In fall 2020, virtual events mean that parents can meet all of their children’s teachers. (Courtesy photo)

In fall 2020, virtual events mean that parents can meet all of their children’s teachers. (Courtesy photo)

There’s good access to online back-to-school events

Parents may attend gatherings hosted by all of their children’s teachers

There’s good access to online back-to-school events

Now, more than ever, as we are engaged in distance learning to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it’s apparent how a child’s family is their first and most influential teacher.

Just imagine what a difference it can make for a child when everyone is working together to make sure they have what they need to learn and grow.

I know firsthand that my mother being involved at my high school made the difference in what classes I was taking, which made all the difference in me being prepared for college.

At San Francisco Unified School District, we recognize that authentic partnerships with our students’ families and communities are essential to achieving our primary mission: that every student graduates prepared to succeed in college, career and life.

Our schools are best when family members, teachers and other school staff, students and community members team up to make meaningful learning experiences and cultivate a positive school climate for everyone.

Even though we’ve begun this school year from a distance, schools are still upholding their new year traditions. For instance, in the first few weeks of the school year, every school has a Back to School event for families. These special events are happening at schools throughout September, and are a chance for family members, students, teachers and other school staff to come together — albeit virtually — to learn about what’s planned for the year.

In addition to sharing rules and expectations, families often have opportunities to understand their child’s grade-level expectations and the resources in place to help students reach these expectations.

At Sanchez Elementary School, the back-to-school event is called Families and Teachers United Week. The school sees this week as an opportunity to listen, build relationships and shift the “power dynamic.” Teachers work with students and families to set goals that can be revisited throughout the year.

Don’t get me wrong, I strongly prefer in-person Back to School nights. I really, really love being surrounded by a multicultural and multigenerational community that is coming together to focus on learning.

But online gatherings do bring some new opportunities. For the first time ever, if your child has multiple teachers, you don’t have to choose which one you’ll go to talk to. Many schools have created ways for families to meet all the adults their child interacts with.

Every parent and guardian has a rich fund of knowledge about their child. Let’s work together to provide the best educational experience for your children.

Vincent Matthews is the superintendent of schools for the San Francisco Unified School District. He is a guest columnist.

education

Just Posted

ose Pak and Willie Brown at an event in 2014. 
Rose Pak and Willie Brown at an event in 2014.
Willie and Rose: An alliance for the ages

How the Mayor and Chinatown activist shaped San Francisco, then and now

San Francisco supervisors are considering plans to replace trash cans — a “Renaissance” garbage can is pictured on Market Street — with pricey, unnecessary upgrades. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
San Francisco must end ridiculous and expensive quest for ‘pretty’ trash cans

SF’s unique and pricey garbage bins a dream of disgraced former Public Works director

Giants right fielder Mike Yastrzemski is pictured at bat on July 29 against the Dodgers at Oracle Park; the teams are in the top spots in their league as the season closes. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
With playoff positions on the line, old rivalries get new life

Giants cruised through season, Dodgers not far behind

Golden Gate Park visitors may take a survey about options regarding private car access on John F. Kennedy Drive, which has been the subject of controversy during the pandemic.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Your chance to weigh in: Should JFK remain closed to cars?

Host of mobility improvements for Golden Gate Park proposed

Drivers gathered to urge voters to reject an initiative that would exempt Uber, Lyft, and other gig economy companies from state labor laws, in San Francisco in October 2020. (Jim Wilson/New York Times)
What’s the role of unions in the 21st century?

As membership declines in California, economic inequality increases

Most Read