Dear SFUSD Community:
I am reaching out to let you know that, after reviewing the best available evidence-based sources of guidance from health officials, and gathering input from staff, students, and families, we have determined that on August 17, 2020, our fall semester will begin with distance learning.
We hope to provide a gradual hybrid approach (a combination of in-person and distance learning) for some students when science and data suggest it is safe to do so.
We know our entire community needs to make plans since we are not opening for in-person instruction, so we wanted to share this news now, even as we are still finalizing more details.
Our team is developing a detailed plan of how we will improve distance learning and support families and students this next school year. This plan will be shared with the SF Board of Education on July 28 at 3:00 p.m. Feel free to participate in the Board meeting and also know we will share the most essential details with you on the following day, July 29.
I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has taken the time to ask a question, share their thoughts, and participate in the process of planning for the fall. I know it takes longer when we involve so many people in weighing in, but it is critical that we do so as this will assist us in creating the most effective plan possible. We have heard from many in our community and continue to gather more feedback. Some themes have been consistent and clear; here are just a few:
- The health and safety of students and staff is paramount.
- Our students benefit most from in-person instruction and community members would like to see a creative approach and collaboration with other agencies to at least bring back students most in need.
- Since we must continue with distance learning for at least the beginning of the school year, we need to support our teachers, students and their families with more remote learning curriculum and more ways for students to connect with other students as well as their teachers and other caring adults.
- Students and their families need consistent access to technology and the internet as well as the support and training to learn about how to use SFUSD’s various online platforms.
SFUSD is planning to distribute additional technology to students who did not receive it last spring, including new students to SFUSD, exchanges and replacements, and rising 3rd graders. We are also exploring how technology access can be provided to PK-2 students in the fall, pending available funding. We’ll be sharing more details about this and many other things in the coming weeks.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us in so many ways. There is a range of viewpoints regarding the best course of action. I want you to know we are listening and I am grateful to be part of a community that cares deeply for all children. I look forward to continuing to work together.
Superintendent Dr. Vincent Matthews