obstacles. Thank you all for playing your part with such grace and resilience.

Updates

Teacher-Led Distance Learning Starts Next Week

Phase 3 Teacher-Led Distance Learning begins on Monday, April 13. A critical shift in this phase is that teachers, who know your classes and students best, interact and lead the learning.In this phase students reconnect with the adult(s) and peers (in some cases) that make up the community that they’ve known for the past several months (and beyond). 

The most important step on Monday is for teachers to connect with students. While many teachers have already done this and may be ready to start implementing a schedule with assignments and learning activities, other teachers may need to spend this week calling students, holding community circles, and otherwise reminding students that their classroom/school community continues to connect and care. As we move to this next phase of distance learning, that is the first and most necessary task - connect and reconnect! 

Negotiations - Impact on Distance Learning

UESF and SFUSD have been in negotiations regarding a Distance Learning Memorandum of Understanding. Both parties are committed and hopeful that we will reach an agreement next week.

Virtual Meetings with Students - Prioritize Security

Our students’ safety and security is a top priority as we transition to learning in a more virtual environment. SFUSD has selected a suite of tools and developed guidelines for use to help provide as safe and secure of an experience as possible. Please note that links to class calls should never be posted in a publicly accessible space.

SFUSD is implementing new security updates on both of our recommended video conference tools, Hangouts Meet and Zoom. 

  • Zoom: We are moving to managed Zoom accounts to provide a safer, more consistent experience. For employees who had previously set up Zoom accounts, please follow this guide to continue using your account once the change goes into effect next week. 
  • Hangouts Meet: Google has recently added the option to use Meet within Classroom. You can generate a Meet link for your class. 
  • Please review the Virtual Meeting Guide with Students for updates and detailed guidance on these new changes.

Apology & Reminder to share with PreK- 2 Families 

Families may still pick up packets of learning materials for preK-2 students throughout next week. Find the times and locations here. While not all packet contents can be posted online (books, school supplies, etc), materials that are able to be put online will be available through a folder posted on sfusd.edu by Monday, April 13. 

We deeply regret that some families came out to pick up packets on Thursday and didn’t get one. We learned from our mistakes on day one and have a smoother pickup process now. If you know of a family that came out to a site on Thursday, April 9 to pick up a packet but did not get one, please email Jean D’Arcy at darcyj@sfusd.edu so that we can make other arrangements to get the learning materials to them

Reminder - No staff allowed in schools at this point

Beginning Monday, April 13th, no staff will be allowed back into schools. This includes dropping by just to pick something up.

2020-2021 Enrollment Deadlines EXTENDED to April 17 due to COVID-19 Challenges

Staff Resources - Counseling Resources for Classified SFUSD City Employees

Starting this week, the City of San Francisco announced it is providing additional employee counseling services for all City and County of San Francisco employees through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). EAP will now provide 24/7 access and one-on-one counseling for all employees. The City’s Well-Being Team also has helpful resources and tips to help you and your family during this pandemic. This includes resources for emotional and mental health; physical health; resources for parents and families; and tips for healthy eating.  For more information, go to: https://sfhss.org/eap. To schedule an appointment or inquire about EAP services, please call (415) 554-0610 or (800) 795-2351.

Health and Wellness

Stress and tension often are stored in the mind and body. Doing a few simple movements can help us avoid getting sick and add to our overall optimal health. Give this 3-min chair movement/yoga pose(s) clip a try to help uplift your mood and regulate your emotions.

Exercise daily: Engage in 60 minutes of physical activity every day. It doesn’t have to be all at one time. Here are some ideas: dance party in your bedroom, 35 jumping jacks here and there, 20 minute hula hooping contest, power walk around the block twice, running, bedtime yoga, 10 pushups, double dutch jump rope - the list can go on and on. Bottom line – get your body moving and heart rates up to burn off stress.

Check out Surgeon General, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris’ Playbooks for managing stress during COVID 19.

Bright Spot

Ruth Asawa SOTA Alumna Kelsey Lauritano (currently a professional Opera singer in Frankfurt, Germany) recently shared a recorded performance of Schubert’s 'Du bist die Ruh' (‘You are peace and rest’). Kelsey was thrilled to be able to share her music with the SFUSD community and hopes this song brings a moment of calm and light to your day! Enjoy Kelsey’s performance here

Warm regards,
Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews