Talking about racism and hate and cultivating bias-free schools

From elementary school classroom circles to high school ethnic studies classes, across the district you can find daily examples of how we are fostering respect for diversity and helping our students develop their global and local identities.

Below is a brief summary of some of what you will see happening in SFUSD and resources for teachers and parents to consult as they discuss recent events in Charlottesville and beyond with children.

Social-emotional learning

Social-emotional learning (SEL) helps students develop their ability to identify and manage their emotions and teaches children ways to get-along with other and develops their ability to identify and manage their emotions. All K-8 students in the district participate in a research-based curriculum called Second Step where they learn self management, self- and social awareness, and relationship skills.

Restorative practices

Restorative practices focus on creating positive relationships in the school community. A restorative approach sees conflict or misbehavior as an opportunity for students to learn about the consequences of their actions, develop empathy with others, and figure out how to make amends in a way that strengthens the community bonds they may have damaged.

Digital citizenship

In our digital citizenship lessons, we include in-depth activities to counter cyberbullying and create a welcoming space for people online. In one lesson, students discuss what it means to be brave and stand up for others both offline and online. They learn to show empathy for those who have been cyberbullied and strategize ways to intervene when peers need help. They also learn to analyze information they find online and how to distinguish between fake news and real news.

Ethnic studies

In 2016, California passed a law that will create ethnic studies programs for all of the state’s public high schools by 2019. But did you know we’ve been offering ethnic studies classes to all our high school students since 2015? Through our partnership with Stanford research, we have found that these classes, which teach students about the history of all Americans and contextualize issues of race and power, engage students and boost attendance and grades.

Resources for parents and educators