April 13, 2020 - Staff Digest

April 13, 2020

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Dear SFUSD Staff:

Today was the first day of Teacher-Led Distance Learning. Watch this short video and read my latest column, which explains this phase of our distance learning plan.

This week, the priority for educators is to reconnect with their students. Shortly, teachers will also communicate how students may engage in about four hours of daily school work, including teacher-led instruction, independent activities, and collaboration with peers. 

I want to thank you all for your flexibility and urgency as we continue to find ways to support each and every one of our students.


Continuity of Learning 

We continue to add resources for teachers to engage in and facilitate distance learning. We continue to lift the humanity of our work, a focus on wellness and connection before content. This week’s teacher/staff resources include articles on Trauma-informed Distance Learning and more tools for Wellness (referenced below.) All will also be available in the Google Classrooms and our Continuity of Learning website.  

Visit the SFUSD Webinars page to access more webinars, PLCs and other professional learning opportunities. The Department of Technology (DoT) will offer bonus office hours to support educators through all of your questions as you launch distance learning.

A huge thank you for your flexibility in the shift to managed accounts for Zoom to offer a more safe and secure virtual meeting environment for staff, students, and families. In the first day of the shift, nearly 4,200 staff and 31,000 students successfully activated and logged into their new, safer Zoom accounts! 

In addition to the new changes in Zoom, Hangouts Meet has recently enabled the option to launch a Meet through Google Classroom, providing a more secure experience. Please visit the Guide to Virtual Meetings with Students to learn more about Zoom and Meet, including a comparison, considerations, settings, and how to get started with these tools.

Beginning Wednesday April 15, we are opening two additional meal pickup sites: El Dorado Elementary and Longfellow Elementary. These sites will be open from 11 am - 12 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays. Each site will have the capacity to serve 175 children each day. For a full list of additional pickup times and locations, please visit our website at sfusd.edu/schoolfood. The City has updated information about where to get food resources. You may also call 311 to get help finding resources.

Reminder - No staff or students allowed in schools at this point.

We are currently discussing a centralized plan to allow students access to school sites that takes in consideration shelter in place and social distancing safety protocols. Please do not make plans for students to access their lockers for the time being.

Reminder - Pick Up PreK-2 Learning Kit  

We continue to distribute learning kits throughout this week. Kits include learning materials like journals, crayons and pencils, books and a packet of learning activities.

  • When: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm through Friday, April 17
  • Where: Any of these nine school sites (or your own school site - if your school reached out directly) (find school addresses): Cesar Chavez ES; Muir ES; Tenderloin ES; Bessie Carmichael K-8; Bret Harte ES; Rosa Parks ES; Sheridan ES; Visitacion Valley ES; AP Giannini MS
  • Tomorrow only (Tuesday, April 14) from 10:00 - 1:00, we will also be distributing PK-2 learning kits at Gordon J. Lau ES.

Staff Resources

Housing services are now available virtually and on demand! Even while sheltering in place, city partners are committed to supporting you. Call Homeownership SF at 415-202-5464 for help with meeting with a housing counselor, housing related legal advice, tenant rights, student loan guidance, financial planning support and more. Learn more (SFUSD login required)

New ways of finding resources are available every day. FindHelp prompts you to enter your zip code and then offers information on a number of different topics: food assistance, help paying bills, and other free or reduced cost programs, including new programs recently created to support people during this pandemic

Wellness and Emotional Wellbeing

Stress shows up in our bodies in many different ways, including sleep. To help you sleep, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, and aim to create a place to sleep that is cool, quiet and free of distractions. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon or evening.  Drink a small cup of water. Give yourself some time to unwind before bed with a book or simple stretches. Check out California Surgeon General, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris’ Playbook for Managing Stress for more stress-reducing tips.

Bright Spot

It’s story time! We can all benefit from learning while home. Check out this new site to see what our SFUSD librarians and others have created. 

Warm regards,
Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews