SFUSD’s commitment to being diversity-driven is one of the district’s five core values. (Courtesy photo)

SFUSD’s commitment to being diversity-driven is one of the district’s five core values. (Courtesy photo)

Take time to celebrate and include all students

Feeling safe and included at school is fundamental for learning. In fact, it’s so important to us that we actually survey our students each year to measure their sense of belonging.

This past week, the San Francisco Unified School District celebrated Inclusive Schools Week to bring more awareness to what being truly inclusive means.

CELEBRATING INCLUSION

To kick off the week, Special Olympics hosted a soccer game at San Francisco City Hall between Mission and Lowell.

Rainbow Club students at Willie Brown Middle School made a digital frame celebrating LGBTQ heroes for a photo booth.

Kindergarten students at Jean Parker Elementary read a book called “Same, Same but Different” and created colorful self-portraits.

Miraloma Elementary School went all out with daily school-wide activities including “I am Unique Day” and “Meet Someone New Day” as well as ability awareness stations and sing-a-longs.

No matter how it was celebrated, Inclusive Schools Week was about one of the fundamental promises of public schools: Everyone has a right to a free public education.

WHAT INCLUSIVE SCHOOLS LOOK LIKE

Inclusive means students who are receiving special education services learn alongside their general education peers. It means our students who identify as transgender feel accepted. And it means students who just arrived here from another country feel supported to maintain their culture and heritage language while also learning English and new customs.

We recognize that each child is unique and learns differently and educators must engage students with different abilities all in one classroom.

While our schools have made great strides over the past several years, we still have a lot of work to do to ensure every single one of our students feels included and receives the support they need to be successful.

DIVERSITY-DRIVEN

One of the things that makes our schools great is the diversity of our students.

SFUSD is committed to being diversity-driven, not just valuing diversity. By this, we mean that we will respect and seek to understand each person. It is one of five fundamental core values we insist upon.

All of our students bring a rich array of life experiences, perspectives and even language skills. No two humans are alike and that is cause for celebration.

Vincent Matthews is superintendent of the San Francisco Unified School District.

Just Posted

San Francisco health experts recommend that pregnant women should receive the COVID-19 vaccine, as well as a booster shot. (Unai Huizi/Shutterstock)
What pregnant women need to know about COVID and booster shots

Questions regarding COVID-19 booster shots for pregnant people have been pouring in… Continue reading

Examiner reporter Ben Schneider drives an Arcimoto Fun Utility Vehicle along Beach Street in Fisherman’s Wharf on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Could San Francisco’s tiny tourist cruisers become the cars of the future?

‘Fun Utility Vehicles’ have arrived in The City

Badly needed rain cooled off pedestrians on Market Street in The City on Wednesday. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Storm door opens in San Francisco — what will the rains bring?

‘Come Monday, fire season in Northern California should be done’

The so-called “twindemic” that public health officials in California and elsewhere warned about last year — the combined threat of influenza and COVID-19 — was largely eased by the wide use of face masks, physical distancing and reduced travel, experts say. But their concerns are back this year. (Shutterstock)
COVID and the flu: Is a ‘twindemic’ threat lurking again?

‘Because of so little disease last year, population immunity is likely lower’

49ers' quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo hopes to return to the field this weekend to lead San Francisco against the Colts. (Photo courtesy of 49ers)
NFL Week 7 picks: Niners face crucial matchup against the Colts

San Francisco could join Seattle on the brink of irrelevancy in the NFC West with another loss

Most Read