March 24, 2021

March 24, 2021

Dear SFUSD Staff:

As we head into our spring break next week, I want to remind you to take time for self care and rest. We will not be sending a digest next week due to spring break. I hope you have a safe week and find a chance to connect with your loved ones. Please keep reading today’s digest for important updates.

Return Safely Updates

SFUSD is preparing to gradually return up to 22,000 students to in-person learning before the end of April.  Here are some current events related to preparation efforts underway: 

  • San Francisco moved into the state’s Orange tier due to decreasing rates of COVID-19 positivity and hospitalization.
  • See this grade-level breakdown and timeline for all those with the option to return this spring, PK-12. 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 return one week following the date when PK-2 students return at most schools, with the exception of those schools that are set to begin on April 26. 
  • If a student is scheduled to return to in-person learning on April 12 or 19:
    • Families will be receiving a placement packet in the mail early next week and the information will also be posted in ParentVUE. 
    • SFUSD will also send families who are on the list to return a notification through phone and text. 
    • Families will be invited to participate in a mandatory orientation hosted by their school site.
    • Here is how returning families can prepare now. 
    • Please contact school sites after Spring Break ends on April 5 with questions or concerns.
  • SFUSD Spring 2021 school schedules for in-person and distance learning have been set centrally, with the goal of getting as many students who wish to return back to in-person learning as possible. These schedules cannot be changed. The outcomes reflect careful planning and consideration based on:
    • Physical space
    • School enrollment 
    • Family preference
    • Staffing
    • Health and safety requirements, including those agreed upon with SFUSD’s labor unions
  • Classroom planning
    • SFUSD is compliant with SFDPH guidance and has to meet baseline health and safety requirements per agreements with our labor partners.
    • There is no set 14-student limit in classrooms. In earlier planning there was this limit but it no longer exists. 
    • SFUSD will strive to keep student desks 6 feet apart but in the instance that a 4 foot distance could accommodate more students, up to the original classroom list, the site will adopt the 4 foot parameters between student desks. Teacher desks must be at least 6 feet apart from student desks and tables
    • SFUSD has to meet physical distancing requirements as outlined in our labor agreement even if those requirements have changed in the public health guidance. Therefore schools with more requests for in-person learning than capacity after adopting the 4 foot distancing requirement may need to offer a 2-day a week schedule to accommodate all students.

Cross Divisional Office Hours - EED, DoT, C&I, SpEd and SFCSD - Week of April 5-9

Office Hours will be held daily as follows: 7:30 - 8:30 a.m., 12:00-1:00 p.m. and 3:00-4:00 p.m. The Google Meet link is the same for every session.

You can also find these links on the PD Calendar section of the Professional Learning webpage. On that page, you can copy the session you want to your calendar. There are also additional hours specific to EED and Special Education listed on the calendar.

Have questions? Email Jennifer Steiner or Lindsey Blass.

Discussion topics can include:

  • Curriculum and instructional guidance support
  • Technology/digital learning support
  • Early education guidance and support
  • SpEd guidance and support to prepare for in-person learning
  • SFCSD supports on health and safety, wellness and authentic family partnership

In addition, we have curated an efficient way for you to access resources that you might want to use to support your own planning and support for your teachers and site staff on the K-5 landing page.

Reminder: Return to Sites Health and Safety Lessons Playlist for Staff

Please see the PK-5Return to Sites Playlistfor:

  • 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.

Spread the Word

As part of the reopening plan, SFUSD is hiring substitute teachers and substitute paraeducators for many long-term, in-person placements in classrooms for the duration of the school year. We are also hiring for substitute teachers who are interested in Distance Learning assignments, as well one off in-person substitute positions. If you know anyone who would like to apply for one of these longer term substitute placements, please share this information and encourage them to submit an application by Friday, April 2.

Distance Learning Updates

SF Loves Learning

Looking for resources to offer inspiration, skills, and support for students to counter racism as they prepare to return to school? Explore these videos in SF Loves Learning’s United Against Racism Return to School Deck. Find all of our cultural and science slide decks so far here.

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.

This month’s Science theme is: “What do engineers do?” and our cultural theme is Women’s History Month. This week’s theme is Synthesizing Concepts. Check out these segments that are airing this week:

  • Work on Forces (Lesson): Maestra Meza uses the force of pull to get a car to move on a paper roll track of the shadow puppet set. We will use the car to move our rocket ship in our show. (March 23) Seesaw Activity
  • Mujer de Acero (Music): Ms. Peña-Govea and her family sing a song in Spanish about Jessica Govea Thorbourne, her aunt and UFW organizer for farmworkers' rights. (March 24) Seesaw Activity
  • Flora and the Flamingo (Read Aloud): With a twist, a turn, and even a flop, these unlikely friends learn at last how to dance together in perfect harmony. Full of humor and heart, this stunning performance will have readers clapping for more! (March 23)
  • Recognizing Serena Williams for Women's History Month (Movement): Exploring eye-hand coordination skills using a sock. (March 24) Seesaw Activity
  • Harvest of the Month: Snap Peas (Community): Snap peas are the Harvest of the Month for March. Let's explore snap peas with our senses. (March 24)

If you’re planning for the week after Spring Break, the Science theme is Sunlight and Weather. 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

School Meal Updates

Grab & Go Meal Distribution Will Be Closed for Spring Break March 29 - April 2

  • On Friday, March 26, we will serve 7 days’ worth of meals to accommodate the holiday closure. Pick up meals for all children 18 and younger, including SFUSD students.
  • Service will resume Tuesday, April 6.
  • Visit for a list of locations.

Schedule Change This Week: Grab & Go Service Tuesday & Friday

  • This week, families can pick up free Grab & Go meals on:
    • Tuesday 3/23
    • Friday 3/26
    • Sites will be closed Thursday
  • On Friday, we will serve 7 days’ worth of meals to accommodate the holiday closure. Families can pick up free meals for all children 18 and younger, including SFUSD students.
  • Visit for a list of locations. Download the March Grab & Go Calendar.

Food Access Texting Hotline

  • No Kid Hungry has launched a texting hotline to provide information about emergency food distribution sites in communities where schools have been impacted due to COVID19.
  • Parents and caregivers can text the word “FOOD” to 877-877 (or “COMIDA” for results in Spanish) to find food distribution sites close to their address. SFUSD’s Grab & Go meal sites are included in the No Kid Hungry national database.

Resource Highlight: Summer Programs

  • Most SFUSD programs are for specific eligible student populations, for example students with IEPs, newcomer students, and high school students who need more credits to graduate. Eligible students will be invited to participate in programs. More information will be shared by mid-April. 
  • SFUSD is also working with the City’s Department of Children, Youth and Families to expand free summer programs. Families may sign up on the Summer Together website to receive notifications as more programs become available. Your contact information will only be used to provide alerts and updates about enrollment in Summer Together.

Did You Know?

I heard about the Town Halls that happened this past week—where can I access the information?

Over 1,300 attendees participated in the virtual Return Safely Together Town Hall for PK-5th Grade families on March 17, sponsored by 2nd District PTA, Parents for Public Schools, and SFUSD, to address questions from elementary grade families. Check out this video playlist that includes all the questions and answers from that event.

Don’t miss the Zoom recording of the March 22 event, where families of students who receive Special Education services, staff and community members gathered for a community meeting to discuss the return to in-person learning for students.

Bright Spot

At SFUSD, we’re all about personalizing learning for students. Hear from four SFUSD teachers about what they've learned about personalized learning and how that connects to developing SFUSD's Graduate Profile skills with their students. Many teachers report they have strengthened their personalized learning skills throughout this year of distance learning. 

Warm regards,

Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews