January 20, 2021

January 20, 2021

Dear SFUSD Staff:

Happy belated Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Dr. King worked tirelessly in the civil rights movement and his leadership was instrumental in ending segregation. Recent events underscore that the work of Dr. King is still important today.  As you know, we have many opportunities to learn from important events –– from the legacy of Dr. King to the history being made today with America’s first woman vice president, Kamala Harris. 

As educators, we are uniquely positioned to support students as they process current events as they are happening. When current events make their way into our classrooms, we want to support students to process these events, even as we see this as an opportunity to further our antiracist practices, build and strengthen the authentic partnership bridge, and engage in deeper learning to the graduate profile. Here are some resources to support our response to current events in service of students.

Thank you for all that you’re doing. Please keep reading today’s digest for important updates.


COVID 19 Vaccine Updates

The vaccine is one of the most important ways to end the pandemic. It is very safe, and highly effective. Currently, the vaccine remains available only in limited quantities. Vaccines allocated to the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) have either been administered or are earmarked for those who have been scheduled to receive a first dose and those who need a second dose. 

San Francisco is following the State's population prioritization plan. The vaccine is expected to be available to everyone by the end of 2021. A complete vaccination requires two doses. 

You can sign up to get a notification when you are eligible to get the vaccine by going to this link and signing up to get a notification. You may not get a notification for months, because vaccines are in limited supply. It depends on when the City receives doses from the state and federal government.

Learn more about the vaccine and the rollout in San Francisco here. Regardless of whether you have received the vaccine or not, you can also do your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep others safe by staying home, staying 6 feet apart while outside, and wearing a face covering.

Daily Drop-in Digital Learning Office Hours  

  • Get personalized support from the Digital Learning team during daily Office Hours: Tue-Thu 7:30-8:30 am and Mon-Fri 12:00 -1:00 pm
  • Search the Professional Learning Directory for “office hours” or visit the PD Calendar to access links and add sessions to your own calendar.
  • Teachers, paras, substitutes, site leaders, and central office staff are encouraged to join us with their questions about digital learning tools, strategies, and platforms. 

NEW ADDITIONS! Tips & Strategies for Leveraging SFUSD Tech Platforms for Spring Distance Learning

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 this month and the CDE template is now available in Synergy. 

Teachers should begin using Synergy on a weekly basis to track weekly engagement and must also back-enter starting the week of 08/31/2020. Information needs 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. 

Did You Know? Zoom Usage Reports may help teachers identify when Zoom classes were held, which students participated, and for how long. Please read this guide on Zoom Usage Reports.

Questions? Check out the Weekly Engagement FAQs. If you are running into technical issues, please contact the Department of Technology at help.sfusd.edu. 

Preparing For In-Person 

Though we have not yet set a new date to begin our gradual return for students who choose in-person learning, SFUSD is actively preparing so we’re ready when it is possible. Staff are completing a 3-hour online training about health and safety protocols. School facilities are getting set up to serve students in Phase 2A at the first set of schools set to open. Negotiations with labor groups continue. The dashboard is updated weekly.

In-Person Learning Registration Survey (Phase 2A)

Of the 80% of Phase 2A families we’ve heard from regarding in-person learning, 57% have said they prefer to send their child to in-person and 43% have said they prefer to stay in distance learning. The district is using this information to plan with site leaders.

We recognize that not all families surveyed have responded and that there is a lot of information families would like to have access to as they consider this option. SFUSD isn’t able to share more details that are dependent on information that is not yet available.

SF Loves Learning

SF Loves Learning is now airing every weekday, 8:30-9am on KTVU Plus and any time at sfusd.edu/sfloveslearning. The theme of this week's episodes on SF Loves Learning is “How do scientists remember their observations and questions?” Next week’s theme is “How germs spread!” A few highlight clips from this AND next week include:

  • The Experiment - Germs Spread (Daily Lesson): Maestra Meza uses glitter to demonstrate how germs spread.
  • Dancing with Symbols (Movement): Ms. Jessica and Mr. Manolo explore how to use words, symbols, and sounds to record data and create choreography.
  • The Nonsense Monster (Read Aloud): This book teaches young children how to focus and overcome distractions.
  • Color Mixing (Creative): We are all connected! Colors are connected too. What happens when we connect colors? Can we create something new?

You can search for any content from the show, including segments for next week 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.


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

  • SFUSD is finalizing information to share with families and students prior to any in-person learning. 
  • For staff who want to begin sharing information with students now, check out this Return 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.

COVID-19 Health & Safety Protocol Training

REMINDER to take the Health and Safety Protocol training on Brit. 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. For staff who would like to take the Spanish or Chinese modules, the due date will be three weeks from when the modules are available. We will send out a message when the modules are available in Spanish and Chinese.

Bright Spot

Starr King Elementary School fourth graders wrote about home and identity with 826 Valencia - check out their work in the Potrero View!

Warm regards,

Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews