January 27, 2021

January 27, 2021

Dear SFUSD Staff:

Whether you’re currently working remotely from home or in-person at our schools, please take time to complete the Health and Safety Protocol training. I know it’s time consuming but completing the training is a great way to understand more about how we can stay safe when working in-person. Though the details may change as this pandemic continues to evolve, most public health experts predict health and safety protocols will be needed for some time. Taking this training has helped me feel safe when I am in the office or a school building. 

Please keep reading today’s digest for more information about the training and other important updates.


Reminder: 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 Jan. 6 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 Feb. 4. 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.

COVID-19 Updates

The Bay Area will exit the state’s stay-at-home order and move into the Purple tier this week. Outdoor dining and museums/zoos/aquariums and indoor personal services will be allowed to resume services with limitations.

Healthcare workers and people aged 65 and older are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine remains in very limited supply. Even if you are eligible, there may not be a dose available right now. Read more about how to get notified about vaccine availability and more about the prioritization plan.

Preparing for In-Person Learning for Phase 2A Students 

As a district we continue to prepare for a return to in-person learning as well as to improve the experience of students while in distance learning.

This week the Department of Public Health began school site inspections to finalize approval for our first schools to reopen once all of the conditions on our dashboard have been met. Principals and other district staff led the public health inspectors through classrooms to show ways they have been set up for physical distancing and checked to ensure functional ventilation. They also checked for signage, safe entry and exits, health check protocols and more. 

Considerations for In-Person Learning for Middle and High Students

At last night’s Board of Education meeting we discussed what is involved with planning for middle and high school students’ possible return to in-person learning as well as how the district is expanding  support for students while still in distance learning. 

As we think about any return to in-person learning, we have to think about the intersections between safety, students, staff and space. Also, the public health guidelines for middle and high in-person learning are different than for younger students. 

With the community spread of COVID and our current timeline for returning any students in Phase 2A, it is unlikely that we’ll be able to offer most middle and high school students the opportunity for in-person learning this school year.  

Some middle and high school students are in the first groups of students we’re aiming to offer in-person learning –– these include students with special needs, newcomers, students in foster care, those experiencing homelessness, living in public housing and a few other student populations. 

Digital Learning Week Next Month

  • SFUSD's 4th Annual Digital Learning Week takes place February 22-26, 2021, in conjunction with Digital Learning Day - a national initiative through the Alliance for Excellent Education celebrating the amazing work teachers have done to push digital learning to new frontiers. 
  • Access resources on the Digital Learning Week Website.
  • Have questions? Ask your site Digital Learning Facilitator (DLeaF) for more information on how your school can celebrate.

Tech Tip of the Week: Zoom Non-Verbal Reaction Updates

  • Zoom supports non-verbal reactions, such as “raise hand” and “thumbs up” but they work differently based on your device and Zoom app version. 
  • Learn more about how non-verbal reactions work differently on Mac/PC and Chromebooks!

Bright Spot

There are many special ways our educators are prioritizing connections with students. Here’s one that’s especially sweet!

Warm regards,

Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews