Newsletter April 14, 2022

Weekly updates from SF Parents

This week marks one year since our public schools reopened for (some) students (some days of the week). It’s been an emotional few days, remembering what our kids and families went through, for far too long. We’re grateful to be in a different place now, and especially for how parents are still here–together–continuing this important collective advocacy for the kids. A city focused on its schools results in a city with thriving students.

School update

  • How’s your school community morale? πŸ˜€ 😐 😞 ? Parents have been sharing a bit with us about community morale at their schools. Some schools are resuming on-campus activities, student, family and community events, others have not yet. We know school community morale has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, and we want to hear how things are going for your school community. Please take 3 minutes to share how things are going. ✍
  • Online learning program changes for next year. SFUSD will open a new TK-8th Virtual Academy for the 2022-23 school year. The school will have a 500 student capacity with 17 teachers and 18 ancillary staff, including 3 SDC teachers. The school has a $3.89M budget.
  • Enrollment drop. The latest enrollment picture isn’t great. We lost nearly 5% of our students this past school year, falling below 50,000 students in our district. This decline doubled the previous year’s (2020-21) decline, which is troublesome particularly with how this impacts an already precarious budget situation. With each student that leaves SFUSD, our district loses >$10K of state funding. How do we rebuild trust in our district and attract families back to SFUSD? We’ll be having this conversation with more of you at upcoming parent and community events and meetings. 


Good governance update.

Starting with what we’re not celebrating: Tuesday night’s Board of Education (BOE) meeting did not need to be *8* hours long. Our school board needs to commit to shorter, more effective and efficient meetings.


But moving on to governance news worth celebrating: Last week the BOE began an ongoing series of governance trainings, thanks to the leadership of President Jenny Lam. [Today they are in FINANCE training!]


We reached out to a couple of the new commissioners to hear how its going. Commissioner Hsu shared that it was excellent, adding, “The facilitator led us to explore fundamental questions like: why do school systems exist, why do school boards exist, what should school board members do to help achieve good student outcomes, and how to recognize and distinguish inputs (programs), outputs (measurements) and outcomes (for students).” We also asked Commissioner Weissman-Ward how it went, who shared that she’s excited about the potential for positive shifts in governance and to engage in discussions around the importance of student outcomes-centered decision-making. She added, “The governance training highlighted and affirmed that we will only succeed in supporting our students and schools if we are intentional, thoughtful, and holding ourselves to clear and delineated accountability metrics.” πŸ‘


Tuesday (4/12) regular board meeting:

An emotional start, with students, families, & teachers begging to prevent teacher and staff layoffs, and families from Cobb elementary asking to rescind the kinder classroom cut. Public comment also included concerns about the omission of the Eid holiday from the SFUSD 2022-23 calendar.


During the Parent Advisory Council report discussion there was conversation around the LCAP (Local Control Accountability Plan) and how we as a district can engage more families in participating in that important process. The DELAC (English Learners Advisory) made four important recommendations, including principal and site leader trainings on family liaisons, and included specific desired outcomes in very clear and excellent presentation.


🚨 Budget update! The state financial analysis team (FCMAT) presented their latest report on SFUSD’s financial status, which identified SFUSD still in the “high risk” category. Though SFUSD has managed to budget for the next three years using a combination of cuts and one-time funds, FCMAT advised that we will fall short in later years due to a continued drop in enrollment and increased retirement benefits costs. The state advised that SFUSD needs to make important, hard decisions in order to maintain solvency, and was told to “live within your means.” Mr. Fine, our semi-permanent budget babysitter, explained that it’s critical for the BOE to have the mindset of downsizing over time. He warned: “Please, please, look down the road. This is a great district and it can continue to be. You can’t bring emotion into your decisions but you do have to deal with the emotion of those impacted.”


Pictured below: SFUSD School Board gets training in good governance, April 2022. πŸ‘

SFParents Updates

Last night  ||  Thank you for coming out to welcome the new BOE. A huge appreciation to the parents and community who joined last night for our special Parents Night Out with the new BOE commissioners! Hosted at TogetherSF’s cool space in Potrero, we had a great time getting to know Commissioners Hsu, Motamedi, and Weissman-Ward and to hear about their priorities for SFUSD (many of which lined up with YOUR parent priorities–woohoo!).


April 20th πŸ“†  ||  Literacy update & efforts to improve student outcomes, with SFUSD. 12pm via Zoom. In partnership with the SF Ed Fund, SF Parent Coalition is hosting a follow-up to our November conversation with SFUSD Deputy Superintendent for Instruction Enikia Ford-Morthel and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Priestly, focused on literacy instruction in our classrooms and the process underway to improve outcomes. RSVP–> here!


We’re hiring!  ||  SF Parent Coalition seeks a Strategy & Organizing Director and Community/Parent Organizer to join our small but growing team. Spread the word, or apply today!



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.

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