Newsletter August 19, 2021

Weekly updates from SF Parents

Welcome back to school! 🎉

It’s been a long journey to get here, and we hope that everyone has a fabulous first week and year.


Join SF Parents


Thank you to all of you for your activism and support over the last 18 months to get kids back in school at long last! This week has been a huge milestone, but the work is not over, and San Francisco Parent Coalition (our new name!) needs your help. If you haven’t already, please become an official member of SF Parents here. When you join (free!) or financially support the San Francisco Parent Coalition, you advance our collective ability to:

  • Fully reopen all schools, including before and after care, sports, clubs and other beloved student activities.
  • Pick up the pieces of the negative academic, social and health impacts of prolonged school closures on children, including the deeper impacts on long-standing inequities in the system.
  • Ensure that parents have a strong, independent voice within all future SFUSD decisions so that the kind of disastrous experience families have had with 15 months of closed schools never happens again.
  • Create a unifying vision and building support for a path forward to excellent San Francisco public schools for all kids.

School News

  • Health & Safety numbers. If you’re looking for the latest facts on COVID-19 cases in SFUSD schools and what this means and doesn’t mean, here are some key resources.
  • Bad Air + COVID-19. We woke up to another red sun day on Wednesday, and so many of you may be wondering what you can do to also ensure all kids are safe from bad air at school; and how it interacts with COVID-19 mitigation measures. Here are relevant resources. We strongly encourage you to work with your principal and other school site leaders to make sure your school has the information it needs to operate safely and smoothly, and to see if parents can help in the short term. We have been pressing SFUSD on this issue for months, so it’s great to see some steps forward (they’re sending out people today to assess the most problematic electric systems to see whether they can handle air purifiers at scale–yes, today), but we know the district still isn’t where it should be, and want to know what’s happening at your school. Email
    • Not your typical air purifier. If you are thinking about buying units directly for your school, note that SFUSD will be publishing specs on what schools really need in the next day or so via social media, and we’ll share out asap. What we’re hearing from the district is that typical off-the-shelf air purification systems are inadequate, including what many well resourced schools have already purchased. The ~$200 systems don’t cut it; what we need is more like a ~$2K system for every classroom to meet the specs. Once SFUSD finishes assessing electrical systems, the plan is to begin purchasing and installing units, in about two weeks.
    • Speak up for funding for all schools in need of indoor air purification systems. Call into the Board of Education Building & Grounds Committee meeting next Monday at 4 pm to support funding for proper filters at all schools; we’ll share out this link as soon as it’s available (it has yet to be posted).
    • Call/email your SF Supervisor to ask the city to help foot the bill. At ~$2K a unit for every classroom, across all schools, the numbers add up fast and SFUSD’s budget isn’t exactly in great shape. Let’s see if the City can help pitch in to solve this looming crisis asap.
  • Pajama protest over school time change. Upset about the time change at your elementary school, and the total lack of parent or teacher input? Some parents have reached out to us and asked us to share their planned protest. Learn more here.
  • Survey results. Thank you to everyone who took our Back to School survey over the last couple of weeks. Here are some of the key things we heard:
    • Widespread support of our stated goals for school year 2021-2022 (see above).
    • A growing desire to see SF Parents work with the district, schools and experts to address the problematic literacy curriculum at SFUSD schools. (Yes!)
    • Lingering concern over the prospect of additional school closures, and a strong desire for safe, open schools.
    • Widespread distrust of the Board of Education, and weariness with the lack of focus on kids at the decision making level.
    • A strong desire for a focus on equity. (Yes! See our equity statement here.)

SF Parents & Mission Food Hub Volunteer Opportunity!

Join us and volunteer to deliver food to families in need on Friday, August 27th, through our collaboration with Mission Food Hub, anytime between 10 am 2 pm.

Learn more and RSVP here.


Other News


Meet Us!

Our next monthly parent social (via Zoom) will be focused on a “Meet-and-Greet” of yours truly, the SF Parents Advisory Board. Come join us for an hour and hear about who we are, what this group is about, and what the relaunch will mean to the future of our work! When: Tuesday Aug 31st, 7:30-8:30 PM. RSVP here.


Forward to a friend!