February 17, 2021

February 17, 2021

Dear SFUSD Staff:

Today I had the honor of visiting Sunset Elementary School, one of the first six elementary schools in SFUSD that has been inspected by the Department of Public Health, to see firsthand all the of the work our Facilities Department has done there as well as school site leaders and other staff to prepare for in-person learning. 

Though we are making great strides, the challenges and complexities of reopening our public schools during the pandemic cannot be overstated and are not unique to SFUSD, which I’ll share more about in today’s digest. Please keep reading for more important updates.

Return Safely Updates

SFUSD continues to plan and prepare to reopen school sites. Here are some current events related to the preparation process. 

  • Six SFUSD elementary school sites have completed public health inspections and applications to open for in-person learning. Get a glimpse of what you’ll see at school sites in this TK-2 Instructional Space Virtual Walkthrough. Find answers to some of your questions about Facilities and Operations in the “Did You Know” section below. 
  • California has launched an interactive map as a part of the Safe Schools for All Plan, which provides a statewide snapshot of schools across California. Notably, as of February 16, 2021: 
    • Out of the 10 largest public school districts in California (of which SFUSD is one), 9 remain entirely in distance learning, and
    • Out of the 10 largest public school districts in the Bay Area (of which SFUSD is one), 9 remain entirely in distance learning.
  • The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has released federal guidance for reopening schools during COVID-19. California’s plan includes standards that have the force of law, while the CDC guidance merely assists states and local districts in making decisions. 
  • After months of negotiations, our tentative agreement regarding baseline health and safety standards with joint labor groups reflects a compromise that addresses the state and local public health guidance and the interests and concerns of our labor partners.

Distance Learning Updates

Individualized Support to Use Video Conferencing Apps

  • As PK-8 parent conferences approach, teachers may invite families to join them by video, using Zoom or Google Meet. 
  • Families may schedule a personalized, 30-minute session to learn about Zoom, Meet, and many other SFUSD distance learning tools at bit.ly/sftechtutors!
  • Sessions are available in multiple languages.

SF Loves Learning

Looking for more resources to celebrate Black History Month? Find new videos in our Black History Month Deck as ways to celebrate with your students.

Would you like to share how you are celebrating Black History Month on SF Loves Learning? Email sfloveslearning@sfusd.edu to share your ideas or submit your video using this submission form.

“How do habitats help living things meet their needs?” is next week’s theme on SF Loves Learning. Check out these segments that will air next week:

  • Survival - Conclusion (Daily Lesson): Meastra Meza concludes that plants and animals use their defenses to survive. We observe the parts of the rock crab and identify how they help the crab survive. And she poses the question "what defenses do humans have to help them survive?" Seesaw Activity
  • Creative Flow with Ms. G (Creativity): How does nature use line, shape, and color to survive and thrive in its environment?  Let's look closely at nature and notice Elements of Art.  Then, let's use this inspiration to create our own imagined insect or animal. Seesaw activity
  • Something Beautiful (Read Aloud): A little girl longs to see beyond the scary sights on the sidewalk and the angry scribbling in the halls of her building. When her teacher writes the word beautiful on the blackboard, the girl decides to look for something beautiful in her neighborhood. Read by Laticia Erving. Seesaw activity
  • Fula Fare: A Dance and Rhythm of the Nomadic People of Guinea, West Africa (Movement): Mr. Bongo tells us about the nomadic Fulani people of Africa and we learn Fula Fare, one of the dances of the Fulani people. Seesaw activity

You can search for any content from the show, and plan instruction for next week in three ways:

  • Segments Library: Find any segment (read aloud, daily lesson, music, movement, community)!
  • Seesaw page: Teachers can adopt 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 is now airing every weekday, 8:30-9am on KTVU Plus and any time at sfusd.edu/sfloveslearning.

Resource Highlights

COVID-19 Family Relief Fund for SFUSD Families (In Partnership with the San Francisco Education Fund)

The COVID-19 Family Relief Fund for SFUSD Families needs your help sharing how our community can donate to families in need. Based on the numbers and types of donations received, school site leaders, in consultation with school staff, will be invited to identify families who may benefit most from one-time financial assistance ($250/family). Everything you need to learn more and to promote the Family Relief Fund for SFUSD Families can be found in this folder. 

Help Families Receive Pandemic-EBT!

Did you know that 49% of SFUSD students are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals? These students are also eligible to receive a P-EBT card with funds to purchase food while school buildings are closed.

Wellness Tip

Brush your teeth twice a day, and visit the dentist every 6 months, as recommended, to keep teeth and gums healthy.

Low- or No-Cost Dental Clinics:

Did You Know? 

Efforts are underway to prepare school sites for a safe return

The Facilities Division is conducting two types of assessments at each site: 

  • The Building Systems Assessment will be conducted by Buildings & Grounds, who will determine if heating, ventilation, electrical, plumbing and other building systems are functioning as intended. 
  • The Ground Truthing Site Assessment will be conducted by SFUSD staff, assigned city Disaster Service Worker (DSW) employees, or volunteers. The Ground Truthing Site Assessments will: 
    • Reconcile the physical classroom or office number with the building floor plan 
    • Count the total number of classroom/office windows, noting those that are operable vs. inoperable, and of operable windows, if they function 
    • Confirm the presence and functionality of handwashing sinks 
    • Describe the number and type of student desks present in classrooms 
    • Confirm working condition of restrooms

The Facilities Division will also organize a series of site preparation (“stand up”) activities including: 

  • Designation of entry, exits and circulation paths throughout the school site 
  • Posting of appropriate COVID-19 safety signage throughout the building reminding students and employees to: 
    • social distance 
    • wear face coverings 
    • wash/disinfect hands frequently 
  • Repairing windows where necessary to ensure improved ventilation 
  • Arranging classroom furniture to allow for 6-foot social distancing 
  • Delivery and installation of partitions and desktop shields where necessary 
  • Confirmation that all hand sanitizer dispensers are working and filled 
  • Replacing ventilation filters older than six months 
  • Flushing the building’s plumbing

Learn more in this FAQ.

Tech Tips

Check Out Seesaw Tools to Support Distance Learning! 

Bright Spot

This week more than 1,500 students from across the district are being honored at the 27th annual African American Honor Roll Celebration in three Zoom ceremonies over three days. Congratulations to all of our African American Honor Roll students!

Warm regards,

Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews