Black and Brown families in the Southeast of San Francisco almost universally are struggling to have their basic needs met — evictions are happening, people are moving in with other family members, some now are entirely unhoused, and many are unable to pay utilities bills or get nourishing food on the table for their families because of work lost and insufficient government supports to prevent despair. Our young people as well as their adult family members are experiencing depression, anxiety, and stress, and declined physical health, without an end in sight.
We need our San Francisco City leadership and the Board of Education to take bold immediate actions to create a safe environment supporting Black and Brown students and work to implement Coleman Advocates’ Equity Framework for Reopening San Francisco Public Schools:
1. Immediate new partnership between the City and SFUSD to immediately:
(1a) Offer new bold supports for Black and Brown students’ basic needs, including mental health supports, financial supports, healthy food supports, public transportation supports, and housing for youth and their families.
(1b) Together begin to fund the necessary new supports to implement the Equity Framework for Reopening San Francisco Public Schools, including Individualized Success Plans for every student.
2. Board of Education, City of San Francisco, and SFUSD families across the city make immediate commitment to SFUSD using the Coleman Advocates’ Equity Framework for Reopening San Francisco Public Schools, which prioritizes the needs of our neediest students first, and includes:
(2a) Make schools safe for Black and Brown students, which means eliminating criminalization and racist behavioral management in schools, including implementing already-existing resolutions.
(2b) Collect new and expedited equity data about the ways the pandemic and Distance Learning have been experienced by our neediest students and their families — a retrospective investigation and data collection of specifically instruction loss, attendance, numbers of students logging in to Distance Learning, numbers of students logged on who are engaging in class, and numbers of students being kicked out of DL classrooms, with data available per school site.
(2c) Establish a district-wide standard for measuring and addressing instruction loss experienced by students during COVID.
(2d) Engage Black and Brown families and students as our leaders as to what needs to happen, and specifically create paid Equity Monitor positions at each school site, paying low-income students and parents to monitor equity indicators at each school site, and establish public forums for listening to the on the ground stories from students and families, prioritizing Black, Brown, low-income, and Special Education students and families.
(2e) Build a system of offering Personal Success Plans (PSP’s) for each SFUSD student and have that system in place before opening schools.
(2f) Take bold actions to build a school system that has the necessary supports in place to implement the PSP’s, which will include: hiring families and students to be monitors of education equity at each school, hiring mental health counselors, etc.