Newsletter March 24, 2022

Weekly updates from SF Parents

🎉 A warm welcome to all of the new-to-SFUSD families! This week, a brand new cohort of SF families received their school assignment letters and are officially enrolling in our public schools; we’re thrilled to welcome them into our mighty SFUSD community.

 

We know this time is exciting for some, yet disappointing for others–many did not receive an assignment to a school they preferred. To those families: We are sorry, and many current parents know what you’re going through. And we also say to you: Stay optimistic! Eventually (after one or more rounds–including the fall round) most families end up with a school placement they feel great about. Do you have further questions or would like further guidance on what to do next? Email us at [email protected] and we’ll try to help.

 

Thanks to those of you who joined SF Parent Coalition last weekend as we celebrated spring enrollment in Golden Gate Park. We were joined by new Commissioners Motamedi and Weissman-Ward, and had a great time connecting current families with new families. Pics coming soon! 😊

 

Earlier this week we also announced our Parent Priorities Platform, timed to the first meeting of the newly composed School Board. [Note for the newbie families: we often abbreviate the Board of Education or School Board to “BOE”]. Parents are ready for a boring BOE, one that will effectively govern and focus on educating our children. These parent priorities were identified by our large and diverse network of families during the 2021-22 school year. SF Parent Coalition expects to see new and existing commissioners commit to leading in alignment with the priorities of SFUSD families.

⏰ Stay tuned for how you can help hold our leaders accountable to the Parent Priorities Platform.

 

School & Board News

 

The literacy audit is underway. You may remember some of our newsletters highlighting concerning reading outcomes for students and our call on the district to do more to improve literacy instruction at SFUSD, by incorporating evidence-based curricula and practices and ensuring consistency across schools and classrooms. An outside auditor, The New Teacher Project, is currently assessing what’s happening in our classrooms and will be reporting back to SFUSD and community with their recommendations for how to make adjustments and improvements that will boost our kids’ reading outcomes.  

 

Outdoor learning planning. At long last! SFUSD is taking on more outdoor learning opportunities for our students. Minus perhaps the unpredictable fire season, SF has the perfect climate for year-round outdoor learning experiences. Register for the April 5th Outdoor Learning Stakeholder Workshop with SFUSD to provide your feedback on how to allocate the $14 million from 2016 School Bond revenues designated specifically for outdoor learning opportunities at SFUSD school sites. RSVP here.

 

Masks no longer required at any SFUSD school or classroom, beginning April 2nd. Following updated state and local public health guidance to remove the school mask mandate, SFUSD is following suit and removing the mask requirement in all of its schools–including elementary sites–after April 2. Please remember to talk to your child about respecting mask choice; their peers will likely vary. Masking: okay! Not masking: okay, too!

 

Initial School Board meeting with the three new commissioners is mostly boring, minus one tense budget conversationTuesday’s BOE meeting started off by unanimously voting in Kevine Boggess as the new Vice President. Congratulations, VP Boggess! Not only was this the first in-person meeting that was open to the public in two years, but it was also the first board meeting of new Commissioners Hsu, Motamedi, and Weissman-Ward. A mostly quiet but substantive meeting, here’s what you need to know: 

  • The Pacific Islander PAC provided their update to the BOE, including highlighting concerns about COVID learning loss impacting our Pacific Islander students more than any other demographic. [Advocacy note: We hope to see the new BOE prioritize and address the COVID-related unfinished learning and mental health needs of our students, especially those most impacted.]
  • The Board unanimously approved the labor agreement with United Educators that addresses the payroll errors that have been plaguing teachers following SFUSD’s switch to a new payroll system. Thank you for all of your support to our teachers during this distressing payment fiasco; we hope it is resolved quickly and completely.
  • The Board unanimously approved the FY 2022-23 and 2023-24 Budget balancing plan. This was after a tense conversation between staff, Dr. Matthews, and a few of the board commissioners about if (or how) we can incorporate likely new state funds back into site budgets, restoring some of the recent cuts. Timing is a challenge: the state budget won’t be passed until the summer. March 15th was the deadline to notify staff of potential layoffs, and May 15th is the 2nd notice which confirms who is laid off. [Advocacy note: We will be calling Assemblymember Phil Ting, CA Assembly Budget Chair and our local AD19 Assemblymember, to find out if there’s anything they can do to speed up the process.] To SFUSD staff’s point, however, we will still need to reduce expenses overall to reflect current enrollment levels and adequately address our district’s structural deficit and to prevent state takeover.


Happenings

TONIGHT || Learn about MATH at SFUSD-Tonight 3/24 at 6:30! SFUSD parent and substitute teacher Kevin Robinson has organized a town hall on… MATH!… and it’s happening tonight! RSVP here to learn from Families for SF E.D. Patrick Wolff and HS teacher Elizabeth Statmore about flawed results in SFUSD math framework. Why was algebra removed from 8th grade and is it important enough at that level to be restored? Joining the panel will be Siva Raj and Autumn Looijen (SFUSD parent and co-leads of SF Board Recall), Kwesi Edwards (SFUSD parent and Board member of Foundation for CA Community Colleges), and Dr. Zulmara Cline (CSU Director of California Academic Partnership Program).

 

April 13th  ||  Parents Night Out — Meet the New BOE! 7:30pm. Make sure to RSVP for our next Parents Night Out, this one hosted by both SF Parent Coalition and TogetherSF, where we’ll be joined by special guests: the new BOE– Commissioners Hsu, Motamedi, & Weissman-Ward. It will be a great opportunity to get to know the new board commissioners, and we’ll also have a quick parent share-out from a few of you (no pressure–just a few of you who feel so moved!) on what our Parent Priorities Platform means to you. If you’d like to say a few words during this night out together about what you hope to see from our new school board, please let us know in advance by emailing Jennie O. at [email protected].

 

April 20th  ||  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.

 

GENERAL  ||  Parent Leaders Program. Are you interested in a parent leadership opportunity with SF Parent Coalition, or maybe an SFUSD committee or council, or even a City special council related to kids and families? We would like to get you more involved! Through our volunteer pipeline we’ve been able to lift up parents into important board and council roles. Maybe you’re next?! Email Jennie O. at [email protected] to find out more.

 

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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