We are celebrating a milestone – it has been a year since SFUSD began welcoming our youngest learners back for in-person learning. In August 2021, SFUSD resumed in-person learning full time at all schools, five days a week. SFUSD put in place safety standards and protocols at every campus to welcome students back for the 2021-22 school year.
SFUSD continues to follow public health guidance, and schools have remained low-risk settings by following proper safety protocols. In-person instruction provides the best form of learning and helps our students thrive. Here are some highlights from the past year.
Student and Family Resource Link
The Student and Family Resource Link was established at the beginning of the pandemic to help families navigate resources and questions during school building closures and distance learning. It has continued during the return to in-person learning and has since fielded over 54,000 requests from SFUSD families and students. Content experts from district departments respond to a variety of questions, including technology, distance learning, student enrollment, special education, food and nutrition, and physical and mental wellness. Multilingual content experts who staff the Resource Link provide linguistically accessible information to families.
Portable Air Cleaners
SFUSD has purchased and deployed at least 3,500 portable air cleaners to improve ventilation as part of the layered approach to lessen the spread of COVID-19. The first priority for these were classrooms that relied only on open windows to create air flow to improve indoor air quality during the wildfire season. More portable air cleaners have since been deployed for all classrooms, administrative offices, cafeterias, libraries, and other spaces.
Since January 2022, SFUSD distributed 355,380 KN95 masks in addition to hundreds of thousands of surgical and cloth masks, totaling more than 3.4 million masks for student and staff use.
On-Site Vaccination Clinics
Up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination is the most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19 in schools and prevent the worst symptoms of COVID-19. SFUSD, in partnership with the SF Department of Public Health and community providers, continues to make COVID-19 vaccines and boosters free and accessible to anyone who is eligible. SFUSD continues to share information about how to access vaccines as well as to host vaccination events at school sites with the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) and other community partners. Learn more about current vaccination events.
Testing and Contact Tracing
As part of the layered approach to keep schools safe, SFUSD is operating one of the largest COVID-19 testing efforts in San Francisco and has made reliable testing regularly available to students and staff since spring 2021. We continue to offer multiple testing options for students and staff, including Color self-swab testing at every school site with daily pick-ups, and on-site rapid antigen testing through Safer Together for the larger SFUSD community. We recently distributed over 123,000 test kits to students and staff to use before returning from Spring Break.
Additionally, SFUSD implemented group contact tracing in March 2022 to better align with current public health guidelines and decrease the number of missed school days for students.
Social Emotional Learning
SFUSD created three weeks of lesson plans for every grade level and other resources to support launching the school year with an emphasis on students feeling safe, welcomed, valued, and celebrated as students returned to in-person learning. See a mindfulness lesson in action at Daniel Webster Elementary School. In fall 2021, expanded health and wellness services began with three middle schools through the DCYF-SFUSD Middle School Beacon Centers Mental Health Initiative. The Initiative will eventually serve students in 13 middle schools and three K-8 schools with existing Beacon Centers, which are operated in collaboration with community-based organizations.
Free School Meals
While Student Nutrition Services (SNS) provided 7.3 million grab and go meals during distance learning to nourish students and their families, SFUSD offers free meals for all students this school year regardless of family income, thanks to the federal waiver to allow the National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option through the 2021-2022 school year. Learn about universal school meals in this piece from KALW.