On behalf of this organization’s executive board, we have a big announcement to make: Decreasing the Distance is soon officially relaunching as San Francisco Parent Coalition.
If, like me, you found hope in this community and our advocacy this last year, please join me in becoming a member of the SF Parents network (it’s free!). My daughter spent part of kindergarten and her entire first grade enduring Zoom learning. It was devastating to watch her lose interest in school and to watch her emotional health suffer. Finding the like-minded community of Decreasing the Distance–and participating in our work to mitigate the harms of remote learning–made me feel empowered again. Being a member of our network means you are raising your hand on behalf of the voice of parents and children in all SFUSD decisions. You join an existing and diverse network of parents from across the city who are working in a wide variety of ways to improve public schools for students. And we’ve deliberately made our network membership free so that anyone who supports our mission and wants to get involved, can be, no matter their financial situation.
Please donate to support our ongoing work. The need is real. Up till now we’ve been powered solely by a passionate network of parent volunteers. Our parent volunteers are *a force*, but we need to formalize and build more infrastructure to strengthen and sustain this movement. If you’re able to, we encourage you to make a donation here. (A portion of our donations will also be set aside for our SF Parents Education Equity Fund, which will fund programs at SFUSD schools with the largest academic equity disparities.)
Why the name change? Decreasing the Distance was all about reopening SFUSD public schools. San Francisco was one of the last major US metropolitan school districts to reopen, even after public health authorities declared it safe. Two years of fighting for our kids taught us something: there has been an enormous void of parent advocacy in San Francisco, and our voices are desperately needed.
What are our priorities going forward?
- Fully reopen for all students, which includes full before/aftercare and sports/clubs/tutoring
- Addressing the negative impacts of over a year of school closures
- Focusing on the historical inequities in our district and how we can better close the achievement gap for all our students
- Actively shaping the future of the Board of Education. Without a strong Board of Education to turn things around, our city’s public education system is at risk of a deeper crisis
We are humbled to hear stories of parents and families like mine, who found hope in our advocacy in over a year of remote learning. As we know all too well, students suffered significant learning loss, absenteeism, and mental and emotional health impacts for far longer than necessary. I was relieved to watch my daughter find her joy and love of learning again after getting back in the classroom, but I know many families are still struggling with the after-effects of unnecessarily prolonged isolation. If you were as aggrieved as I was to see the Board of Education prioritize politics over their moral and professional duty to our children, I invite you to join our network and keep up the fight. SF Parent Coalition looks forward to working with you to continue lifting parent voices and holding accountable this Board and district leadership.