The San Francisco Unified School District is one of the highest-performing urban school districts in California. However, we see evidence that some students are not getting the instruction and support they need to excel at every level of their education.
That’s why Spark* invests in student potential by directing resources towards the strategic priorities of the district in six key areas: Learning, Equity, Talent, Innovation, Wellness and Creativity.
With targeted resources towards these initiatives, we believe it’s possible to explore and institute models that accelerate learning and to evolve into a world-class school system that embodies Vision 2025 - all in service of eliminating the achievement gap.
Spark*LEARNING: LET'S IGNITE THE MINDS OF TOMORROW
Helping students discover, pursue, and realize their motivating "sparks" - those interests and passions that can set the trajectory for the rest of their lives - is seen as central to the SFUSD learning experience. When our students feel as though they can do anything in the world, we’ve achieved our goal. That's why we're embracing new educational models that are opening up exciting new pathways for teaching and learning. By investing in more dynamic tools and classroom experiences that support early education, literacy, STEM, and college and career readiness, we can ensure that school success translates to real world achievement.
Spark* EQUITY: LET'S PROPEL ALL STUDENTS TO THE TOP
Closing the achievement gap and meeting the needs of ALL children, especially those who have been historically underserved, is one of the district's top priorities. With this in mind, Spark* supports targeted interventions to address the needs of low-income students, English learners, students enrolled in special education, and students of color. Our commitment to racial and economic equity is allowing us to address longstanding disparities, and put mechanisms in place to counteract them. Spark's equity investments are also creating more positive school cultures and amplifying student and parent voices.
Spark* TALENT: LET’S EMPOWER OUR EDUCATORS TO LEAD THE WAY FORWARD
The city of San Francisco faces a serious teacher and administrator shortage that is reflective of state and national trends in education, but exacerbated by the immense housing and affordability issues unique to our region. Spark* is on a mission to reverse this trend to ensure that each school is filled with high-quality leaders, teachers, and staff who are committed to helping our students reach their full potential. We are expanding homegrown recruitment and retention programs that enlist the best and brightest educators, with special attention to creating a more diverse and culturally representative workforce. We’re also investing in coaching, training, and professional development opportunities so that staff are given the tools to continuously grow and learn as professionals.
SPark* Innovation: LET’S CREATE DYNAMIC 21ST CENTURY LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
New technologies are dramatically changing what is possible in the classroom, creating opportunities for more personalized and real-world learning in ways previously unimaginable. It is our belief that a reimagined SFUSD school system must link student learning with the opportunities and imperatives of living, working, and thriving in the city of San Francisco. Our redesign efforts are bringing to life a student-centered approach to education that leverages technology and innovation to promote student learning, wellness, collaboration and resilience. We are embracing new ways of structuring student and teacher time, and supporting district-wide innovation through the iLab which enables us to develop, test and refine new school models that inform systemwide change.
Spark* Wellness: LET’S PROMOTE AND PROTECT OUR CHILDREN’S HEALTH & WELLBEING
Comprehensive student wellness takes many shapes and forms in the district - from physical fitness and healthy eating to counseling and restorative practices. That's because preparing students for the demands of 21st century life will require not just strong academic instruction, but school environments that promote and protect children's health and wellbeing. We're helping students and families access a broader array of services and supports that contribute to whole-family success, and developing a wider range of social and emotional supports that have historically not been an explicit focus of public education.
Spark* Creativity: LET’S BRING OUR STUDENTS TO THE EPICENTER OF THE ARTS
Like you, we believe that the arts are an essential part of every child’s educational experience. With tremendous support from San Francisco residents, all SFUSD students have access to an array of visual and performing arts throughout their PreK-12 educational journey. Now it’s time to build and strengthen this foundation by creating an ArtsCenter for San Francisco’s children and youth at 135 Van Ness Avenue - right in the middle of the City’s arts corridor. Students will have greater exposure and access to a variety of creative and artistic disciplines that enable them to express their unique identities.