New years 2022 Newsletter SFParents (English)

Weekly updates from SF Parents

Reflecting on 2021.

This was, well, quite a year. For our families. For our kids. For our school staff and educators, for our city. It’s pretty hard to believe that January 2021 was *only* twelve months ago; at this point at SF Parent Coalition it feels like it’s already been a lifetime. Together we’ve organized and empowered families, and we’ve pushed to give our children a voice by speaking up to elected officials in a city that so rarely puts kids first. Together we:


  • Built a network of over 4,000 families and family supporters and engaged hundreds of volunteers contributing thousands of hours of their time on so many impactful projects: writing informational pieces and op-eds; working with district staff and community partners; researching and advocating issues and policies at the state and local level; digging through School Board materials and providing talking points to families; and getting the voices of parents who have been ignored heard by decision makers.
  • Lifted up hundreds of personal stories of students and families of how they were struggling with isolation due to prolonged closures, getting families into the news, helping them comment publicly at Board meetings, sharing through social media, and emailing district and city officials.
  • Increased public pressure across the city, so that elected officials could no longer ignore the injustice of closed classrooms, through petitions, demonstrations, and more, becoming a group that would empower parents to hold SFUSD and city leaders accountable to putting children first.
  • Pushed to get schools finally open in April 2021. We’ve been told by insiders that if it wasn’t for our organized, parent political pressure, schools wouldn’t have opened at all last school year.
  • Helped pass the “5 Full Days by Fall” resolution, and rid other resolutions of the problematic stipulations that would’ve been disastrous for our kids, sending them back into distance learning.
  • Organized educational and informational events for families on important and timely SFUSD issues including afterschool access, literacy instruction, and the budget deficit.
  • Met so many great people. So many of us have formed deep relationships through our work together. We also started to gather in person as of June ’21—from weekend family activities to evening happy hours, getting to know each other on personal levels.💖 
  • Formalized our organization with multiple arms, including a nonprofit focused on educating and empowering a strong network of families across the city (SF Parent Coalition), and a sister political nonprofit focused on getting student-centered leaders elected to the School Board (SF Parent Action).


Ultimately, this year we discovered a void, and then we filled it. Together. THANK YOU for every moment you pitched in some help, called in for a public comment, or even just dialed in for an evening SF Parents Zoom.


We’ve changed the public school landscape in SF, and no longer can families be ignored. Don’t ever forget this year and how YOU helped change the equation. We sure won’t.


Welcoming in 2022.

We welcome in 2022 with open arms, despite the initial omicron curveball and what seems to be a bumpy start. We’re wishing all of you the chance to breathe and reflect on how far we’ve come during this COVID pandemic, and to remember what we’ve already gotten through. Delta wasn’t too long ago– and our schools did great! We got through that together, and we’ll get through Omicron, as well.


SF Parent Coalition is already making change happen for our students just one day into the new year:

  • Calling for (and working every angle we can towards) more testing access for students and staff,
  • Advocating (still) for a policy shift towards modified quarantine a.k.a. Test-and-Stay approach for our kids, and
  • Mobilizing parent volunteers to help distribute COVID test kit resources to SFUSD students. (See more and sign up below!)

You already heard from us last week on how we’re supportive of the return to school tomorrow (because yes, school closures are still harmful to students and because yes, SFUSD has the proper DPH/CDC-recommended mitigation measures in place).


If you can’t find a rapid test appointment at an SFUSD location, you can also try one of the many City locations. SFUSD highly recommends students get COVID-tested before returning, if possible. [And please don’t forget to get your kids vaccinated as the #1 protection measure.]


Ideally, we’d have more rapid testing available as we return to schools mid-Omicron surge. That said, testing isn’t a silver bullet either. [READ: Recent interview with local pediatrician and SFUSD parent, Dr. Adam Davis]


SFUSD is still waiting for its shipment of free Rapid Over the Counter (OTC) Home Test Kits for every student from the state (as per Governor Newsom’s December announcement); best estimate is they will arrive mid-week. After that it’s: Unpacking, repacking, distributing to sites, distributing to students. This is a BIG undertaking. SF Parent Coalition is partnering with SFUSD to help with this distribution and getting kits to kids, a.s.a.p.! We are calling on any and all parent volunteers (or supporters from the community) who wish to help. Join us! Learn more details and sign up here.✍ Won’t you volunteer with our ParentCorps? 😍


Don’t forget to RSVP for our upcoming candidate forum!

If you haven’t already RSVP’d for our upcoming Assembly District 17 Candidate Forum on Public Education, with David Campos, Matt Haney, Bilal Mahmood, and Thea Selby, please do now! ➡️RSVP here. Not something you’ve really been interested in or paid attention to in the past? That’s ok! There’s no better time than now to start learning more about why these elected seats matter to our public schools and to hear from candidates what they’ll be prioritizing if they get elected to office. This event is being moderated by KQED Marisa Lagos and Guy Marzorati, and co-hosted by TogetherSF, Second District PTA, and Parents for Public Schools-SF. We hope you’ll join us!

[NOTE: Due to changing public health guidelines around in-person events and indoor masking, we will be holding this event online-only].


San Francisco Parent Coalition (formerly Decreasing the Distance) 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. We envision a future where San Francisco is one of the best places in the country for children and youth of all races, socioeconomic backgrounds and abilities to grow up and get an excellent public education. We are a fiscally-sponsored project of Community Initiatives. We have a 501c4 political affiliate organization, SF Parent Action.