July 29, 2020
Dear SFUSD Staff:
As we head into the final days of July, I know you’re eager for updates regarding the fall semester. I’m pleased to share with you that last night the Board of Education and district leaders discussed community feedback and a high level plan for fall learning.
The plan provides general guidance and direction including on topics related to support for special student populations, attendance, grading and assessing learning, digital learning, non digital learning, materials distribution, resources for families, and professional development for staff.
More specific details, such as hours of instruction, will be available soon. SFUSD and the United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) are meeting to create a Memorandum of Understanding that will outline more specific details.
Please keep reading today’s digest for more information about the 30 day plan and lots of professional learning opportunities.
First 30 Days
The First 30 Days Resource Guide is an overview of how SFUSD will launch schools in a virtual space for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. This guide explicitly names supports we will provide schools and how to operationalize the distance learning priorities. The guide highlights professional learning opportunities, instructional and curricular tools as well as wellness and partnership resources to support the entire team as we come together to launch distance learning more successfully for EACH and EVERY student in the Fall.
We want to share this overview with you as we know many of you are planning for the first days of school. We know that sites are working together to plan for the opening of the school year and school leaders will be sharing how this plan integrates with and compliments your school’s plans. It is our hope that this guide will inform and support your planning, and alleviate some anxiety.
A more detailed plan for distance learning (the Fall 2020 Distance Learning Guide) - a more enhanced and expanded version of last year’s concrete resource, the Spring Distance Learning Guide - will be shared with all staff once complete. This Learning Guide will be informed by the agreed upon Distance Learning MOUs and feedback from labor partners and other educators/stakeholders. Any changes to content in the First 30 Days Resource Guide, will be highlighted and shared with you as soon as possible.
Join Us at Digital District Day on August 10th
SFUSD Digital District Day is a highly recommended virtual 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. Sign up at sfusd.edu/DDD (LWEA/Prop G eligible event).
Interested in Professional Development Opportunities?
Beyond PD opportunities in the first 30 days, we have a host of PD options to support you as you plan for the new school year.
- You can watch previous distance learning webinars
- Check out an overview of our Beginning of the year Professional Learning Institutes
- See other PD happenings this Summer: bit.ly/PDatSFUSD
New Teacher Orientation
The New Teacher Orientation is happening next week - August 3rd and 4th.
2020 SFUSD Virtual Paraeducator Institute
The 4th Annual SFUSD Paraeducator Institute will be held virtually on August 11th-14th, 2020 (Tuesday-Friday). Paraeducators will select from a menu of daily workshops in the following categories: Instructional Frameworks and Strategies, Behavioral Frameworks and Strategies, Wellness, Technology, Special Education, Cultural Competence & Equity, Family & Community Partnerships, Human Resources Information & Opportunities for Career Advancement.
Questions about SFUSD schools and in-person cohorts/pods
While schools are closed to in-person instruction, some community members have wondered if SFUSD schools can help organize in-person cohorts or pods (small groups of children who can be together in-person). At this point the primary focus of SFUSD staff is to make sure distance learning happens in the best way possible. Review this FAQ for answers to frequently asked questions on this topic.
How do we help youth consider perspectives different than their own? Check out these 26 Mini-Films for Exploring Race, Bias and Identity With Students. These videos and the following reflection questions from the New York Times are a great way for adults and children alike to reflect on their own identities, experiences and biases, and begin important and often challenging conversations.
Here are three tips for families and educators on using the COVID pandemic to teach kids about compassion, by Maryam Abdullah, published in the Greater Good Magazine:
- Show compassion to kids so they experience receiving it.
- Create space to help their children become better aware of and process their feelings. Acknowledge and be sensitive to our children’s emotions to help them to see that this moment of hardship will eventually pass.
Teach Kids to Practice Self-Compassion by encouraging them to extend compassion to others such as sending kind thoughts to essential workers, regularly FaceTiming with isolated older or immunocompromised family members, or helping gather canned goods for the local food bank (review these other ideas from Youth Service America to help inspire children toward compassionate acts).
Lana Nguyen and Susanna Lau, two George Washington High School students, were featured on SFGate today for launching SupplyHopeInfo. Using a free website builder and a lot of grassroots efforts, the pair has spearheaded a fundraising effort that provided school supplies to more than 100 low-income families.
Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews