March 17, 2021

March 17, 2021

Dear SFUSD Staff:

The pandemic has brought a lot of pain and suffering for many, and with it conspiracy theories scapegoating the Asian community for the COVID-19 pandemic, which unfortunately have been embraced in many areas of the country and have resulted in the rise of anti-Asian violence. We cannot be silent about the scapegoating of the Asian community. We have to stand together against violence perpetrated against any member of our community, and right now there is an increase in violence against our Asian brothers and sisters. It is unacceptable and we must recommit ourselves to creating safe communities for each and every person. Educators, please check out the resources in the Distance Learning section below for navigating discussions with your students. 

Please keep reading today’s digest for important updates.

Return Safely Updates

SFUSD is committed to reopening as many schools as possible as soon as necessary and agreed upon conditions are met. Here are some current events related to preparation efforts underway:

  • SFUSD and UESF have ratified an MOU with agreements on in-person/hybrid/distance instruction related to the remainder of this school year ending in June 2021. 
  • SFUSD has published an updated timeline for PK- 5th Grade students, which includes dates for when schools that serve PK-5 students will begin offering in-person.  While information is subject to change, this timeline represents the most current plan. Students in grades 3-5, with the exception of those in a Moderate/Severe SDC class, will likely return one week following the date when PK-2 students return. 
  • SFUSD instructional schedules are being developed with the goal of getting as many students who wish to return back into in-person learning as possible. SFUSD remains committed to 
    • Honoring family preferences for in-person or distance learning.
    • Providing all students who wish to attend in-person instruction with as many days per week and as many hours per day of instruction as possible.
  • All in-person learning family surveys are closed.  Families who have responded “yes” to returning to in person will receive a placement packet for in-person learning at least 10 days prior to the first day of in-person learning. 
  • Families who have not yet responded or wish to change their response should contact their school sites directly.
  • High school athletic programs will resume on April 12. Learn about the offerings. High school students will receive more information about how to sign up soon.  
  • On March 16, SFUSD shared plans for summer programming and future commitments at a Board of Education Special meeting, which includes a proposal for a new initiative to expand high school summer learning.

Clarifying Classroom Capacity for In-Person Learning

Public health guidance continues to shift and evolve. SFUSD is following the most recent public health guidance related to physical distancing at schools offering in-person instruction.

  • We will strive to keep student desks at 6 feet but may have desks no less than 4ft apart from each other with a plexiglass barrier between the students. Per the Department of Public Health, schools that were inspected at 6 feet don't need to be re-inspected if they add desks and move to 4 feet.
  • Teacher desks are at least 6 feet apart from student desks and tables.
  • There is no 14-student limit in classrooms. We are setting up classrooms to accommodate a full class provided we can meet physical distancing requirements. 
  • For more information on facilities and operations, refer to the Did You Know section below. 

Vaccine Update

We are excited that SFUSD employees have now had numerous ways to access vaccine appointments. Nearly 3,000 SFUSD staff members have let us know they have been vaccinated. Thank you to our SFUSD employees for completing the vaccine tracker! If you have yet to receive a vaccine, please see below for more opportunities.

Vaccine appointments with Kaiser available to all District employees

Kaiser has confirmed availability of vaccine appointments for all District staff who have yet to be vaccinated, including SFUSD staff who do not use Kaiser as their medical/benefits provider. SFUSD staff should visit to check appointment availability and follow instructions to book an appointment. Individuals who don’t have access to may call 1-866-454-8855 for assistance and to book an appointment. 

Vaccinations at Zuckerberg General Hospital

SFUSD staff in specific zip codes (94124, 94134, 94110, 94112, 94107, 94102, 94103, and 94130) can drop in to Zuckerberg General Hospital for vaccinations. If eligible, you can drop-in to Zuckerberg San Francisco General, Building 30 (1001 Potrero Ave) in the Mission every day from 9 am – 3 pm. No appointment is needed. The Southeast Health Center (2401 Keith St) in the Bayview is also open to drop-ins for the 94134 and 94124 zip codes but the smaller site cannot accommodate the same capacity as Zuckerberg San Francisco General.

What to bring to your vaccine appointment

In addition to a state-issued identification card, you should bring one of the following documents to your vaccine appointment to verify your employment with SFUSD:

  • SFUSD employee ID badge with photo; or
  • A copy of your professional license or certificate if you are certificated; or 
  • A printout of a recent pay stub or timesheet
  • You may be asked to sign an attestation that you are eligible for vaccination; all SFUSD employees are now eligible. 

Policies around sick leave for vaccines

SFUSD staff who are scheduled for a vaccination during work hours may take work time to get vaccinated without any loss of pay. After your vaccine, if you experience any side effects, you may take up to five (5) days off without any loss of pay or having to use your accruals. We have posted a set of Frequently Asked Questions on the employee intranet in multiple languages related to this topic - please click here and log in for access

Let us know if you have been vaccinated

If you have been vaccinated already, congratulations! After your first dose, please fill out SFUSD’s COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker. This will help us get a better sense of how many of our staff have been vaccinated, and will also ensure that any future vaccination opportunities go to employees who need them.

Return to Sites Health and Safety Lessons Playlist

Please see the PK-5 “Return to Sites Playlist” for:

  • Distance learning lessons to prepare PK-5 students for reentry to in-person learning at school sites.
  • In-person lessons to teach students about health and safety practices while in school buildings.
  • Resources for families to support students to safely return to sites.

Distance Learning Updates

Resources to Support Educators to Address Anti-Asian Violence

In light of the violence in Atlanta this week and the ongoing rise in anti-Asian violence, xenophobia and racism, SFCSD has worked collectively with members across divisions to create this hyperdoc to offer a set of resources to support educators as they navigate these discussions. 

Please note that this is a work-in-progress and has been included in our ongoing Resources to Respond to Current Events. You are welcome to ask questions, provide feedback and other resources to Grace Cheng at or add to our shared document.

SF Loves Learning

What science questions do your students have?? Help them submit any question and Maestra Meza will try to answer it with them on the show in May! Check out this Seesaw Activity, watch this student questions video and help students submit their questions by filling out this short questions form by Friday, March 26.

Science teachers looking for video resources? Here’s another deck from the show with lessons, songs, books, movement, and creative pieces about How to Use Your Five Senses! You can find all of our decks so far.

This month’s Science theme is “What do engineers do?” and our cultural theme is Women’s History Month. You can find segments on both of these themes throughout the month.

This week’s theme is Materials. Check out these segments that are airing this week:

  • Translucent and Transparent (Daily Lesson): Test out different transparent and translucent materials with Maestra Meza. Together, we‘ll determine which material is best for casting shadows—with our engineered puppets of course! March 17 Seesaw Activity
  • Oye, Oye, Listen Listen, Listen (Music): We listen to different frequencies or sounds. We sing along and experience sonic wavelengths on a variety of homemade instruments made of everyday materials. March 17 Seesaw Activity
  • Singing is a Science (Music): Mr. Mansfield sings about how the vocal folds produce our voice: like all other sound, wiggles (vibrations) are involved! March 19 Seesaw Activity
  • On Wings of Words (Read Aloud): In a small New England town lives Emily Dickinson, a girl in love with small things—a flower petal, a bird, a ray of light, a word. In those small things, her brilliant imagination can see the wide world. March 17
  • Celebrating Wangari Maathai (Movement): Ms. Maura leads a dance and movement exploration into the life and work of Wangari Maathai, playing with shadow shapes to create a forest as we explore ideas about trees and the environment. March 16 Seesaw Activity
  • Neighborhood Nature: Come join Jesse, Jerry, and Marina as they meet Miguel the Heron's Head EcoCenter Manager to learn more about this awesome off the grid building. March 19

If you’re planning for next week, the Science theme is Synthesizing Concepts. You can find all of next week’s segments and our full library to support your instruction in three ways:

  • Segments Library: Find any segment (read aloud, daily lesson, music, movement, community)!
  • Seesaw page: Teachers can adapt any Seesaw activity on our page.
  • YouTube channel: Subscribe to this channel, explore the playlists, and receive notifications when new content is published.

SF Loves Learning airs every weekday, 8:30-9am on KTVU Plus and any time at

Celebrate and showcase student learning using digital portfolios 

Use Seesaw to Connect Distance and In-Person Learning 

Resource Highlight

For staff exploring options for childcare, here are a few links to possible resources:

The​ DCYF Community Hubs provide support for students in grades K-12 who are utilizing SFUSD’s Distance Learning Curriculum, and prioritize children and youth with high levels of need.

Here are possible child care options available through DCYF and community based organizations.

Here are Rec and Park​ child care program options.

Did You Know?

All schools need final approval from the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) to reopen for in-person instruction.

View the SFDPH School Guidance Checklist and SFUSD COVID-19 Prevention Plan for each school as they receive final approval. Several more sites are being inspected in the coming weeks. 

What has been done to prepare schools for safe return?

The Facilities Division conducts two types of assessments at each site: 

  • The Building Systems Assessment which determines if heating, ventilation, electrical, plumbing and other building systems are functioning as intended. 
  • The Ground Truthing Site Assessment which: 
    • Reconciles the physical classroom or office number with the building floor plan 
    • Counts the total number of classroom/office windows, noting those that are operable vs. inoperable, and of operable windows, if they function 
    • Confirms the presence and functionality of handwashing sinks 
    • Describes the number and type of student desks present in classrooms 
    • Confirms working condition of restrooms

The Facilities Division will also organize a series of site preparation (“stand up”) activities including:

  • Designation of entry, exits and circulation paths throughout the school site 
  • Posting of appropriate COVID-19 safety signage throughout the building reminding students and employees to: 
    • social distance 
    • wear face coverings 
    • wash/disinfect hands frequently 
  • Repairing windows where necessary to ensure improved ventilation 
  • Arranging classroom furniture to allow for 6-foot social distancing 
  • Delivery and installation of partitions and desktop shields where necessary 
  • Confirmation that all hand sanitizer dispensers are working and filled 
  • Replacing ventilation filters older than six months 
  • Flushing the building’s plumbing

For more information about Facilities and Operations, refer to this FAQ.

Bright Spot

SFUSD staff share why they’re choosing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in this brief video. I’m grateful for this milestone as we continue to prepare for a safe return to in-person learning.

Warm regards,

Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthew