July 22, 2020 - Staff Digest

July 22, 2020

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Dear SFUSD Staff:

SFUSD wants to make sure all children have opportunities to connect and to learn. We know our families want what is best for their children and may be seeking in-person options. Many of us are feeling anxious, frustrated and worried

Schools cannot open to in-person instruction until there is a public health order allowing them to do so. However, distance learning alone does not meet the needs of many families and children. In SFUSD’s initial fall learning plan, we’re prioritizing relationships and connection and more frequent live interactions online. 

Our staff and community have contributed a lot of creative and innovative ideas and we are exploring ways to allow for in-person learning and support. We hope to move to a hybrid model later in the fall for some of our students once our teachers and staff are able to and public health guidance allows us to do so. 

SFUSD teachers and school administrators have been on break since early June. We look forward to when all our teachers and site leaders return from break and can help support families and students in connecting with each other. Administrators are returning to work on July 27 and teachers return on August 11.

More details about SFUSD’s vision for fall will be shared publicly online July 25 and discussed with the Board of Education on July 28. While we look forward to sharing what we envision learning will look like, many of the details of the fall learning plan are still subject to negotiations with the teachers union, which are actively underway. We appreciate your continued commitment to working together as we seek to keep everyone healthy and learning. 

Updates

Volunteer! Help Students Access Free Meals

Student Nutrition Services has multiple volunteer opportunities for SFUSD employees!

Fall 2020

As we prepare for Fall 2020, we are prioritizing Connection, Communication and Consistency. Although all students will start the school year in a distance learning format, we plan to implement a hybrid model when safety and circumstances allow. We are being creative and innovative as we think about ways to interact with students and have leveraged the feedback and input from diverse and varied stakeholder groups. We know that only through authentic partnership and true collaboration can we realize the EACH and EVERY in this continued distance context. We look forward to engaging and partnering with all of our stakeholders to realize this next step forward in the Fall. 

Our collaboration and listening started in the Spring, ramped up over the summer months with town halls, surveys, focus and working groups and will continue through the school year. We have been thoughtful around how to improve distance learning towards the priority areas named above including professional development and capacity building, clear guidance and  resources for teachers, school staff, site leaders, students and families. Below we have shared some of our efforts to do just that starting with information on our Digital District Day and our Teaching and Learning Supports for Fall. 

SFUSD Digital District Day 

SFUSD Digital District Day is a highly recommended event that offers SFUSD educators and administrators guidance on how to integrate technology within pedagogy in support of student learning, particularly in a distance learning environment, and the acquisition of our SFUSD Graduate Profile competencies. Encourage the teams you lead to sign up at sfusd.edu/DDD (LWEA/Prop G eligible event).

Teaching and Learning Supports Fall 2020

We know that SFUSD will be starting the Fall in distance learning, with students learning remotely. Once safety permits, we will work to gradually move toward a hybrid learning model, where some students receive in person instruction and others continue in distance learning and/or students receive in person or distance on different days. 

We closed abruptly in the Spring and while we attempted to maintain continuity of learning, it was not an ideal situation as we collectively navigated a global pandemic. Now with time to reflect and plan, we are developing resources and supports to ensure that distance learning is more robust and successful for each and every student and that you, our educators, are better prepared to engage with students in this way. We have heard clearly from our students and families, that consistent connection and engagement is critical to engaging our learners and supporting families.

As we plan for the 20-21 school year, we are looking to partner with various parents, staff and community members to refine and improve draft deliverables we have currently.Outlined in this plan are the resources central office is offering sites and educators as they plan to begin instruction on August 17th in a distance format. This is informed by Assembly Bill 77 (AB77) guidelines. These resources will be available no later than August 10th.

Over the Spring, we offered professional learning opportunities in a variety of modes that support personalized learning pathways for adults.  We have built these out further for the Fall, with much input and support from teachers and educators. 

Bright Spot

SNS has served over 2 million meals since March! During the week of July 6th SNS served over 130,000 meals, and we will continue to provide grab and go services throughout the City until school starts on August 17th.   The model for providing meals to students during the school year will be modified to align with the District's plan for learning once school starts.  More to come as those plans evolve!

Warm regards,
Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews