SFUSD Insider - November 2022
Dear SFUSD Colleagues:

We wrapped up October with some Halloween activities at our schools, where I got to join several events across the district to see creativity displayed by our students and staff with their costumes. It has not been an easy time in education, so it’s important to take advantage of these moments of joy in our school communities.

Dr. Wayne high fives students in costumes.


Whereas October ended with some fun, the start of November reinforced the urgency with which we need to address our EMPowerSF issues. I have been focusing on our payroll issues from my first day as superintendent and taken measures to try to resolve them. However, it has become clear our efforts have to this point fallen woefully short, in spite of the tireless work of our dedicated district staff. That’s why, this week, I declared a state of emergency to implement extraordinary corrective actions and bring meaningful resources to fix EMPowerSF. You have my assurance, and the assurance of SFUSD, that these problems are my number one priority and will be rectified.


While our payroll challenges can feel overwhelming, I do want to lift up the many bright spots in our schools. We recently had a ribbon cutting ceremony at Marina Middle School for their new cafeteria. While there, I had a chance to speak to students about the new space and menu. They were excited that students had helped design the cafeteria and said the food is so much better. Of course, their favorite item was still pizza! Please keep reading the SFUSD Insider to learn more about this and other highlights of what is happening in our district.


November is also the time of year when we give thanks, so I want to end by letting you know how much you are appreciated for all you do for our students and families. I hope that you are able to find some time for well-deserved rest during fall break.

Dr. Matt Wayne headshot


Dr. Wayne

Featured in this month's SFUSD Insider:
Ribbon-cutting at Marina
New Culinary Kitchen at Marina MS

SFUSD celebrated the new culinary kitchen at Marina MS on Nov. 1, with a special tribute to Jui Mei Chang, dining lead in Student Nutrition Services (SNS) for 27 years. SNS is leveraging bond funding and construction to move toward more freshly prepared food in the district. Check out news coverage on Channel 2, Channel 5, and Channel 7!

Mission Bay school groundbreaking
Mission Bay School 'Shovel Ready Ceremony'

SFUSD and City leaders kicked off development activities at the site of the future public school in Mission Bay on Oct. 27. This is a rare opportunity for SFUSD to create a 21st century school from the ground up intentionally designed to nurture student creativity, provide the latest teaching and learning technologies, and foster independent learning and thinking.

Fire Commission
Rosa Parks ES Educators Honored By SF Fire Commission

Five educators at Rosa Parks ES — Cecily Ina-Lee, Vincent Reyes, Reuben Guzman, Zachary Marlin, and Remi Nakamoto — were honored by the SF Fire Commission on Oct. 26 for helping to rescue elderly residents from a burning building adjacent to the school on May 13, 2022. Check out the news coverage from the Fire Commission meeting on Channel 2 and Channel 7.

RAVE Awards
Joseph Bly, Teacher at SF Montessori School, Wins RAVE
Joseph Bly, Teacher at SF Montessori School, was nominated for his fearless approach to education.
According to his nomination, Mr. Bly shows "leadership, strength, caring, and creativity" every day. "During the pandemic, Mr. Bly ensured that all students stayed connected to the learning community."
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

Benefits, Leaves, and Payroll Call Center: 415-463-1550


Please note the following about the Call Center:

  • Hours: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday, excluding holidays

  • Focus: Intake to understand your issue or issues and ensure we have a ticket that reflects the information needed to direct your issue to an appropriate person who can support a resolution. Your issue will likely not be resolved on the call, especially as we ramp up, as it can take up to a week or more to fully resolve an issue, depending on the complexity. 

  • Note: Our Call Center does not currently have a voicemail system for messages. It will be too challenging to have to keep track of new messages. We will be monitoring how many calls we receive to determine if we need to add capacity or adjust the process. 

Timesheet Office Hours for Supervisors and Office Clerks


To support the accurate and timely approval of timesheets, which often impact pay, we have re-launched office hours for managers, supervisors, and clerks. Dates and times are located on the EMPowerSF website


Known Issues & Issues Under Review


We continue to update the Known Issues and Resolution page on the EMPowerSF website with updates related to known issues that the team is researching and working to resolve. Please review the updates provided last week related to 403bs, benefits, deferred net pay (DNP), and STRS service credits. We update this page every Wednesday with known issues, resolutions, and progress updates. 

“We are able to build relationships with students at such a crucial time in their lives where they need guidance and support to step into their futures.”
- Katie Baillie, Head Counselor, Raoul Wallenberg Traditional High School


Read more #WeAreSFUSD stories!

Katie Baillie
Light Awards Grant

LIGHT Awards Grant Opportunity For Teachers: Apply by Nov. 14


The Intrepid Philanthropy Foundation’s LIGHT Awards program makes two-year grants of up to $30,000 to teams of teachers to pursue professional development of their choice.

Illustration of woman using computer

Migrating Synergy to the Cloud


Our student information systems (SIS), Synergy, is being moved to the cloud. This migration will address long-standing performance issues as well as improve security and result in faster disaster recovery times. In order to complete this work, TeacherVUE, ParentVUE, and StudentVUE will be offline for ALL USERS from Friday, Nov. 18 at 4 p.m. until Monday, Nov. 21 at 8 a.m.

Board of Education logo

Visions, Values, Goals, and Guardrails


On Oct. 25, the SF Board of Education unanimously adopted a new vision, values, goals, and guardrails (VVGG) that will collectively serve as SFUSD's north star over the next five years. Taken together, they will guide SFUSD to prioritize strategies and policies that advance student outcomes. Going forward, the district will regularly report on progress toward the VVGG, providing an important measure of transparency and accountability.

There's Still Time to Submit the Multi Purpose Family Income Form

The deadline for families of TK-12 students to submit the Multipurpose Family Income Form (MFIF) for the 2022-23 school year has been extended to Nov. 30, 2022.  The deadline for EED sites remained unchanged; they were due Oct. 31, 2022.


Sites are being provided additional time to collect these forms in recognition of the challenges sites may face having families submit these forms since all SFUSD students receive meals at no cost under the California Universal Meals Program.  It is critical that families understand that the MFIF has a direct impact on classroom funds received as LCFF and Unduplicated Pupil Counts and to submit the form by the new deadline of Nov. 30, 2022. Please share with your families and encourage them to take advantage of the additional time to submit the MFIF!

Fall Recess

SFUSD schools will be closed Nov. 21-25 for Fall Recess. Some Early Education Department (EED) programs will be open on Nov. 21 and Nov. 22. SFUSD offices will be closed Nov. 24 and 25. View the 2022-23 academic calendar.

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