September 9, 2020

September 9, 2020

Dear SFUSD Staff:

With new announcements every day about some schools opening to in-person instruction, we continue to get a lot of questions about when SFUSD will be offering in person. We are actively preparing our school sites, having discussions with staff and monitoring health data closely so that when data and science suggest it is safe to do so, we can begin to offer in-person options for students. 

School buildings are being utilized now in a variety of ways including as work spaces for educators who have requested a place to provide distance learning as well as meals and learning materials distributions.  The intent of distance learning is and continues to be to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission. The success of our reopening will depend on the behavior of our community members in observing the SFDPH’s guidelines now so that we can decrease the spread of COVID-19. 


Student Attendance and Participation Expectations During Distance Learning

As a reminder, when engaging in distance learning student participation and attendance can take multiple forms. Students are expected to actively participate in instruction, daily, as informed by their teachers. Participation will look a variety of ways and may include:

  • Attending a Zoom class, with or without camera on
  • Joining a Google hangout, with or without speaking
  • Participating in a group chat(s)
  • Direct email, call, or text with their teacher
  • Evidence of completion and submission of assignments.Assignments may be submitted via district-designated platforms, or via emails, photos, phone conferences, or other forms of documentation (as appropriate)

There may be points in time when teachers want students to demonstrate their learning (i.e state mandated assessments) and the instructor may ask the student to visually represent the skill with the video on. As is common in the traditional school setting, students, families and teachers should be in communication about expectations, questions and concerns regarding student attendance and participation.

Student Literacy Resources During Distance Learning

SFUSD has worked to provide a range of digital and non-digital literacy resources to students during distance learning. While we have many resources for students to take advantage of, we are working to layer on even more literary options in the coming weeks. Below is an outline of what is currently available to students and teachers to support literacy instruction.


Learn how to access these digital literacy resources in students’ Digital Backpacks.

  • To support foundational reading, we have RAZ Kids, which provides all TK-3rd grade and students in our special education program with access to digital, leveled texts. 
  • Students in 3rd-5th grade, also have access to Newsela, a digital database of high-interest, up-to-date articles that can be tailored to students’ reading levels.  
  • Additional leveled reading texts are available for students participating in reading intervention and students in English Language Development classes.
  • Hoopla provides opportunities for accessing authentic texts in a variety of genres and topics for all students (PK-12) and teachers.


  • To support beginning reading skills, leveled take home books are available for K-2 students. Students should have received multiple leveled texts during materials distribution.
  • Additional reading materials were also made available to support English Language Learners. 
  • All students should have received their SF Public Library card numbers via email on Sept. 1. Teachers and SFUSD librarians have begun helping students activate their cards in order to reserve print books from the “SFPL To Go” locations gradually opening around the city. In the meantime, students are able to choose eBooks from the library; our librarians are compiling lists of suggested titles that link students, via the digital backpack, directly to downloadable eBooks and audiobooks. 

To increase student access to library books, we are currently finalizing plans to establish three SFUSD sites as “SFPL To Go” locations. Look out for information about our Bookmobile by the end of September! The Bookmobile will deliver print books and materials to select SFUSD schoolyards twice a week.  

SF Loves Learning Season 2 Starts Airing Sept. 14

We will be airing an hour-long episode every weekday at 2 p.m. on KTVU Plus, aimed toward PK-2nd grade students. Enjoy and share this trailer for SF Loves Learning!

The show will provide daily culturally affirming academic, social emotional, movement, and creative content from SFUSD educators, students, families, and community partners. It will model SFUSD's Core values, develop students' Graduate Profile (life) skills, and provide opportunities to showcase their work.

How to watch SF Loves Learning:

  • On KTVU Plus on TV:
    • Broadcast Channel - 36
    • AT&T - 1006
    • Comcast - 6 / 706
    • DirectTV - 36
    • DISH - 36
    • WAVE - 92 / 201
  • On our website:
    • SFUSD will also post each episode on the same day it is airing on the SFUSD YouTube Channel by 2 p.m., which will be linked from the SFUSD website. You can find all past episodes on our website.


We encourage teachers to promote the show with their students and assign activities on Seesaw related to the show. We invite students with their family to submit work from the show using this media release form:


Teachers, family and community members, please share 1 to 5 minute content aimed toward PK-2nd graders you would like us to consider airing on the showlessons, activities, celebrations, greetings, stories, etc. Review this guidance document for tips on producing quality clips, then submit your content using this Community Voices Submission Form. We will let you know if we are able to air your clip on the show.

Technology Tips for Educators & Staff: Zoom, Google, YouTube & Seesaw


In less than two minutes, refresh yourself on Zoom safety and security with our Top 7 Zoom Safety tips video (1:44). If you’d like to learn more about Zoom and its safety features, you can watch a recording of our Zoom Security Basics webinar (17:18) or check out our Zoom for Educators playlist on YouTube.


Wondering if your students are getting lost in a YouTube rabbit hole? YouTube links take learners to a video’s YouTube page, with related videos, suggestions for what to watch next, and comments/discussions on that page, which can sidetrack even the most focused student!

Instead, try inserting the video into Google Slides. It can be part of a larger deck or just a single, stand-alone slide with your video. Then, to have students watch the video, give them a link to the slide or deck. If it’s a YouTube video, they just need “viewer” access to the deck to be able to watch it. If it’s a video you recorded yourself (saved in Drive, not on YouTube), you’ll need to make sure your students also have “viewer” access to the video file in Google Drive. Watch a video on how to insert a YouTube video into a Google Slides deck.

Need help with sharing videos via Slides? Visit any upcoming Digital Learning Team office hours listed on the district’s PD calendar.


Invite families to join your Seesaw class by clicking on the wrench icon in the upper right of your Seesaw class. Click on “Enable Family Access” and then on “Invite Families.”  Families can be invited by email or mobile number. Once they join, they can view only their own child’s work. This is a great way for families to stay involved with their student’s classwork.   

Remote Work Spaces

The UESF MOU included language to provide remote work locations to UESF unit members. UESF members were surveyed, and 662 responses were received. 325 educators have been assigned to remote work locations in one of 8 schools: Hoover, Burton, Everett, Lowell, Balboa, Wallenberg, Presidio MS, and Monroe.

We likely had some decline in interest due to location issues.  In the first week we had about 20 educators of the 325 offered spaces actually access their remote locations. Educators will be given 5 business days from assignment to activate their remote work placement. After the 5-day period, SFUSD may offer the assigned location and classroom to other educators who would be better served by the location.

This process is new to all of us. Thank you for your patience, feedback and support as we work out the kinks and respond to diverse needs!

To ensure that our remote work spaces are safe environments, a Site Captain is assigned to each site who is responsible to complete the 02.COVID-19 Safety Protocol for Site Captains/Administrators. A T10 is also assigned to the site to support the Site Captain.

Accessing School Sites for Remote Work, Distribution Events or Picking Up Items

All SFUSD employees are required to compete the 01.Asynchronous Module_COVI9_Safety Protocol-ALL SFUSD Employees prior to entering an SFUSD school site for any of the reasons below:

  • Assigned remote work location
  • Supporting a distribution event at a school site
  • Accessing a school site to pick up items

All staff entering the school site are required to:

  • Review the health screening questions before coming to work every day. If the answer is “YES” to any of the screening questions, you must stay home and inform your supervisor and Site Captain.
  • Check in with a security aide and complete the SFUSD Sign In and Health Screening Form upon arriving at the workspace site to record where you are working and where in the building you will be.

QTEA Innovation Award Application Now Open

Applicants for an Innovation Award to receive financial and coaching support to redesign a part of school in these times to more effectively reach and teach our students, particularly those least reached! The iLab has simplified the application and program to support schools through a rapid redesign process and funding to immediately implement ideas. For additional information and links to the application see the 2020-21 QTEA Innovation Award FlyerApplications are due on a rolling basis with the first application deadline on Sept. 15. 

Pressing Need for Volunteers to Deliver School Meals

We have a pressing need for SFUSD employees to volunteer as a delivery driver for students with disabilities and special dietary needs. Drivers pick up and deliver boxes of school meals to student’s homes every Wednesday. Sign up to drive!

Important Reminder: Please Encourage 100% of Families to Submit Forms

Families are now able to submit their:


Review for step-by-step instructions! Once a family submits their form, their information gets automatically saved in Synergy unless they have made updates to their immunization records. Submitted forms with updated immunization records are reviewed by School Health Programs (SHP) Staff before they get saved in Synergy. There is no need for schools to review or approve the forms. Since Sept. 1, we have received 2,680 forms! Run the HLT500 report to see who has submitted the form in your school. 


As soon as a parent/guardian logs in, they can answer “Yes” or “No” to these Family Rights forms in ParentVUE:

  • Technology Acceptable Use Agreement
  • Consent for Video Recording During Virtual Class
  • Media Consent 
  • Information About the Multipurpose Family Income Form

All the forms and instructions will be available in all six languages. Families may visit for step-by-step instructions. SFUSD staff may run the U-FP9: ParentVUE Acknowledgements report in Synergy to see who has completed their forms. 


Even if a child does not eat school meals, remind families we need them to submit a form to help secure classroom funding. Families can submit their form online at

Bright Spot

It may have been dark and dreary outside today because of smoke from the wildfires, but SFUSD staff still showed up today to deliver food to families throughout San Francisco. #WeAreSFUSD!

Family Digest

Read today's family digest.

Warm regards,
Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews

This page was last updated on September 10, 2020