SFUSD Insider - September 2022
Dear SFUSD Colleagues:

We're a few weeks into the new school year, and I have enjoyed visiting many schools and seeing our amazing staff in action. It's been wonderful to meet teachers, paraeducators, custodians, cafeteria workers, special educators, building maintenance workers, technology employees, coaches, counselors, principals and assistant principals, school social workers, school nurses, and many more. Thank you for what you do to keep our schools running.


I've been making these school visits as part of my 117-day entry plan. The purpose of the plan is for me to listen and learn in order to help me understand the strengths and needs of the district. As part of the plan, I have scheduled a series of multilingual town halls with the community this month and in October. I hope to see you there.


I also want to reiterate: I share the sentiment that I'm hearing from many educators that our focus should be on students and not their paychecks. I continue to affirm that resolving operational issues remains a top priority for my office. Please keep reading this month’s Insider for more information about EMPowerSF.

In Community,

Dr. Wayne

Featured in this month's SFUSD Insider:
Jennifer Tan and Gloria Choy smile at each other.
From Student to Teacher: Full Circle at Lau ES

Twenty-seven years ago, Jennifer Tan adored her kindergarten teacher at Lau ES. Ms. Tan now teaches third grade there where her kindergarten teacher, Gloria Choy, now serves as the school's principal — which means the two are colleagues, nearly three decades down the road! Read their story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

SFUSD Latinx Heritage Month logo
Latinx Heritage Month

SFUSD joins the nation in celebrating Latinx Heritage Month from Sept. 15 - Oct. 15 to highlight the diversity, brilliance and beauty of the Latinx community. 


From honoring Latinx leaders in the names of our schools (such as Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez) to offering robust language programs, our schools strive to be places where every student can see themselves and be themselves, where learning reflects both the familiar and unknown.


Happy Latinx Heritage Month!

Rene Mitsui
Rene Mitsui, Teacher at Dianne Feinstein ES, Wins RAVE
Rene Mitsui, a teacher at Dianne Feinstein ES, was nominated for her unified approach to education.
According to her nomination, Ms. Mitsui is the first to offer help when her fellow teachers need advice, guidance, or assistance. "​Ms. Mitsui is gracious, a team player, and a go-getter. She is a leader for her class and grade level team; she works toward ensuring the group is heard and always meets the needs of students."
Read about colleagues who have been nominated and those who have won a RAVE award. You can nominate any district employee or team for recognition (except for yourself or an entire school).
EMPowerSF Updates

This past month, we focused on a more stable start to the school year, particularly with addressing pay for our newly hired educators and our employees who have moved into new roles and locations as this often impacts pay in the first monthly pay cycle of the new school year. This year, we strengthened how we organized around ensuring that our recently hired educators receive their August paycheck if they have been given the clearance to start working while completing their onboarding. 


We know there are still issues that need to be addressed - from the start of the school year and since the spring. The team continues to work tirelessly to address technical and process issues, resolve individual employee cases, and put in place systems to minimize issues and provide greater clarity and information to our employees.

We have also since streamlined our process to provide relief for employees; we processed them a check as quickly as possible either through an off-cycle or an alternative payment method to help make our employees whole. 

In the first monthly pay period of the year, we identified 3.5% of our approximately 5,000 monthly-paid employees who we needed to pay through an off-cycle or alternative payment check. We processed over 70 alternative payment checks for pay day in order to pay our employees on time.

  • New resources
  • Quick guides by role
  • Information on resolved issues
  • Understanding pay statements
  • And more
Visit the training and resources page to register for live training sessions or RSVP for the monthly in-person clinics.

“Our students are our core. Their energy keeps us going every day.”


- Shari Balisi, Principal, Lincoln HS


Read more #WeAreSFUSD stories!

Shari Balisi
Air Quality Index graphic

Air Quality Guidance for SY 22-23


SFUSD has updated its air quality/wildfire smoke guidance for SY 22-23. Sites may monitor the local AQI at www.airnow.gov. Access SFUSD’s graduated responses as it pertains to daily AQI levels. The California Department of Education also features a list of local and national guidance. 

Two adults speak next to each other

Don't Forget to Update Your Website!


Did you know SFUSD.edu gets some of its highest pageviews in the fall of each year? Keeping your school or department's content up-to-date for the new school year will ensure the district and families have the most accurate information. Find training options and office hours.

Two adults speak next to each other

Free Financial Guidance & Services


SFUSD employees now have access to free financial coaching and resources provided by BALANCE, which offers free access to financial counseling, education, and resources to help with your financial goals; as well as help you develop a budget, review your credit score, evaluate student loan repayment options, and help you manage your spending and debt.

Upcoming Holidays
SFUSD wishes a happy celebration to members of our community who observe Mexican Independence Day, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Navaratri.
If you have a federal student loan, you may be able to benefit from temporary changes made to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. The Limited PLSF Waiver will allow borrowers to gain additional PSLF credit, even if they had been told previously that they had the wrong loan type or the wrong repayment plan.
The San Francisco Unified School District and the United Educators of San Francisco have agreed to these terms to mitigate the crisis of staffing shortages at schools in preparation for the commencement of the 2022-23 school year.
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