SFUSD To Hold Neighborhood Meeting On Its Future Thursday

The school district is crafting a plan that may involve consolidating and closing schools.

A sign that reads "San Francisco Public Schools Administration Building."
The San Francisco Unified School District is working on a sweeping plan for its future called the "Resource Alignment Initiative." | Anne Marie Kristoff/Ingleside Light

The San Francisco Unified School District is seeking community feedback on its new resource alignment plan.

Following a period of declining enrollment, staffing and funding, SFUSD leaders met with the San Francisco Board of Education in August 2023 to discuss the state of the education system and to pitch the Resource Alignment Initiative, a plan that aims to align resources to education goals. Now, they are launching the next part of Phase 1 which includes community feedback from March to May 2024.

“We are committed to transparently engaging with the community throughout San Francisco in this process, and to offering multiple ways for anyone in the community, regardless of which neighborhood they reside in, to be involved,” said Laura Dudnick, the school district’s spokesperson.

In early March, the school district announced the initiative which included hosting meetings for five community focus group meetings in Sunset at Sunset Elementary School, Inner Richmond at Roosevelt Middle School, Chinatown at Gordon J. Lau Elementary School, Mission at Mission High School and Bayview at Willie Brown Middle School. They have since added groups in Ocean View at Sheridan Elementary School, Tenderloin at Tenderloin Community School and Portola at Burton High School.

A map of San Francisco highlighting eight locations where meetings will occur.
The San Francisco Unified School District will hold a series of "community sessions" across the city. | Courtesy SFUSD

Their plan focuses on five areas to achieve strong and supportive learning environments for their students. It includes creating a new school staffing model, reorganizing the central office, exploring ways to generate revenue from properties, investing in priority district-wide programs and creating a new school portfolio.

Implementation of this plan may also lead to the merger, co-location and/or closures of schools within the district, which the Board of Education will vote on in December 2024, and has parents concerned.

For Alicia Corwin, who works in education and has one child currently enrolled at Commodore Sloat Elementary and another entering the elementary school system soon, the possibility of school closures is worrisome.

“Our child's school is not one of the SFUSD schools that is commonly sought out and 'fought over' and so I think naturally there is worry,” Corwin said. “The thought of Commodore Sloat closing is heartbreaking and I can imagine that many parents in SFUSD feel that way about their children's school, not to mention the staff that would be affected.”

The first round of community sessions starts on March 30 for Sheridan Elementary School and Willie Brown Middle School. In addition, SFUSD is hosting a virtual town hall on March 28.

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