Support Navigating SFUSD - Staff

What is this best practice area?

Families may need support in understanding how to navigate SFUSD’s services and resources, in order to make sure their children get what they need to be successful. Often, navigating SFUSD requires a lot of specific knowledge, such as knowing where to look, what to ask, who to ask, and how to make sense of what is being shared. 

Families need accurate and timely information to make timely decisions about what is right for them, and to know when and how to best advocate for their child. It is essential for staff to know how to support and guide families. 

There are major transitions as students and families move through SFUSD: from preschool to elementary school, elementary to middle school, middle to high school, and high school to college and career and beyond. There are also unique transitions that happen that staff need to be aware of and provide additional support. A few examples are a new foster care placement, a safety transfer or migrant families arriving in San Francisco and need to enroll their children in school. Staff support can make all the difference in smoothly navigating transitions.

Make this Best Practice Area Come to Life

1. Consider the SFUSD Navigation Process

2. Reflect on Major Transitions that Occur Throughout the Year

3. Consult SFUSD’s Updated Website for Resources

Consider the SFUSD Navigation Process

Consider the SFUSD navigation process and reflect on the following:

Reflect on Major Transitions that Occur throughout the Year:

Reflect on major transitions that occur throughout the year: students transition/enroll in and out of your school, between grades, and mid-year transfers between schools. 

  • What intentional actions does your site staff take to support families to navigate through these transitions? 
  • Start with your school’s care team, which may be the Student Assistance Program (SAP), the  Student Success Team(SST) or some other support team, to identify the top 20-50 families (depending on the size of your school) that may need help navigating your school and/or SFUSD, in general.
    • It is important to pair these families with a staff person who has established a relationship with them whenever possible.
    • For example, your school site could use regular staff meetings, professional development, SAP and SST meetings to identify students and families who may need support with the transition to distance learning. This approach ensures ALL students continue to learn and families and students get the supports they need as we pivot with distance learning. 

Consult SFUSD’s Updated Website for Resources

Consult SFUSD’s updated website for resources. While you may not be the content expert to provide the answers to a particular question from a family, knowing who, what and where to connect families is important for staff to know in order to best support families.

Other District Resources

The SF Shared Schoolyard Project is a partnership between the City of San Francisco, the San Francisco Unified School District, SFDPW, SFPD and San Francisco’s neighborhoods and communities and works to provide a place for children and families to play within walking distance of every child. is an online service directory that connects San Francisco’s children, youth and their families to local community services. This resource was developed by the Our Children, Our Families Council, a joint initiative between the San Francisco Unified School District and the San Francisco Office of the Mayor.

This page was last updated on June 6, 2022