May 12, 2021

May 12, 2021

Dear SFUSD Staff:

SFUSD has welcomed back 19,000 students to in-person learning, and will be welcoming an additional 565 students in Grade 12 to hybrid learning activities starting May 14, 2021. Connection, learning and health remain as our top priorities during the Return Safely Together effort. Please continue reading for more updates.

Return Safely Updates

  • 23 campuses have been reopened to secondary students in focal populations since April 26. Secondary students in focal populations who returned to in-person demonstrated improved attendance rates compared to those who chose to remain in distance learning. SFUSD remains committed to a full 5-day return to in-person learning for Fall 2021.
  • Due to staffing shortages for in-person learning we are making a concerted effort to recruit, hire, and onboard substitute teachers. Central office staff have also been deployed to support school sites and classrooms. 
  • SFUSD continues to observe health and safety guidelines with vigilance in order to slow the spread of COVID-19 during the reopening efforts. Our monitoring efforts have yielded 20 positive cases across all in-person school sites and grade levels and 14 cases reported by community members not teaching or learning in person. The COVID-19 dashboard is updated daily. SFUSD follows public health and districtwide safety protocols in the event of positive test cases, including notifications for families and staff who are impacted.
  • On May 11, SFUSD ratified a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with United Educators of San Francisco (UESF) for 12th-grade students to return in-person. The District is preparing for the return of 565 high school seniors who are not in focal populations, and have indicated that they are interested in limited in-person opportunities for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. Returning students have received a registration notification, and will be contacted by their school sites with more details. Review the Question of the Week to learn more about the Grade 12 Return to In-Person efforts.

As San Francisco has moved down into the Yellow tier, the SF Department of Public Health has updated its guidance for protocols and responses going into effect immediately. Please review and take note, especially if you are working in person. 

Quarantine and Isolation changes

  • Close contacts must stay in home quarantine for 10 full days after they were last in close contact with the person with COVID-19. 
  • Close contacts who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 do not have to quarantine after close contact with someone with COVID-19, as long as they are asymptomatic.
  • Close contacts who have had COVID-19 within the previous 3 months do not have to quarantine after close contact with someone with COVID-19, as long as they are asymptomatic.

With this new guidance, any staff or students who have been identified as close contacts and are on a 14-day quarantine may return to work immediately if they are fully vaccinated.

Testing changes 

  • Routine testing of asymptomatic staff and students, especially those who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, is not recommended. 
  • Per the Health and Safety MOU with the Unions of SF:
  • In the yellow tier, 20% of staff across the District should be tested every two weeks.
  • 20% of student testing stays the same

COLOR Testing schedules for student and staff testing will stay the same; however:

  • Staff who are fully vaccinated (two weeks after second dose) do not have to participate in testing
  • We encourage staff who have not received the vaccine to get tested regularly; school staff can test on their school's testing day. 

Reminder: Please help us plan by letting us know if you have been vaccinated. Fill out the SFUSD Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker - all information is confidential.

Distance Learning Updates

SF Loves Learning

SF Loves Learning invites you to explore NEW segments in our deck celebrating Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. Would you like to learn about experiments?? We have countless segments where students learn about experiments and experimenting! You can find all of our segments and full episodes on our website. Highlights from this week are below!

Help us help you: Can you fill out this four minute staff feedback form regarding any ways you have used the show or the show can support your instruction going forward?

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

  • Propagation (Lesson): Maestra Meza defines what propagation is for edible plants and shows us how to propagate a potato and cilantro. (May 13) Seesaw Activity 
  • Identity Song (Music): SOTA student, Lucas Buck, sings about the different aspects and parts of one's identity. (May 11) Seesaw Activity
  • Every Little Thing (Read Aloud): Bob Marley's songs are known the world over for their powerful message of love, peace, and harmony. Now a whole new generation can discover one of his most joyous songs in this reassuring picture book adaptation written by his daughter Cedella. (May 12)
  • Moving through the Life of a Star (Movement): Ms. Genoa answers a student’s question about black holes by moving through the lifespan of a star. (May 11) Seesaw Activity
  • Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month (Community): The month of May is Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Learn about some of the performing arts traditions from around the globe from Bay Area artists who share dance, music, and theatre traditions from the Philippines, China, Japan, Okinawa, Cambodia, Indonesia, Punjab and India. (May 12)

If you’re planning for next week, the Science theme is still Student’s Questions! 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

Resource Highlight

May 1 marked the beginning of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month! An SFUSD task force, including LEAD, SFCSD, Curriculum and Instruction, and school sites have put the finishing touches on a resource guide to support educators with their lessons this month. Check out the guide.

Tech Tip

Seesaw Updates

District-Funded Technology Applications for 2021-22 

  • SFUSD will continue funding technology applications that serve essential teaching and learning needs for summer and the 2021-22 school year.  Learn which applications will be centrally funded and supported on the Approved Digital Tools and Applications page.
  • New online learning applications requests are on pause for the remainder of the year in order to prepare these apps and others previously requested and approved tools and applications for summer school and the start of the 2021-22 school year. 
  • We will resume app requests, along with a new site-based process, after the start of the school year. 

Did You Know?

What is the purpose and intent of reopening in-person opportunities to Grade 12 students?

SFUSD is working on more opportunities for high school seniors who are celebrating this milestone in life to come together in the last weeks of school. We want to offer an opportunity for students to connect with other seniors before the end of the school year, including time for college and career assistance, tutoring/study hall, and/or wellness support. 

These opportunities will be offered to students who replied "yes" on the in-person survey sent to seniors and their families. These in-person activities are not related to in-person graduation ceremonies.

Why is in-person not happening every day for seniors who want to return? 

Returning students will participate in a hybrid schedule beginning May 14 and most will participate in at least three days of in-person learning before the school year ends on June 2. Scheduling considerations included staffing constraints –– high school teachers are also teaching remote students and nearly half of all student survey respondents chose to stay in distance learning. In addition to staffing, school staff considered planned end-of-year activities, including graduations and final exams. Seniors need to focus on successfully completing their final exams and turning in all of their assignments to graduate. 

For more information on 12th Grade Students Return to In-Person, check out these FAQs or this news release.

Bright Spot

Today is National School Nurse Day, and we thank our school nurses every day for all that they do. This past year we’ve faced a health emergency like never before and school district nurses have stepped up to support SFUSD students during this challenging time. 

Warm regards,

Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews