March 3, 2021

March 3, 2021

Dear SFUSD Staff:

Thank you for all that you’re doing. We are making progress on our plans to return to in-person, and will be sharing more updates as soon as they become available. Getting vaccinated is one of the most effective preventative measures in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives, and we encourage all staff to get vaccinated. Please keep reading today’s digest for information about vaccines and more important updates.

Return Safely Updates

SFUSD is committed to reopening as many schools as possible for in-person instruction as soon as all the necessary and agreed upon conditions are met. Here are some current events related to the preparation process: 

  • On March 2, San Francisco was reassigned by the State to the red tier based on COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates.
  • SFUSD is implementing a staff vaccination program per the health and safety agreement with labor unions. SFUSD continues to work with the City to expedite vaccinations for all staff members who are critical part of the District’s return to in-person learning. Today SFUSD sent personalized priority access codes to 2,650 staff. For more information about vaccines, see the Did You Know Section below.
  • SFUSD is making steady progress to prepare facilities so our youngest learners can return to in-person learning:
    • Reopening applications for Wave 1 schools have been approved by the San Francisco Department of Public Health (DPH).
    • DPH inspections for Wave 2 schools will begin on March 5, and preparations for Wave 3 schools are underway.
  • At the March 2 Committee of the Whole meeting with the SF Board of Education, SFUSD provided Return to In-Person Learning Updates, with the following highlights:
    • SFUSD is planning outdoor in-person learning options to complement indoor learning by exploring usage of schoolyards and SF parks (slides 14-21).
    • SFUSD is partnering with the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) to increase the number of facilities for DCYF Hubs to provide in-person learning for elementary students in the Summer, and to middle and high school students starting in the Spring (slides 22-23).
    • SFUSD proposed an updated instructional plan with a “blended schedule” for secondary schools to minimize disruption, maintain existing relationships and schedules for focal student populations (slides 24-35)
    • SFUSD will be offering extended learning opportunities such as summer school, internships, and end-of-year activities for middle and high school students (slides 41-44).

COVID-19 Vaccinations

Vaccinations are one of the most effective preventative measures in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives. As of Feb. 24, individuals who work in education are eligible for vaccination in San Francisco. 

Staff do not have to use sick leave, and can get vaccinated during work hours with no loss of pay. In the unlikely event they have a reaction to the vaccine, staff may take up to five days of leave without using sick leave or leave accruals to recover. Human Resources will be publishing a list of Frequently Asked Questions related to implementation of these policies in this week’s LEAD’s Bulletin and next week’s Leader’s Digest. 

SFUSD continues to share information on vaccination opportunities with staff and is working to help facilitate quicker and easier access to appointments. 

Staff are encouraged to get vaccines through any number of providers. Check myturn to make an appointment.

Distance Learning Updates

School Social Worker Appreciation Week

National School Social Worker week will be celebrated from March 7 - March 13, 2021 to focus public attention on the unique contributions of school social workers. In SFUSD, school social workers are essential. They seek to ensure equitable education opportunities for all students; ensure that students are safe, healthy and ready to learn; and promote respect and dignity for all students and families. Here are a few ways to celebrate your school social worker this week:

  • Send them a personal thank you note. Consider mentioning specific examples of why you appreciate them.  
  • Promote thank you/appreciation notes to your School Social Worker from members of your school community.
  • Encourage cards/drawings or virtual messages from students (individually or as a classroom group); “This year you taught me …”, “I appreciate my School Social Worker for …”

SF Loves Learning

Would you like to use SF Loves Learning videos and Seesaw activities to support Science instruction? Check out New lessons, songs, movement, and read alouds in this deck: Learning and Growing: The Needs of Plants and Animals.

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 Pushes and Pulls. Check out these segments that are airing this week:

If you’re planning for next week, the Science theme is Light. Here are two segments on Monday, March 8th:

  • How are shadows created? (Daily lesson): Maestra Meza has a problem. She wants to make shadow puppets but doesn't know how! We explore different light sources that help us make shadows. 3/8/21
  • When Our Sun Hits Our Spot (Music): The song is about light, focusing on our sun.  The video discusses why light is important to living things and mentions other sources of light such as candles and electric lights. 03/08/2021

You can find the rest 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 adopt 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

Extended meal services at Mission High School Grab & Go 

Now Open 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

  • Starting Tuesday March 9, the Grab & Go meal service at Mission High School will be open 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. on all service days. All other locations remain the same.
  • An updated list and map are posted on

P-EBT Deadline Extended to March 10

Did you know that 49% of SFUSD students are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals? These students are also eligible to receive P-EBT. Share this message with families:

Pandemic-EBT: Two Steps to Take

California is getting ready to issue Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) benefits for the 2020-21 school year. Eligible families can receive a P-EBT card with funds to purchase food while school buildings are closed.

To receive P-EBT, review the following before March 10:

  1. Ensure your children are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. If you haven’t already, update your household income information online by submitting the Multipurpose Family Income Form. 
  2. Ensure your mailing address is correct. Check which address you have on file or update it by completing the Emergency Card form online in ParentVUE.

The State of California will mail cards directly to families April through June. 

Learn more:

Did You Know?

Getting vaccinated is one of the most effective preventative measures in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and saving lives.

Are SFUSD staff getting vaccinated?

Yes. The City of San Francisco is currently vaccinating healthcare workers, people 65 and over, and people who work in education, childcare, emergency services, and food and agriculture. The vaccine will be available by appointment at high-volume and community sites, certain clinics, and pharmacies.

As of Feb. 24, 2021, SFUSD staff are eligible for the vaccine. SFUSD is working with the City to expedite the process of getting a vaccine for staff members who are a critical part of our return to in-person learning.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines safe?

Yes, they are safe and effective. Learn more from the CDC about the benefits of getting a vaccine (Español | 简体中文 | Tiếng Việt | 한국어). 

Sign up to be notified when it's your turn to get a vaccine. Learn more in this FAQ.

Resource Highlight

Weekly Engagement Log Updates

Two new features are available to simplify Weekly Engagement logging.

  • Seesaw Support for Weekly Engagement Logs - Teachers who use Seesaw as their primary learning management system may now enter "In Seesaw" or "See Seesaw" in the assignments tab. The Department of Technology (DoT) has been able to work with Seesaw to obtain an auditable extract of assignments for each week in the 2020-21 school year. With this upgrade, teachers can refer to digital records in Synergy Gradebook, Google classroom, or Seesaw.
  • Mass Update Weekly Engagement - There is a new “Mass Update Weekly Engagement” screen in Synergy which allows office staff to mass update the Weekly Assignment and Daily Participation Details in TeacherVUE Weekly Engagement on behalf of teachers. This function loads the attendance and gradebook data already in Synergy into the Weekly engagement log. (Note that this should load all participation data, but can only load assignments in Synergy Gradebook.) This should make it faster for teachers to generate and sign the Weekly Engagement Log.
    • Office staff are asked to mass update their school site’s Weekly Engagement Logs every Friday after the attendance has been submitted for their school site. Office Staff: Review the steps on How to Mass Update Weekly Engagement LogsIMPORTANT! Do NOT check the “Unlock signed weekly engagement reports” to not update any previously submitted reports by teachers.

Tech Tips

Seesaw Tech Tips!

Check out these popular Seesaw Block Boards with your students: 

Learn more about getting started with Block Boards with this Introduction to Block Boards.

Bright Spot

Around the world, millions of people celebrate Women’s History Month in March. Our schools get a head start in celebrating Women’s History and gender diversity by offering opportunities year-round. Find inspiration from some of the ways SFUSD schools have celebrated in recent years.

Warm regards,

Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews