It’s 2023… What can parents expect from SFUSD & the BOE? (January Newsletter)

Weekly updates from SF Parents


Happy 2023, SF Parent Coalition community! What’s on your wishlist for this year? Here are some things on ours:

  • SFUSD’s follow through on their literacy commitments. Plus: We’d like to see schools supplement reading instruction with additional reading supports between now and the literacy program overhaul, which will require years to be fully implemented. [Calling on all outside philanthropists reading this newsletter…]
  • A continuation of the new style of a student-centered, boring Board of Education. Remember the days when national and international media couldn’t get enough of our School Board-gone-rogue? Let’s not return to that this year. (Or ever).
  • An end to deficit-spending. We need to fix our budget so we can maintain local control of our schools. We’re keeping a close watch on the budget front, and you should, too.
  • A solid plan from the High School Task Force that will improve opportunities across all of our district’s high schools and lead to an increased percentage of students who are graduating career- and college-ready.
  • An outside evaluation of math instruction at SFUSD with a goal of improving math outcomes across all subgroups, especially with a focus on reducing racially-predictable student outcomes.

Bottom line is, there’s much work to do and we need all parents and supporters to keep paying attention. What we do here matters. It’s almost time for our annual parent survey, please keep your eyes peeled for that in one of our next newsletters. We want to hear from you!


If you haven’t joined one of our monthly meetings for a while, please join us later in January. This month’s conversation will be focused on SFUSD school buildings and grounds, with special guest Dawn Kamalanathan, Head of Facilities for SFUSD. Thursday, January 26th at 12pm, via Zoom. Bring questions! And RSVP today.


Enrollment season: Tell your friends to GO Public!

Don’t forget to tell a friend–or five!–to enroll their kiddo at SFUSD, if they’re in that phase of life. Our public system gets a lot of press for the adult/politics wackiness, and we understand why, but when you focus on the actual schools and teachers and instruction, well… [hearts-bursting-emoji].


Check out what some parents and kids have to say about why they love SFUSD, in the video above. (Bonus points: Take 2 minutes to post the video to your FB feed along with the enrollment link: Go ahead, we’ll wait!! ……🕰)

We’d like to say the Board of Education is getting off to a student-centered start for the new year. We truly hope that is the case for the first meeting of the year, this Tuesday, January 10th at 6:30pm. Don’t forget to call in or attend at 555 Franklin St. in person. Make public comment if you feel inspired. Agenda can be accessed here, and the TL;DR summary follows below.


Let’s start on a positive note: 

  • Good governance on the agenda! A discussion of board rules and procedures. Parents should hold Board members accountable to the norms and expectations outlined in Board Rule 9005.
  • Workshop on student outcomes. It’s encouraging to see the transparency with which Superintendent Dr. Wayne is setting out the year’s major action items, and that the Board will be led through a mock Goal Monitoring session.

On a less cheerful note:

Jenny Lam’s presidency is being challenged, and she may be ousted. Lam has only served a partial term so far, and has done quite an amazing job, if we may say so. She ascended into the role to fill the incomplete second term of Gabriela Lopez, post-recall election. In just a short nine months, Lam, a current public school mom, has done phenomenal work turning things around for our School Board, starting from a place of utter dysfunction to a place of effective governance. She created a collegial atmosphere where the conversation has shifted to a focus on student learning and student outcomes.

Other commissioners are now vying for her post. Kevine Boggess and Matt Alexander are trying to rise up to the two leadership seats, and Jenny Lam may get pushed out. It’s our understanding she’d like to serve her first full term, and given the great job she’d done, it’s hard to understand why she’s being challenged.

We’re left here wondering: Are the three leadership changes of the last 10 months not enough for this Board, that they would want to bring on a fourth? We expect to see some try to disguise this action/takeover as “good governance / good succession planning.” This seems disingenuous given that Alexander himself voted for and helped elect Gabriela López to a second consecutive term of presidency.

It’d be a shame to see adults put themselves before what’s best for SFUSD and its 50,000 students right now: stability, and a focus on student learning. We hope we’re wrong but it’s possible that 2023 will bring a reversal from the recently kid-centered board to, once again, an adult-centered one.

We’ll keep you posted, and don’t forget to tune in on Tuesday at 6:30pm (PW: 321374).

One of our parent leaders over at Cesar Chavez Elementary is studying to become a parent coach. Jonathan Sanchez is enrolled in a Parent Coach Certification program, currently on his second phase of training. He’s seeking a “practice client” for guided practice with a parent/guardian. If you are interested in 10 free sessions with Jonathan to have support, strategies, and tips from parent-to-parent peer support, please email him to learn more about this opportunity. Jonathan is bilingual in Spanish and can work with English- or Spanish-speaking parents/caregivers.


Three actions for you this week:

  1. Attend an SFUSD literacy focus group (Tuesday 1/10 from 12-1, 1-2, or 530-630). RSVP here.
  2. Call into the Board of Education meeting and public comment to express support for district STABILITY and electing public school mom (Jenny Lam) to her first full term of presidency. (Tuesday 1/10, 6:30pm, Zoom / PW: 321374)
  3. Ask your school PTA/O if they’d like to partner with Refuse Refuse to organize a cleanup around your school. Refuse Refuse is a grassroots volunteer campaign dedicated to clean and healthy neighborhoods. They collaborate with schools to help them implement cleanups for their community. In partnership with the Department of Public Works, supporting PTAs/PTOs to establish and maintain cleanup programs. Please email Vince Yuen to learn more.





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SF Parent Coalition centers the needs of children and youth in San Francisco public schools by bringing together a diverse network of parents and caregivers to advocate for a thriving, equitable school system. Join as a member, volunteer, or donate to support our work!  SF Parent Action is our affiliate organization that empowers public school parents in San Francisco to advocate for policy change and local candidates who support public school families and students. (  

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