SFUSD Insider - October 2021
Dear SFUSD Colleagues:

We have faced a lot of challenges together, we will continue to tackle them together and we also know there are more ahead. I have always been transparent with you and I will continue that transparency. Today, I want to share a very high level budget update with you. 


Even before the pandemic, SFUSD was facing a structural deficit.  That means that there are a number of factors contributing to SFUSD’s expenses exceeding its revenue.


School districts receive the bulk of their funding through the state’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). The formula provides districts with a certain amount of funding per student.  


In SFUSD we are seeing a decline in enrollment, which results in a decrease in revenue. In addition, our costs continue to significantly rise - current employee and retiree benefits, salaries and programs that serve our highest need students are just a few areas where costs have increased by tens of millions in recent years. 


Fortunately, this year SFUSD received millions in state and federal COVID relief dollars that could be spent on where we most needed it. The majority of these funds are going toward stabilizing staffing positions to prevent layoffs and staff reductions. Significant funds are also going to support expanded summer and after-school programs, new online learning programs for students who are medically fragile, COVID testing for students and staff and other COVID-related expenses. 


These new state and federal funds may only be short-term relief for an ongoing structural deficit facing SFUSD and many other California school districts. 


The magnitude of this challenge warrants a strategic, priorities-based approach and we are working diligently with our community and the SF Board of Education to plan. We are guided by our shared mission, vision and values as well as collaborative planning processes at the school and district levels.

In Community,

Dr. Matthews

Featured in this month's Insider Newsletter:
Marilyn Dunn, a white woman with blond hair, wears a red plaid mask.
Marilyn Dunn, Secretary at SF Public Montessori, Wins RAVE
Marilyn Dunn, Secretary at SF Public Montessori, was nominated for her student-centered approach in school.
According to her nomination, Ms. Dunn always puts families first and is welcoming to all families. During the pandemic, she never slowed down and supported students by checking out laptops, answering phone calls, delivering supplies to families if needed, assisting with family wellness checks, and more.
Two hands hold a card that reads "The mask must cover your nose and mouth"

Students Become Leaders in Safe Masking

El Dorado ES started a mask ambassador program to support mask wearing throughout the school day! Students love taking on leadership roles to remind and teach their peers how to properly wear a mask. Students were even featured on ABC7 News for their advocacy and keeping their community safe.
Hands meet in the middle each wearing LGBTQ purple bracelets.

SFUSD Libraries Launch Open-Air Reading Rooms

This fall SFUSD Libraries have been turning neighborhood streets into open-air reading rooms! On Sunday, Oct. 17, they'll be participating in Phoenix Day, a citywide family-friendly celebration with block parties, music, performances, and more. Look for them on Valencia Street, near 20th St, from noon to 5pm.
Student Ambassadors react to renderings of what the student experience could look like at the Hub.

Students Provide Input on Mission Bay Hub

A group of 11 students spent two days together to launch their year helping inform the design and plan for the new Mission Bay Linked Learning Hub. As a building, the Hub is scheduled to open in Fall 2025 as part of the new Mission Bay campus, but plans are to start offering programs in Spring 2023.

Open Enrollment for 2022


You should receive your Open Enrollment packet in the mail soon. In the meantime, visit sfhss.org/oe2022 to learn about your benefits and rates.


Oct. 1 - Oct. 29 at 5:00pm PST

Filipino American History Month


Every October is another opportunity to celebrate Filipino American history together as a community. This month's theme from the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) is "50 Years Since the First Young Filipino People’s Far West Convention." At SFUSD, our schools offer lessons and other activities to honor Filipino history and culture. 


October 2021

Students participate in a Filipino Hat Dance

Digital Agency Week


SFUSD is celebrating its sixth year participating in Digital Agency Week focusing on teaching students how to use technology responsibly, ethically, and respectfully. Throughout the week in schools across the district, students, staff, families, and community partners will be engaging in learning activities such as model lessons and collaborative games that proactively raise awareness of safe and appropriate online behaviors. Through your partnership and the dedication of SFUSD teachers, SFUSD has become the largest public school district in California to be Digital Agency Certified by Common Sense Education!


Oct. 18-22


​New COVID-19 Testing Site for SFUSD Staff


SFUSD will launch a new COVID-19 testing site in a parking lot near the Crocker Amazon sports complex, located at 799 Moscow Street and Geneva Street. The site will and have the capacity to administer 150 tests per day and exclusively serve SFUSD students and staff who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or are considered a close contact of someone who has a positive COVID test.

  • Opens on Tuesday, Oct. 5, with operating hours of 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays.
  • Walk-ups are encouraged, appointments are not required, and test results will be available within 24 to 48 hours.

Personalized Tech Training for Staff


Trying to learn one of SFUSD’s digital learning tools? You can schedule a personalized 30-minute session with a trained technology volunteer on Chromebooks, Google Classroom, Seesaw, and many other tools in the Digital Backpack.

Student and Family Services Division Office Hours for Staff


Student and Family Services Division Office Hours will be offered every other week through this fall. ​Office hours provide 15 minute consultation on Attendance, COVID Response, Tier 1 Supports, CCT Questions, Beacon-ExCEL After School Program, Counseling and Post-Secondary, and Clinical Consultation.

Teachers! Apply to the SFUSD Teacher Leader Fellowship ($2,500 stipend)


Are you interested in growing your leadership, facilitation and teaching practice? The Teacher Leader Fellowship is a 4-year paid fellowship to do just that. You will receive one-on-one coaching to help foster site based, equity centered, professional learning communities; engage in a monthly cross-site PLC with the other Fellows; and have the opportunity to develop your own facilitation skills working with a site team.


​The deadline to apply is Oct. 12, 2021.

Nominate a valuable employee today!


Do you know of any SFUSD employees (individuals or teams) who make a difference and are exemplary models of our core values?

Education is a people business – we are only as strong as the people who work with our students and keep our schools and offices open and running every day. This is an opportunity to recognize some of our many outstanding employees for their commitment to education, their skill, and/ or their willingness to go above and beyond on behalf of our students and our colleagues.


Read about your colleagues who have been nominated and those who have won a RAVE award. You can nominate any district employee or team for recognition (except for yourself or an entire school).

​Equity in the Classroom: Black teacher in SF's Bayview inspiring students, diversifying industry
Programs like SFUSD's Pathway to Teaching are helping to build equity in education by recruiting Black and Brown male teachers. Meet Codion Isom, a kindergarten teacher at Malcolm X Academy.
Watch on ABC7 News.
San Francisco Students Learn How to Manage Anxiety, Emotions
SFUSD schools like Daniel Webster ES are teaching kids to manage anxieties by offering students a lesson in emotions. Part of the curriculum includes mindfulness, which helps students learn the value of quietness and getting centered. 
Watch on NBC Bay Area.
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