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  • Thursday, August 04, 2016 4:01 PM | Michelle Parker (Administrator)

    Do you think that PE is essential for children's well-being? Do you believe that PE is the BEST way for all students to receive daily physical activity? Do you think PE should be a priority in SFUSD? If you answered yes to any of those questions, check out this video on "Changing the Culture" around PE with Ken Dyar.


    If you are a parent who is interested in raising the value of PE within the San Francisco Unified School district, please contact Dedriana Lomax!

    UPPE is led by Shape Up SF in partnership with the Bayview HEAL ZoneHealthy Hearts SFColeman Advocates for Children, and the American Heart Association. The goal of UPPE is for all elementary students to receive daily PE because it is the best way for all children to get regular physical activity. They believe that a parent voice is needed to help raise the value of PE in SFUSD. 

    UPPE is made possible through funding by Kaiser Permanente.


    Dedriana Lomax

    San Francisco Department of Public Health

    Community Health Equity and Promotion

    30 Van Ness Ave., Suite 2300

    San Francisco, CA 94102




    Register at www.susf10yr.eventbrite.com



    Making it fun and easy to eat well and move more.


    New Health Care Options under the Affordable Care Act

    Three easy ways for San Francisco residents to learn more and enroll:

    1. Online www.CoveredCA.com

    2. Call Covered California (800) 300-1506

    3. Visit SF Benefits Net at 1440 Harrison Street. M-F 8am-5pm


    ** CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE** This email message and any attachments are solely for the intended recipient and may contain confidential or privileged information. If you are not the intended recipient, any disclosure, copying, use or distribution of the information included in this message and any attachments is prohibited.  If you have received this communication in error, please notify the sender immediately and permanently delete or otherwise destroy the information.


  • Saturday, March 26, 2016 9:25 AM | Jennifer Helton (Administrator)

    Join us for our next General Assembly meeting!  We will have several speakers from SFUSD who will update us on the districts plans for next year with regard to Math, Language Arts and Special Education.  

    There will be an opportunity to work in small groups with SFUSD leaders so that parents can ask questions and give feedback.  

    A complete agenda is below.  Please join us! 

    Second District PTA General Meeting Thursday, April 7, 2016 - 6:00pm

    Milton Feldstein Building, 7th floor Board Room 939 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94109 Agenda

    6:00 Registration
    Cathy Mulkey Meyer, President Board Introductions

    6:30 BUSINESS

    Secretary’s Report: Ben Perry-Thistle, Secretary

    Financial Report: Annie Chow, Treasurer Audit Approval
    Financial Report
    RaIficaIon of Checks

    Membership Update: Camilla DiGennaro

    Calendar Update: Cathy Mulkey Meyer

    6:50 Adopt Revised Second District Bylaws - Rich Gonzales

    7:00 WHAT'S NEW? 2016-2017 SFUSD
    We will have presentations from SFUSD representatives about upcoming curriculum changes, and then breakout sessions for discussion.  Our speakers are:  

    Lisa Miller, Director of Special Education Services

    Lizzy Hull-Barnes, Supervisor of Elementary Mathematics

    Daisy Santos, Director of Humanities

    8:30 Adjourn 

    Mix and Mingle 

  • Wednesday, January 20, 2016 10:03 AM | Jennifer Helton (Administrator)

    Join us for Making Sense of District Data, Wed. Jan. 27 @ 6:30 pm

    SFUSD's Local Control and Accountability Plan Task Force is sponsoring an event to look at how students are doing and ways to support their success.

    Key topics will include:
    Paving the way: kindergarten readiness to high school graduation
    Reducing suspensions and keeping schools safe
    Focusing supports for English Language Learners, foster youth and African American students

    Light dinner, interpretation and childcare provided.

    Where & When
    SFUSD Board Room
    555 Franklin Street
    6:30-8:00 pm

    More info: Visit www.sfusd.edu or call 415-241-6185

  • Tuesday, January 05, 2016 10:32 AM | Jennifer Helton (Administrator)

    This is worth a listen . . . http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201601040900

  • Friday, November 20, 2015 10:47 AM | Jennifer Helton (Administrator)

    This post went out to parent networks a few days ago, and I am reposting here.  I think that many PTA folks may not be aware of CAC and the amazing work they do.  In honor of Inclusive Schools week, I am posting this in the hopes that our PTAs can find ways to work with CAC and the families it represents, in order to ensure that the needs of all of our students are met.  For more information, see the links below. 



    cacspedsf@gmail.com        www.cacspedsf.org

    The State Education Code mandates that each Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) must have a Community Advisory Committee (CAC). The purpose of the CAC is to advocate for effective Special Education programs and services, and advise the Board of Education on priorities in the SELPA. State law requires that a majority of CAC members be parents. Joining the CAC gives you an opportunity to have your opinions heard and make a difference in the way Special Education is conducted in your area.

    In San Francisco, CAC meetings are usually held on the fourth Thursday of each month (except July, November and December). CAC meetings are from 6:30 pm - 8:o0 p.m, with 45 minutes before the meeting to chat with Special Education Department Administrators and 25 minutes after the meeting for informal networking. These meetings are open to the public; everyone is welcome to attend.

  • Friday, November 13, 2015 9:15 AM | Jennifer Helton (Administrator)

      Say YES to youth-led climate solutions! 

    Is your school a leader in encouraging walking, biking and carpooling? Share your experience with students from all over the SF Bay Area. Register to lead a panel session, individual presentation or an interactive activity at the 2016 Youth for the Environment and Sustainability (YES) Conference.  YES is also looking for proposals from students with ideas for keeping our region free of pollution and fighting climate change.  http://www.sparetheairyouth.org/call-presentationssession-proposals  

    To attend the YES Conference, register at http://bit.ly/1M8Hdae

  • Friday, November 13, 2015 9:02 AM | Jennifer Helton (Administrator)

    Just heard about these great grant opportunities from the  for PTAs and other non-profits working on environmental issues with their communities: 

    Please be aware that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has now formally opened the application period for the James Cary Smith Community Grant Program for fiscal year 2016. 

    Grants of up to $25,000 are available to enable non-profit organizations, community-based organizations or school-sponsored groups to implement projects under three categories:


    • Education and engagement - to inform and engage community members about air quality concerns in their daily lives and develop leadership in creating behavior changes that reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.


    • Local air pollution impact mitigation - to reduce air pollution impacts through local, small-scale projects. 


    • Community-based research - to implement community-academic partnerships or “citizen science” projects that analyze local air quality impacts or demonstrate the effectiveness of innovative mitigation strategies.


    Priority will be given to grant applications in localized areas with high concentrations of air pollution, where vulnerable communities experience significant adverse health impacts.


    The grant application deadline is Tuesday, December 1st, 2015 at 5:00pm.  To learn more and apply, please go to: http://www.baaqmd.gov/grant-funding/residents/community-grants-program.


  • Tuesday, November 10, 2015 9:33 AM | Jennifer Helton (Administrator)

    Inclusive Schools Week is rapidly approaching! All schools SFUSD have received lesson plans, suggested reading & art project ideas. Please check with your teachers to find out how you can be a part of your children's lesson & art project for the week!!

    The kick-off is on the steps of City Hall on Dec.7th @ 10:00. Please join us for a fun morning celebrating the gifts all children share!!!

  • Friday, October 09, 2015 11:31 AM | Jennifer Helton (Administrator)

    At our General Assembly meeting, Bryan Twarek, the SFUSD Computer Science Coordinator, told us about the new and very exciting computer science curriculum that SFUSD is rolling out.  A detailed description of the program is here:  http://www.csinsf.org.  I’m going to summarize what I see as the key points, but there is a lot more information on the site – take some time to check it out. 

    The goal is to have every student in every school studying computer science, from preK – through 12.  As our City is a major driver of global tech innovation, we should expect no less, in my view.  It’s great to see the district stepping up to this challenge.

    And it is a real challenge, because currently there are no national, state or local standards for CS education on this scale.  Nationally, many schools do CS, of course, but a comprehensive program for every kid is uncommon.  No big urban district has done it.  So SFUSD is boldly going where no one has gone before.  And isn’t that what San Francisco is all about?

    What will CS look like at different grade levels?  You can see a detailed Scope and Sequence here:  http://www.csinsf.org/curriculum.html   In the younger grades, the focus will be on getting kids to understand fundamental concepts.  It looks like they are planning to use BeeBots or something similar at this level.

    Then, as kids get older, more complicated concepts will be introduced using programs such as Scratch Jr. and Scratch, Hopscotch and Code.org.  By the time kids are in middle school, they will be working with HTML and CSS, Python, Java, JavaScript, etc.   A menu of introductory and advanced electives and AP courses will be available for high school students.

    Who will do the actual instruction, and how much will kids get?   The district is employing a number of Computer Science specialists.  The CS specialists will push in to preK and elementary school classrooms in every elementary school for 20 hours a year.  In middle school, students will receive 45 hours a year of instruction (a quarter length course).  In high school, the current plan is to offer a electives to all kids.  This will include AP courses and a Capstone course.   At the moment there is no plan to require all high school students to take CS, but every high school will offer CS electives.  It’s not impossible that CS might become a high school requirement at some point in the future.   Also for the future, the district hopes to develop the capacity of current SFUSD instructors to teach CS courses.  

    When will all this happen?  This year the district is piloting its new program in middle schools.  Two middle schools offered CS last year.  Five schools (Presidio, Denman, Willie Brown, Francisco, Lick) are getting the full pilot this year, and an additional seven middle schools are getting CS as an elective.  In all, 31% of middle school students are getting CS instruction this school year.  The district expects the program to run in 21 middle schools next year, reaching 95% of sixth grade middle school students. 

    Implementation in elementary schools will start this spring, when a few schools will test out curriculum.  The current plan is to have a larger pilot group in 2016-2017.  They are hoping for full or nearly full implementation for elementary schools in 2017-2018.

    As for high school, the current plan is that every comprehensive high school will offer CS courses next year, with full implementation at every high school in the City the following year. 

    Do you have opinions about all this?  There’s a feedback form here.  Let the district know what you think!   I know we have many techie parents in the City in with expertise in this area.  It would be great if we can help the district can leverage that.     

    I also hope parents can remember that this is all new territory, and it may take some time to figure out the nuts and bolts.  For myself, I think this is a good step in the direction of making sure our kids have the skills they need for the 21st century workplace. 

  • Thursday, October 08, 2015 11:16 PM | Jennifer Helton (Administrator)

    We had exciting presentations at our at our SFPTA General Assembly meeting on September 26.   Jim Ryan, Executive Director of STEM for SFUSD, spoke about upcoming changes to SFUSD’s science curriculum.   Bryan Twarek, the SFUSD Computer Science Coordinator, briefed us on the new CS curriculum that is currently in development.

    I’ll summarize what Jim had to say about science in this post, and then talk about the computer science curriculum in the next post.


    Jim briefed us on the plan for implementing the Next Generation Science Standards in SFUSD.  These new standards, which were developed by a consortium of scientists and science teachers, were adopted by the state of California in the Fall of 2013.   The NGSS standards emphasize training students to think critically (in this case, to think like scientists and engineers) and place less emphasis on having students merely memorize facts.   

    You can read more about the standards here, but the short summary is that they have three core dimensions:  Science and Engineering Practices (which Jim explained as “doing science”) Disciplinary Core Ideas (the “facts” of science) and Crosscutting Concepts (helping students understand core concepts which are shared across all scientific disciplines).  One of the exciting things about the new curriculum is that it has a strong emphasis on engineering (including robotics!) as well as the traditional science disciplines.  The links on this page go into detail about what will be taught, if you care to explore. 

    The district expects to have NGSS fully implemented across all grade levels in 2017-2018.  The first statewide assessment of the new standards will take place in 2018-2019.  Research and development of the new curriculum has already begun.  Some implementation of the program is now rolling out in the middle and high schools; they will start working on materials for elementary schools next year.  A detailed implementation timeline can be seen on the Science Department’s blog.

    One important takeaway for PTA folks is that the district now has a centralized Science Resource Center from which teachers can order Foss Kit and other science supplies.   I know at many schools, parents or PTA units are currently stocking the Foss Kits; that should no longer be necessary.  I once spent about a month counting syringes and magnets and odd bits of string in our school’s Foss Kits;  that was not my favorite PTA job.  It’s a relief to know that the district is now providing support for this.  The district also now has a lending library for microscopes and other equipment for teachers to use. 

    In response to a parent’s question about field trips, Jim told us that the district has just gotten funding for a field trip program (including a field trip coordinator) to ensure that all students have the opportunity to use the amazing scientific resources of the City as a classroom. 

    The Science Department has a very informative blog so that you can keep up with developments as they happen.  In addition, they have biweekly newsletters for which you can sign up, so that you can learn more about what is happening with science in the district.  You can also follow @SFUSD_Science on Twitter.  Keep informed!

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Blog posts

Thursday, August 04, 2016 4:01 PM • Michelle Parker
Wednesday, January 20, 2016 10:03 AM • Jennifer Helton
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