Be Well Chronicles

The SFUSD BeWell Chronicles

Volume 03 | Fall/Winter 2019

Are you making time to #BeWell, SFUSD?

Happy Winter! The SFUSD Wellness Policy Team has started the year strong with a several big projects, including a Hydration Station Installation Project, and all SFUSD departments are working hard with Wellness initiatives that support the Whole School, Whole Community and the Whole Child (WSCC) model so all our students are safe, healthy and ready to learn. We are also looking forward to partnering with more community partners (like the San Francisco Giants' Garden with Chef Bryant Terry, pictured above!) to create environments and communities that uplift all our students.

In this newsletter: 

  1. Hydration Station Installation
  2. Student Nutrition Services Update
  3. Healthy Choices Americorps
  4. Elementary Health Advocates Wanted!
  5. WSCC Overview
  6. Wellness Policy Programming

Be Well,
The Wellness Policy Team

Hydration Station Installation in Schools


The Wellness Policy Team is excited to increase and improve water access for our communities via the installation of more than two dozen lead-free water bottle refilling stations at our schools. Revenue from the Sugary Drinks Tax (i.e. the Soda Tax) will be used to install hydration stations schools that serve our students with inequitable health disparities, beginning with McLaren Early Education School, Weil Early Education School, Rosa Parks Elementary School and Francisco Middle School. We have also partnered with San Francisco's Recreation and Parks to install a public-facing Hydration Station at McLaren Bike Park, which is used by both McLaren students and the public.

With the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child in mind, we have partnered with many SFUSD teams: the Office of Sustainability, Special Education Department, Health Advocates, Oral Health Workers, Nurses, Social Workers, Wellness Centers, Health Education Action Team, Family Engagement Team, Afterschool Department, Physical Education Department and Student Nutrition Services Department, etc. in order to support school communities to better understand how water access affects our bodies, our communities and our Earth.

Check out the SF Examiner article about our work, and stay tuned for more updates.

Happy Hydration!


Student Nutrition Services Update


Everyday, Student Nutrition Services nourishes students with food that enables them to live healthy lives and thrive inside and outside the classroom.

SNS is moving towards more freshly prepared food in the district. The new kitchen at the McAteer campus has opened! The kitchen will serve our Early Education sites, the two high schools on campus (The Academy and Ruth Asawa School of the Arts), and select elementary schools as part of our pilot to create fresh meals in-house and distribute across the district.

SNS is also focusing on sustainability. They have eliminated straws and are piloting bulk unwrapped utensils in a move towards eliminating plastic wrapped sporks. Through a partnership with Straus Family Creamery, local, organic milk dispensers have been piloted in 6 schools beginning this fall.

Look out for more upcoming initiatives in the upcoming months, and r ead more on the Student Nutrition Services blog !

Nutritious Nourishment!


Healthy Choices AmeriCorps

The Healthy Choices AmeriCorps program offers a unique opportunity for community members to get training, support, and hands-on experience to help meet the needs of the whole child. AmeriCorps Member support Mentoring For Success and other positive school climate activities on campus. . An AmeriCorps Members from the 18/19 school year described his experience this way:

" What I learned was that the students in this school had all been affected by a system that failed them throughout their lives. I had to learn to be flexible in the implementation of the SFUSD mentoring model. I took this as an opportunity to develop the Student Leadership Committee, a program designed to introduce student voice into the function of the school. By introducing service and advocacy to student leaders, they would feel a sense of ownership over their community--a powerful feeling for students who have continually been silenced. My AmeriCorps year of service has shown me that I have a craving for making an impact upon under-served youth. I have learned invaluable skills about youth engagement, program planning, and systems work. My goal is to continue in a career where I will strive for the development of programs that empower youth who have been silenced throughout their lives. " 

Mentoring For Success is excited to be hiring 20 AmeriCorps Members for the 19/20 school year! To learn more or to join our cohort, check out our  Healthy Choices AmeriCorps position description   or go to  EdJoin to apply as an AmeriCorps Fellow   .

Healthy Choices AmeriCorps!


Elementary Health Advocates Wanted!   

Are you passionate about Health and Wellness? Do you want to help make your site a healthier place for your school community? Please consider being a Health Advocate at your site!

Health Advocates (HAs) are school-site based adult (certificated or classified) role models at our elementary sites who are motivated to lead a culture shift around health and wellness for staff, students and families. HAs are equity-minded and community-oriented cheerleaders who encourage small successes around the Wellness Policy and the Whole Child model. We are still looking for Health Advocates at Lakeshore, Malcolm X, Jose Ortega, New Traditions, Visitacion Valley and Yick Wo - if you are interested, please contact us!

See the job description for more information, apply to be a Health Advocate on our Google Form or email Karen Tiu at with questions.

Meet our 19-20 Health Advocates!


Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model

bewell WSCC model

The SFUSD Wellness Policy operates from the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model, which provides a framework to understand how the health of a child is linked to the health of the school, which is inextricably linked to the health of the community. Developed by the Center for Disease Control, the WSCC model calls for greater alignment and integration at the school-, district- and community- level to improve each child's cognitive, physical, social and emotional development. Our belief is that education and well-being are inalienable rights of each and every student and family in San Francisco. In creating healthy school environments, we hope to nurture strong and healthy bodies, and thus, build resilient communities.


Wellness Policy Programming

...a partial list of our current activities...


Students at Burton High School, June Jordan High School, and O'Connell High School are participating in The Bigger Picture Pilot , a collaboration with Youth Speaks, UC San Francisco's Center for Vulnerable Populations and the Wellness Policy. The project supports and inspires our young people to use their voices as vital tools to create spoken-word poetry and music videos about the intersection of health and social justice. See a video from a former student, Tassiana, here , and find more information about The Bigger Picture at their website. 


Staff Wellness Opportunity: SFUSD partners with the San Francisco Health Service System to provide health and wellness opportunities to all school district staff! School Health Programs staff will be participating in the next RECHARGE challenge, which is a 6-week program that will empower participants to manage stress and increase energy, focus and productivity. For the next month and a half, participants are invited to take time during the day to stretch and breathe, and will also have access to multiple resources on alleviating stress. To sign up, or to learn more about the program, visit the SF HSS website ! For questions, please contact


The students taking Ms. Passmore's Health class at Francisco Middle School are preparing to launch a new Project-Based Learning initiative that will culminate in a comprehensive student-led Water Promotion Campaign that will include posters, social media advertisements, water merchandise and commercials that promote water. In conjunction with the Beacon Afterschool program and School Health Programs, students will conduct investigations into their own definition of health, sugar's effect on our body systems, and the power of media on our choices. For more information, please contact our Project Lead, Vanessa Lieu, at .


High school students from The Academy - San Francisco @ McAteer, John O'Connell High School and Mission High School were hired as interns through FoodWise Teens. In partnership with CUESA, they will be bringing their school garden produce and handcrafted products to market. Through this paid job training program, teens build skills to sustain healthy lives and a healthy planet! Look for them at the Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market and Mission Community Market, where they will be selling their school garden vegetables and flowers, rosemary salt, pineapple sage tea, and red cabbage kraut! More info at CUESA's website.


Nutrition Outreach Workers (NOWs) at Balboa High School have reconvened for the 2019-2020 school year! As part of the Peers United Under Leadership and Service (PULSE) Pathway, the Balboa NOWs begin with Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed as a starting point for understanding oppression and resistance, and then move towards action-oriented change as the school year progresses. They are focusing on investigating personal health and community health and looking at ways to promote and engage wellness at Balboa High school.


With Wellness Policy partnership and support, Ulloa Elementary School is the first Elementary School in SFUSD to mobilize a Ulloa Black Student Union (BSU) . The Ulloa BSU unifies Black students on Ulloa's campus to build student leaders and empower them to productively create and organize community within and outside of school, especially through a lens of health and well-being. The BSU has already presented to the Board of Education and the Soda Tax Committee about the importance of directing funds towards marginalized communities, and of making space for students, especially Black students, to create change for themselves. Stay tuned for more!       


We are excited to announce our Request for Qualifications for t he Sugary Drinks Distribution Tax (SDDT) Healthy Communities Grant. We are offering funding for community-based organizations (CBOs), faith-based organizations (FBOs), and/or private agencies to provide community-driven and equitable programming to our students, staff and families, and especially to our most historically marginalized communities. We are looking to provide service in the following four categories:

  1. Healthy Fundraising PlayBook Kit
  2. Alternative Rewards Playbook for Students from School Staff
  3. Physical Activity Strategies and Programming
  4. Work-Site Wellness: Role Model and Participate in Self-Care Opportunities

If you are interested in applying, please read our  RFQ Information   document to learn more about the background of the Wellness Policy, the SDDT, and our framework of action. The RFQ Contract Application can be found in the RFQ Information document. Applications are due December 20th.



Wellness Policy

SFUSD's Wellness Policy provides all schools and district offices a framework to actively promote the health and wellness of students, staff, and families. Our approach to well-being is aligned with the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model and informed via a racial equity schema. The policy is meant to inspire and empower a shift in culture and environment that will encourage our communities to make healthy choices.


View SFUSD's Wellness Policy!  |  Meet the Wellness Policy Team