April 7, 2021

April 7, 2021

Dear SFUSD Staff:

We’re excited to welcome back thousands of students to school buildings next week. Thank you for all of your work to prepare for this momentous time. 

Please keep reading today’s digest for important updates.

Return Safely Updates

The San Francisco Board of Education voted unanimously for all SFUSD students to have the option to return to full-time in-person school starting August 16, the first day of the 2021-2022 academic school year, assuming public health guidelines allow.

For Students Returning to In-Person This Spring 

SFUSD is excited to welcome back some of our students to in-person learning starting April 12, 19 and 26. If you’re coming back, remember to wear a mask and have clothes for different temperatures as classroom windows will be open and there may not be heat. 

Placement Packets, Forms and the Return Safely Guide

  • Resources and information are available now to prepare for in-person learning. If your child is confirmed for an in-person placement, you will receive information and participate in a mandatory school orientation. Resources such as Return Safely Together Family Guide and in-language videos are available now to help families prepare.
  • Students who receive an in-person learning placement will receive information in a few different ways: 
    • All families will receive a letter by mail. 
    • Families who have an email address or active ParentVUE account on file with SFUSD will only receive their placement letter (not the entire packet) by mail. The packet materials (including the forms) were sent by email or uploaded in your ParentVUE account. All packet materials are also available at sfusd.edu/placementpacket
    • Accessing spring placement information in ParentVUE: To access your student's placement letter for in-person learning, please log into ParentVUE and follow these steps to access your letter. The letter is available in the "Documents" menu. The same letter was also mailed via USPS and emailed (for those with email addresses on file).
    • Risk acknowledgement and other forms are due on your child’s first day of in-person school for Spring 2021. 
    • For more information on placement packets, read the Question of the Week section below.


  • Students receiving transportation services based on their IEP who said “yes” to in-person learning will automatically receive information about their bus route and schedule from the Transportation Department. Families do not need to submit a request for services.
  • SFUSD is also providing limited general education transportation services to 34 elementary schools (see list here). Families who would like to request general education transportation services should complete this form, and the Transportation Department will let them know if their request for transportation has been approved or denied. 
  • Since we may not be able to provide general education transportation services to all families who request services, we encourage families to review the following web pages to explore other transportation options: www.sfmta.com, www.sfsaferoutes.org.
  • Families with children riding a school bus should review this video and these guidelines.
  • For additional information visit www.sfusd.edu/transportation.
  • Questions? Review the Buses and Transportation FAQs

Free Meals for All In-Person Students

  • Free lunch and snacks will be served at school for SFUSD students returning to in-person learning. 
  • Meals are free for all students through the 2020-21 school year.
  • Watch Meals in the Classroom in action with our friend Phoebe the Phoenix! Click for a video in English, Spanish, Mandarin or Cantonese
  • Find more information about meals available for students returning to in-person learning on our webpage at sfusd.edu/inpersonmeals
  • Menus are posted at sfusd.edu/inpersonmenus


  • SFUSD is partnering with the City for the Summer Together Initiative to provide free in-person and virtual summer camps and programs. Here are key dates for most programs:
    • April 19 - May 7: Priority Enrollment
      Families in priority enrollment groups will be contacted and can sign up during early registration. During this time, families who are eligible will be contacted by one or more of the following: SFUSD, the SF Department of Children, Youth, and their Families (DCYF), the SF Recreation and Parks Department (RPD), Community Hubs and DCYF Summer Only programs.  
    • May 8: General Enrollment
      Any SFUSD family may sign up (families will be required to submit their students’ SFUSD ID number). More information will be shared soon. 
    • Before April 30 any family may register if interested in San Francisco Recreation and Parks Summer Programs. Visit sfrecpark.org/register to enroll. Families will need to have filled out the interest form to verify SFUSD status by April 30.

Elementary Clerks: Print Corrected TK-13 Risk Acknowledgement Forms for Non-English Families

Non-English speaking TK-5 and County students' families were sent the wrong Risk Acknowledgment Form. They received the PreK version, instead of the TK-13 version. 

  • EPC will email families with instructions to complete and submit the correct TK-13 Risk Acknowledgement Form, along with other mandatory forms, as a part of the requirement for return to in-person learning. 
  • We are also asking schools to please have hard copies of the correct TK-13 Risk Acknowledgement Form at your school site to give to and collect from families who have not yet submitted them by the first day of in-person learning.

Elementary Clerks: Support for Return to In-Person Synergy Set Up and Daily Drop-in Digital Learning Office Hours

  • Elementary clerks should help ensure that Synergy is set up to support student assignments before the first day of school.
  • Check the Return to In-Person Synergy Set Up step-by-step guide.
  • Get personalized support for Return to In-Person Synergy Set Up from the DoT Digital Learning team during daily Office Hours: Mon.-Thu. 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. and Mon. - Fri. 12 - 1 p.m.
  • Search the Professional Learning Directory for “office hours” or visit the PD Calendar to access links and add sessions to your own calendar.

New! Health and Safety Lesson for Grade 6-12 Students Returning to Sites

Please see the 6-12 virtual lesson “What Secondary Students Need to Know About Returning to School'' to support secondary students returning to sites this spring. It is recommended this lesson be taught virtually, before students return to buildings.

Lesson includes:

  • Safety information on how to wear a mask safely, proper handwashing, social distancing
  • What to bring (and not to bring) to school
  • Editable slides about new schedules
  • Space for processing feelings about returning or not returning to brick and mortar classrooms

The lesson is translated into Spanish and Chinese and is designed to be appropriate for all grade 6-12 populations returning to sites this spring. 

Vaccine Tracker

Please continue to complete our vaccine tracker to help us understand how many staff have been vaccinated. The tracker is optional and is being used by District staff to assess the need for on-going vaccine support. 

Testing Requirements

As we launch COVID-19 testing for teachers and staff this week, we wanted to share a few reminders on the testing schedule and alternative options available.

We determined a testing schedule in partnership with Color, optimizing for both convenience for our employees (e.g., offering testing at 100+ school sites) and operations (e.g., courier pick-ups, costs). You can review the testing schedule on Color’s website.

We recognize this schedule may not work perfectly for all staff at all schools, so we’ve provided alternative options for those who can’t make their school’s assigned testing date. 

  1. Get tested at the Central Office (555 Franklin St): Testing is available to all staff at 555 Franklin St. on Mondays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please head to the parking lot to pick up your test kit. The collection bin (for dropping off collected samples) is next to where you’ll pick up your kit. Latinx Task Force staff will be available to answer questions you may have on testing.
  2. Coordinate with an alternative nearby school to test on their designated day: This option should be the exception and only used for select staff who aren’t able to make it to 555 Franklin St. Individuals who need to explore this option must coordinate directly with the school where they plan to drop off their sample, and ensure their sample is in that school’s collection bin no later than 12 p.m.

Regardless of where staff physically go for testing, they should still register using their school’s program code (e.g., SF-XXX).

Reminder: Return to Sites Health and Safety Lessons Playlist for PK-5

Please see the PK-5  “Return to Sites Playlistfor:

  • Distance learning lessons to prepare PK-5 students for reentry to in-person learning at school sites.
  • In-person lessons to teach students about health and safety practices while in school buildings.
  • Resources for families to support students to safely return to sites.

Student Teachers and Residents

Student teachers and residents working with classroom teachers that are being called back to in person learning may choose to return to in-person learning provided the following:

  1. Their university/IHE approves this decision
  2. Their cooperating teacher and site administrator have approved the request
  3. They have a signed and approved ISA, SFUSD email, fingerprints and TB test
  4. They have completed the BRIT COVID modules 
  5. They maintain the proper social distancing requirements per the UESF MOU 

For student teachers and residents who have a cooperating teacher that has requested a remote learning accommodation, the student teacher/resident may decide to apply to the sub pool with the permission of their IHE and become the official in person classroom teacher. Students teachers/residents must also be eligible for a credential to apply to be a substitute for their cooperating teacher.

Substitute application info:

  • Here is the application for substitute teaching
  • Student teachers will not be required to participate in an interview. Please be sure to indicate you are a current student teacher when you apply so the Sub Office can expedite your application.
  • If you do not have a current teaching credential, the district will assist you in applying for the 30 Day Emergency Substitute Permit, which will allow you to sub in classrooms, as long as you've met the following two requirements: 
    • A valid BA;
    • Fulfillment of CBEST requirement via one of these methods
  • You will not need to re-submit a TB test or fingerprints.
  • Please email subhiring@sfusd.edu with any questions.

Distance Learning Updates

SF Loves Learning

SF Loves Learning is airing a Special Episode, United Against Racism, on our website and on Friday on KTVU as students prepare to return to school. Deputy Superintendent Enikia Ford Morthel will open the episode speaking to students about anti-Asian racism. Below are all of the segments of that episode. You can also find these and more segments in SF Loves Learning’s United Against Racism Return to School Deck.

Explore these segments from this week’s special, United Against Racism:

Our regularly scheduled Friday program will also be available on our website. Segments include Maestra Meza’s Week in Review, Mr. Mansfield’s song, Water, Wind, and Sun! about renewable energy, and Ta-Da!, a book about two young storytellers resolving conflicts. For more science resources, check out  the “I am a Scientist!” deck from the start of our Season. You can find all of our cultural and science slide decks so far.

Returning to school next week? Consider playing SF Loves Learning episodes to start the day with connection and learning. You can find our full library to support your instruction in three ways:

  • Segments Library: Find any segment (read aloud, daily lesson, music, movement, community)!
  • Seesaw page: Teachers can adapt any Seesaw activity on our page.
  • YouTube channel: Subscribe to this channel, explore the playlists, and receive notifications when new content is published.

SF Loves Learning airs every weekday, 8:30-9am on KTVU Plus and any time at sfusd.edu/sfloveslearning.

School Meal Updates

Grab & Go Meals Continue with Adjustments

  • Free Grab & Go meals will continue to be available. 
  • Save this Grab & Go Meals Guide
  • Grab & Go locations & schedules are listed at sfusd.edu/schoolfood
  • Changing: Starting Tuesday April 13, the Grab & Go meal service will no longer be open at elementary schools. This is to accommodate SFUSD’s in-person learning plans. 
  • Continuing: Our 10 existing middle and high school sites will continue to serve free Grab & Go meals. Open Tuesdays & Thursdays. See a full list of sites and schedules at sfusd.edu/schoolfood.
  • Tuesdays: Free meals available for SFUSD students and siblings. Pick up 5 days’ worth of meals, including breakfast, lunch, supper, fresh fruits and vegetables, and milk is available.
  • Thursdays: Free meals available for all children 18 and younger. Pick up 2 days’ worth of meals, plus snacks, fresh fruits and vegetables, and milk is available.

Open positions with Student Nutrition Services

  • SFUSD Student Nutrition Services is hiring for School Lunchroom Helper and School Food Service Area Supervisor. Please share with Noon Monitors, Parents, and anyone else you believe would love to be a part of bringing food to SFUSD students!

Thank You SNS Staff for Serving Over 6 Million Meals 

Resource Highlight

AAPI Health and Safety Townhall for Chinese Language Families April 8 6:30pm- 7:30pm

SFUSD Leaders will address health and safety questions pertaining to the return to in-person learning, and share resources to support the social-emotional wellness of AAPI communities. The virtual event is aimed at Chinese-speaking SFUSD families, moderated bilingually with interpretation available in Cantonese and Mandarin. 

PIN: 835 852 835‬#

  • Mandarin Line: 1 650-449-9833‬

PIN: 355 790 611‬#

Support for Families of Children with Disabilities 2021 Virtual Information and Resource Conference, April 10 from 9am to 2pm

The annual Support for Families of Children with Disabilities (SFCD) Information and Resource Conference (IRC) is an opportunity for families with children with disabilities and those who support them to gather in community, learn from experts in the disabilities field and find resources that can support their children on the path to academic and life success. This year's conference features a keynote from Heather Calomese, CDE Director of Special Education, multiple workshops and an exhibitor fair.

The conference also includes a town hall: Return to In-Person Learning Discussion with San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Leaders. SFUSD Special Education Chie Jean Robertson and other district leaders will answer questions about the return to in-person learning for students receiving special education services.

Register Today! The event is presented in Partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) Special Education Services and Community Advisory Committee for Special Education.

Free Scoot Rides for SFUSD Teachers and Staff for the Month of April

As a thank you and to help teachers and staff get back to the classroom this month, Scoot is offering up to two free 30-minute rides until April 30th. To sign up, email together@bird.co with your teacher ID or teaching credentials. Read more about the program.

Resource on Digital Learning Apps to Support Differentiation

  • DoT and Multilingual Pathways have organized our library of approved apps by differentiation strategies. Sites can use the Digital Differentiation Strategies page as a resource to guide best tech integration practices to student learning outcomes in distance, or in person learning at your site. 

  • Department teams, IRFs, grade level teams, and instructional leadership teams, are encouraged to use this site to start conversations around how to center pedagogy prior to adopting approved apps.

Bright Spot

Students from The Academy - San Francisco @ McAteer, John O’Connell High School, and Mission High School were featured in a recent ABC7 Bay Area news story while working at various stations with the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA) at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market as part of Foodwise Teens, a paid job training program where teens build skills to sustain healthy lives and a healthy planet.

Warm regards,

Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews