San Francisco Public Library’s Summer Stride is a learning, reading and exploration program for all ages and abilities. (Screenshot)

San Francisco Public Library’s Summer Stride is a learning, reading and exploration program for all ages and abilities. (Screenshot)

Tips for summer learning

School’s out for the season, but educational activities continue

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We’ve made it to the end of the 2020-21 school year. Though the year has brought enormous hardships to our entire community, there is still a lot to celebrate. Congratulations to all San Francisco Unified School District graduates in the class of 2021! To everyone in our SFUSD community, thank you for continuing to support our students, and inspire us with your resilience during challenging times.

The hard work of students, as well as teachers and families, has contributed to our steady positive upward trend of our rising graduation rate. The SFUSD cohort graduation rate improved from 84.4% in 2016-17 to 87.3% in 2019-20. And, SFUSD’s graduation rate surpassed the state’s rate this year. (The state’s graduation rate is 84.3% compared to SFUSD’s graduation rate of 87.3%.)

Summer learning

Just because school is out for summer, it doesn’t mean that learning stops. In fact, there are many ways you can encourage your child to continue their learning all summer long, both through Summer Together activities and from home.

Read a book (or lots of books!)

Each summer the San Francisco Public Library holds its Summer Stride event to promote summer learning, reading and exploration program for all ages and abilities. Challenge yourself and others to read, learn and listen with the library this summer. Begin your journey towards 20 hours of summer learning starting in June. Track your progress virtually on Beanstack. You can register individual participants as well as groups (families, classes). Or, track your progress on their printable tracker!

Don’t have a library card? SFUSD students can email info@sfpl.org to activate their San Francisco Public Library Scholar Card today!

Let’s talk about race and social justice

There is no better time than the present to talk with your family about race and social justice in the U.S. SFUSD staff have compiled a brief list of books, articles, videos, websites and other resources for families to explore race and social justice with children of different ages.

Connect with nature

Did you know that San Francisco has 220 city parks and every resident has access to a park within a short walk from their home? Check with San Francisco Recreation and Parks and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy for some fresh air inspiration.

And here’s a way to incorporate learning into your park visit: Find a spot to sit in quietly with a partner for 10 minutes. Use your science observation tools (eyes, ears, nose and fingers). Tell your partner all the things you see, hear, smell, and feel. Find a new spot each day.

A full return this fall

Finally, I want to remind you that SFUSD continues to prepare for a full return to in-person learning for all students on Aug.16, 2021. We will continue to prioritize the health and safety of all of our students and staff and, as new public health guidance becomes available, we will be ready to adjust as needed.

No matter what learning opportunities you seek out, I hope you and your family have a safe and wonderful summer.

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

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