SFUSD Insider - November 2021
Dear SFUSD Colleagues:

We're approaching the holiday season and first, I must ask — how did it get to be November?! Second, I must take this opportunity, during this time of the year when we give thanks, to let you know how much I appreciate you.

Each day you show up and give 100% to our students, families and staff. Your job was challenging before the pandemic and the challenges have only multiplied since. I am in awe of the professionalism, dedication and creativity you bring toward solving problems, listening and responding to a range of perspectives and feelings and all the while staying true to our shared SFUSD core values and moving us closer to our Vision 2025.

I know it isn’t easy — please know you are appreciated.

In Community,

Dr. Matthews

Featured in this month's Insider Newsletter:
Marilyn Dunn, a white woman with blond hair, wears a red plaid mask.
Brian Chang, Teacher at Roosevelt Middle School, Wins RAVE
Brian Chang, a Physical Education Teacher at Roosevelt Middle School for over 20 years, was nominated for his fearless approach in school.
According to his nomination, Mr. Chang "spends countless hours dedicated to preparing thoughtful lesson plans that help students learn life lessons in PE. He also spends countless hours helping coach and mentor other new teachers.
"He has tirelessly dedicated himself to his teaching career on a daily basis, even during the pandemic. As an example, he continued to create fun and engaging exercises for his students that help them be physically/mentally active."
Photo of the cover of "Our History is Deeper Than What They Tell Us"

‘Our History is Deeper Than What They Tell Us’: A New Book by Young Authors from SFUSD

The book features contributions by students from Willie Brown Middle School, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academic Middle School, Civic Center Secondary School, and Mission High School, and speaks on the Black identity and experience.
Eric Harper poses for a photo with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background


“SFUSD gives me the opportunity to show my students San Francisco, and not just in a classroom.”
Eric Harper,
RSP Special Education and Outdoor Education Teacher,
Independence High School
Students help beautify a park.

Students from Downtown HS Program Thrive in Nature and Help Larger Community

Students in the Wilderness Arts and Literacy Collaborative (WALC) program volunteer at Heron’s Head Park and say they like helping the environment and the community, especially children.
CA Indian Pre-contact Tribal territories map

American Indian Heritage Month


SFUSD joins in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans. The Indian Education Program supports the unique educational and culturally related academic needs of American Indian/Alaskan Native students as it connects to their cultural, emotional, and social wellbeing in SFUSD. 


November 2021

Veterans Day and Fall Recess


All SFUSD schools and offices will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 11 in observance of Veterans Day.


SFUSD schools will be closed Nov. 22-26 for Fall Recess. Some PK and School Age OST programs will be open on Nov. 22 and Nov. 23. SFUSD offices will be closed Nov. 25 and 26

SFUSD logo

Board of Education Discusses Budget Balancing Plan


The San Francisco Board of Education is in the process of developing a budget balancing plan to address an ongoing structural deficit as expenses continue to grow faster than revenues to support all of the district’s schools, services and programs. Learn about future public meeting dates related to budget discussions with the Board of Education.

​Peer Support Program for PK-12 Teachers


Are you looking to continue the learning after a professional development offering? Are you and/or a group of colleagues interested in learning together?

The Peer Support Program (PSP) offers individualized and/or group facilitation and coaching for any area of interest in teaching practice. It is confidential, free, collaborative, adaptive, and open to tenured teachers with satisfactory and above performance evaluations.

School Staff Can Purchase Meals At School


Tired of packing food for work? Ran out of time to go off campus? Learn how to open an account so you can enjoy meals at work any day!

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).

Superintendent Matthews, Board President Lopez, Dr. Woolridge of UCSF and students at Malcolm X Academy engage in a Q&A about the COVID vaccine. Media are in the background.
Independence High School Pushes Passion Projects

Principal Anastasia Klafter has made every Wednesday passion project day, when students choose a course created by a teacher, based on something that instructor loves to do. Some students are making soap, with chemistry tossed in. Others are weaving textiles, which combines art and math. Klafter decided to offer bird-watching, which she’d discovered during lockdown.

Pathway to Teaching Helps Professionals Become Educators (in Spanish)
Cesar Chavez ES teacher Daniel Alonso has a degree in biology and dreamed of being a research scientist, but after learning about Pathway to Teaching he decided to become a teacher. The program made it easier for him to earn his teaching certification. The program is currently accepting applications for the 2022-23 school year.
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