Tuesday, October 28, 2014

SF middle school transforms cafeteria experience for students

By: Lyanne Melendez | October 24, 2014 | ABC Ch. 7

Original article

One San Francisco school is changing the cafeteria experience and how kids think about food.

The cafeteria at Roosevelt Middle School in San Francisco was just another place to eat, but now it offers students endless possibilities.

"It's just more fun, basically I guess you can say it's a more fun cafeteria," student Poppy Gallegos said.

There are different kinds of tables for all kinds of purposes like reading, socializing and just hanging out.

"There are so many different tables, it's hard to choose. My favorite is over the in the couches," said one student.

That area is called the chill out station, where kids can eat while trading Pokemon cards or ideas.

Read more at www.sfusd.edu

Friday, October 24, 2014

The next big thing in San Francisco - great public schools

Sylvia Yee | October 24, 2014 | SF Chronicle

Original article

From the Gold Rush days, San Francisco has been a city of entrepreneurs and innovation. It is home to some of the world’s finest cultural institutions and most savvy and creative businesses. At the same time, income inequality is growing faster in our city than in any other city in the country — more than 60 percent of our public school students come from low-income families, and this percentage is increasing. Our school district is one of the highest-achieving urban districts in the state, but it also has some of the widest student achievement gaps when race and family income are considered. We need to pull together and make our public schools the next big thing in San Francisco.

That’s why I was excited to see the launch of the One City campaign by the San Francisco Citizens Initiative for Technology and Innovation (sf.citi) and Mayor Ed Lee, encouraging tech employees to volunteer in our public schools. We must make sure that our schools give all our children a top-flight education so they can become the doers, thinkers and leaders that our city will need in the future. No one knows this better than the leaders at the San Francisco Unified School District. They have been hard at work to transform teaching and learning in our schools, and they need support from all of us to bring this work home.

Read more at www.sfusd.edu

Sunday, October 19, 2014

SFUSD is ready to be a digital district but it needs money

By: Laura Dudnick | SF Examiner 

Mike Koozmin/the S.F. Examiner
STEAM program teacher Jacob Aringo, left, speaks with
Hoover Middle School Principal Carline Sinkler as sixth-
and seventh-graders participate in the STEAM program
where on this day they were learning to create circuits.

Last school year, Grey Todd, a math and sciences teacher at Presidio Middle School, finally had enough computers in his classroom for each student. However, after spending nearly a decade gradually adding the machines, they were outdated.

"I started out eight years ago with a few computers in my classroom that I bought on my own," said Todd, who teaches sixth- and seventh-graders in the San Francisco Unified School District. "Last year, I had enough for a computer for each kid, but they were very old [and] running Windows XP, [which is] no longer supported by Microsoft."

Todd is not the only public-school teacher in San Francisco to see firsthand the lack of state and federal money for technology advances in the classroom. While recently allocated state funding provides every public school in The City with at least one cart of devices for taking the California's new online standardized tests -- a total of 4,646 devices districtwide -- fewer than 3 percent of public-school students in The City are issued personal technology devices to use during instruction.

Read more at www.sfusd.edu

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fascinating features of San Francisco’s old public schools

By Jill Tucker | SF Chronicle

San Francisco’s newest public school, Willie Brown Jr. Middle School, will have plenty of modern features. But back in the 19th and 20th centuries, the city built very different schools — structures with Italian tile, solariums, painted ceilings, chandeliers and even gargoyles. These are old-school schools with fascinating features. Five gargoyles sit atop the old Hilltop High School in the Mission, built in 1937. “Every school should have gargoyles,” said David Goldin, San Francisco Unified’s chief facilities officer. Here’s a sampling, clockwise from top left: Tiles surround the arched doors at Hilltop High ; a gargoyle looks out from the Hilltop roof; original blueprints for all the schools in the district are kept in an office in Nourse Auditorium, built in 1927 for the High School of Commerce; a water fountain in the I.M. Scott Building in the Dogpatch neighborhood. See more images online at www.sfchronicle.com.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

San Francisco Schools grapple with Common Core, new technology

By: Hana Baba | October 14, 2014 | KALW

Listen to the audio clip here

Note: The San Francisco Unified School District owns KALW's broadcast license. 
San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Richard Carranza has headed the City’s schools for the past two years. He came to San Francisco from Las Vegas where he was a superintendent. Before that he was a high school principal. As a child, Carranza started school speaking only Spanish, and says his success story strengthened his belief in equitable opportunities in education. As Superintendent in San Francisco, he is grappling with issues like teacher pay, the new common core standards, and technology.

Read more at www.sfusd.edu

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Computer science not just a game for S.F. schools

Jill Tucker | October 9, 2014 | SF Chronicle 

Photo: Paul Chinn / The ChronicleAngie Hoffman helps students create video games in a class at
Balboa High School. Zynga pays her salary and also bought half the computers.

The second-period students in Room 124 at Balboa High School are playing Pong as their teacher, wearing a homemade Pac-Man fabric skirt and red-glitter Converse sneakers, offers advice.

A few students have iPods plugged into their ears as they try to bounce the ball between two digital paddles.

They’re not goofing off. They’re in a college-prep computer science class, part of the school’s Game Design Academy and one that counts toward admission requirements for the UC and Cal State systems.

The course puts San Francisco at the forefront of a national trend to incorporate computer science into public schools — and not just as an after-school program or elective. It’s a shift in thinking: Computers aren’t just learning tools, they’re a bona fide course of study — and one with hot job prospects.

Read more at www.sfusd.edu

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Public Schools Get $2.8M Grant to Help Students Exposed to Trauma

San Francisco public schools have received a $2.8 million federal grant to help students suffering from trauma because they have been exposed to violence.

The U.S. Department of Education will provide the San Francisco Unified School District with $570,000 a year for five years as part of its Project Prevent grant. SFUSD will use the funds to support a school-based violence intervention and prevention program at schools in the Bayview.

“We are committed to ensuring all our students feel safe, healthy and ready to learn,” said Superintendent Richard A. Carranza in a statement.

Read more at www.sfusd.edu