January 13, 2021

January 13, 2021

Dear SFUSD Staff:

Like many of you, I have been monitoring the daily updates from public health officials regarding COVID-19. There was a time when San Francisco seemed to be emerging from the pandemic. Just as we were getting closer to meeting all of the conditions to return to in-person learning, new conditions began to emerge: there is a new surge in COVID cases in the Bay Area, there may be a vaccine available to teachers and other district personnel in the near future, and a new COVID strain has been identified that we’re still learning more about.

In light of this new information, we are reassessing our return to in-person learning plans. It continues to be our goal to find a way back to in-person learning soon. We are working with the Department of Public Health to understand current data and information around testing, virus levels and vaccine distribution. 

Nothing about this pandemic has been a clear and straightforward path. We are not alone in the challenges we face. All of our peer urban school districts in the state are facing a similar situation and we are seeking to learn and move forward together. 

We will continue to move quickly to identify what conditions would be necessary to return to in-person during the pandemic and to work with our labor groups to complete bargaining. We will share a more detailed update regarding our plans later in January. 

Please keep reading today’s digests for more important updates.


COVID-19 Training Update - DUE DATE EXTENDED to Feb 4th

As part of the training component of the SFUSD’s COVID-19 Prevention Program, all SFUSD employees are required to complete three (3) training modules. The module links were sent out via email on January 6th from Brit Insurance TEAM Platform with the subject line “Your SFUSD Training Assignment.” For technical inquiries regarding access to the training module, contact riskmanagement@sfusd.edu.

The DEADLINE for staff who are currently accessing SFUSD sites has been extended to February 4th. Staff who are not currently accessing SFUSD sites must complete the training at least one week prior to coming on site. 

The modules will be available in Spanish and Chinese and will launch the week of January 19th. For staff who would prefer to take the Spanish or Chinese modules, the due date will be 3 weeks from when the modules are available. We will send out a message when the modules are available in Spanish and Chinese.

Health and Safety Lessons and Resources to Support PK-5 Students to Return Safely to Wave 1 and 2 Sites

  • Please review theReturn to Sites Health and Safety Lessons Playlist”, which includes recommendations for lessons and routines to help PK-5 students return safely to in-person learning. 
  • Topics addressed are handwashing, keeping distance, wearing masks, sharing supplies, staying home when sick, processing stressful experiences, reconnecting with friends and staff, and greeting friends in new ways. 
  • Most classroom resources are translated into Spanish and Chinese (a few documents have additional language translations) and some family resources are included. Weekly office hour information for consultations are listed in the document.

Tracking Student Weekly Engagement in Synergy

As a part of SB98, school districts have to document weekly student engagement for every day of instruction during distance learning. This CDE requirement ensures that students are receiving the required amount of instruction and is required for CA school districts to receive funding. This information is required and can be audited by the California Department of Education (CDE). Agreements with UESF were made last week and the CDE template is now available in Synergy.

  • Teachers should begin using this log in Synergy on a weekly basis and must also back-enter Weekly Engagement starting the week of 08/31/2020. Weekly engagement logs need to be updated by April 30, 2021. Time will be provided during contractual hours for site-based training and back-entry. Each site will develop a schedule for training and release.
  • Visit sfusd.edu/weekly-engagement to learn how to complete the Weekly Engagement report and for all self-paced training resources, including how admins can print the report and reset teachers’ submissions in Synergy. If you have technical questions regarding the Synergy tool, please contact the Department of Technology at help.sfusd.edu.

Non Classroom Evaluation Agreement Update

We have reached an agreement regarding Certificated Evaluation for Non Classroom Educators for this year (see here). In short, the terms of this agreement mirror the terms for Evaluation of Classroom Teachers which we reached agreement on in mid-December. The exception in this agreement for Non Classroom Educators is that the elements are not proscribed. Supervisors may base evaluations on the elements they deem appropriate. Other aspects of this agreement include the heavy reliance on the short form, a provision for non-PAR placement, and an extended timeline. 

Please reach out to Labor Relations (Carrie Slaughter, slaughterc@sfusd.edu) should you have any questions.  

Share This Volunteer Opportunity! Help Students Access School Meals (Oasis)

  • SFUSD employees and community members can volunteer at any of our grab and go sites. Volunteers assist outdoors with setup, line control, and breakdown. 

NEW ADDITIONS! Tips & Strategies for Leveraging SFUSD Tech Platforms for the New Semester 

Check out guidance for educators on how to leverage SFUSD technology platforms to support your new semester in 2021 🎉 Tips & strategies include:

  • How to show class assignments from Google Classroom in StudentVue & ParentVUE to support family-school communications
  • Gmail tips, tricks, and organizational pointers
  • Strategies for reflection/goal setting in Seesaw, as well as Seesaw activities on Martin Luther King Jr.
  • How to review Zoom settings to help ensure you create a safe and secure environment

DoT will continue to update this guidance with tips and strategies so keep it handy!

Synergy Gradebook and Google Classroom Sync Tips

Syncing your Synergy Gradebook and Google Classroom allows families to see assignments in ParentVUE in support of student learning and family communications. 

Making Virtual Spaces Accessible: Support ASL Interpretation and Captioning in Zoom Across SFUSD 

Update Zoom for the Latest Features!

  • Want to make sure you have the latest features in Zoom? Make sure you update your Zoom app on your computer.
  • Want to assign another teacher as a co-host, or use polling features? You’ll need to make sure you have a licensed account by logging in to Zoom, clicking your profile in the top right, and checking whether it says “Licensed”. If your account  is not licensed please submit a ticket to help.sfusd.edu

Need Additional Support with Digital Learning Tools?

  • Trained volunteers are available to provide personalized tutorials on the basics for Zoom, Seesaw, Google Suite, Meet, and Classroom!
  • Just go to bit.ly/sftechtutors for more information and to sign up for a free, 30-minute virtual session.

SF Loves Learning

SF Loves Learning is now airing every weekday, 8:30-9am on KTVU Plus. It is also available daily at sfusd.edu/sfloveslearning to watch any time! The theme of this week's episodes on SF Loves Learning is “How to Use Your Five Senses!” A few highlight clips from this week include:

  • Lemonade? (Daily Lesson): Maestra Meza explores how to make observations with our 5 senses while making lemonade!
  • Get Up Stand Up (Read Aloud): Dr. Matthews talks about last week’s events in our country and then reads Get Up, Stand Up by Cedella Marley.
  • Five Senses (Original Song): This song is about the five senses that humans use to observe the world around us.

You can search for any content from the show in three ways:

  • Digital Library: Search for any segment type (read aloud, daily lesson, etc.), Educator, Graduate Profile skill, keyword, and more.
  • Seesaw page: Teachers can adopt any Seesaw activity. These will accumulate quickly.
  • YouTube channel: Subscribe to this channel, explore the playlists, and receive notifications when new content is published.

To contribute content for the show, fill out this submission form (make sure to click “Community” for Type of Segment). To offer feedback about the show, email sfloveslearning@sfusd.edu. For more information on how to watch the show, visit SFUSD.edu/SFLovesLearning.

Bright Spot

Educational nonprofit 826 Valencia has resumed its Teacher of the Month program! Check out this month’s teacher celebration featuring a teacher from Downtown High School.

Warm regards,

Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews