Sfusd Teacher On Special Assignment Interview

San Francisco Unified School District

San Francisco Unified School District Employee Reviews

Great district to work for.
Teacher, 3rd Grade (Former Employee) –  San Francisco, CA – February 17, 2018
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Great students and families. I had a lot of room for creativity in my classroom. Principal was supportive and easy to talk to when issues occurred. Teachers could have been more welcoming to a newbie.
Fun and exciting place to work
Nurse, Licensed Vocational Nurse (Current Employee) –  San Francisco, CA – March 13, 2018
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San Francisco Unified School District, School Health Department is a great place to work. The people are friendly and the work environment is collaborative.

A typical day at a school site can vary from children needing an adult other than a teacher or administrator to talk with on slow days to fast paced with numerous kids sick or injured who require emergency medical services. Other times may be spent providing specialized medical care to physically fragile children with medical conditions that require tracheostomy, g-tube or colostomy care and insulin or seizure support.

The services provided are not limited to students. Adult school staff members can come for health checks and first aid too.

More often than not, most children just need some first aid and a little TLC.
You build lasting relationships with the students and staff.
Having to find supplemental work during prolonged school breaks during winter and summer.
The department I worked in is totally awesome
Senior Clerk Typist (Current Employee) –  San Francisco, CA – March 3, 2018
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I work with some the nicest staff which makes it easier to come to work along with being to do your work.

The atmosphere is great and the department I work in allows you to do daily physical exercises.

The hardest part of the job is that you have to accept the fact that it is not a permanent position.

It also understands flexibility especially if you have children.
Prop A Substitute Teacher (Former Employee) –  San Francisco, CA – February 5, 2018
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The time of starting depends on the school schedules, the rule of the thumb is to arrive early, if not 30 minutes early. Often students look down on you because you are new to the school, try to keep up with your spirit, get to know the students, administratives, and other teaching colleagues, that will help to survive the day.
environment, healthcare, fixed hours
Cost of living too high to be a teacher
Instructional Coach and Interventionist (Former Employee) –  San Francisco, CA – January 29, 2018
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District does not pay enough to live in San Francisco. Some positions when there were interesting and I enjoyed my time, others were a pain to go to every day. Management makes a huge difference.
Teacher (Former Employee) –  San Francisco, CA – January 17, 2018
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San Francisco Unified School District was a tough place to work. The Supervisors were always changing. The district pitted people against each other. To much politics, and paperwork..
Special Education Paraprofessional- All (Former Employee) –  San Francisco, CA – January 13, 2018
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San Francisco unified school district has a lot of good and bad, it really changes from school to school as far as teachers, co-workers and materials. Great Speech therapist art Lowell High School
PARA-PROFESSIONAL (TEACHER ASSISTANT) (Former Employee) –  San Francisco, CA – January 7, 2018
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I worked for SFUSD for nine years. I’ve always been a team player and gave it my all. Well, my all landed me with several injuries and surgery. As if now, I’m limited to any type of work I can now perform.
Shaping the minds and hearts of our youth
Chess Instructor (Current Employee) –  San Francisco, CA – December 7, 2017
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The greatest job (responsibilities) one can have. And doing it at the high school level, where you have young people who can already formulate new ideas is so rewarding.
Administrative Assistant (Former Employee) –  San Francisco, CA – November 13, 2017
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I loved working for the school district the curriculum dept had the best directors and facilators. My job also included the summer program witch is also year around. I would have never left . I decided to move across the bay to buy a home and start a family. I chose not to commute so much traffic. I would feel awful if I couldn't get to my children on a timely manner due to unexpected traffic.
So many kids in a class due to teacher shortage.
Very political environment
Senior Management (Former Employee) –  San Francisco, CA – October 27, 2017
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School district administrators are taking money that should go to teachers. When a teacher gets bored with teaching they become administrators so they can reap the benefit of high salaries.
San Francisco Unified School District
School District Nurse (Former Employee) –  San Francisco, CA – September 27, 2017
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Large urban school district with many high-risk, high-needs students. We all fought the mighty fight to provide services to our students. My last assignment was as a Wellness Center High School Wellness Center Nurse in Bayview/Hunter's Point. Much of my job involved case management and helping students and families access services. Many newcomer families needed guidance in the language of their home country.
Great working partnerships
Leadership needs improvement
Classroom Teacher (Former Employee) –  Balboa High School – July 31, 2017
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Lots of potential with SFUSD, however, the leadership/school site administrators need to be better observed and managed as a lot of them are unhinged and out of control. As a paraprofessional, security guard, secretary, counselor, or classroom teacher, you will be subjected to the inappropriate and unprofessional behavior exhibited by most members of school site leadership in the district. I have seen very little movement towards fixing it, however, it seems like the school board and superintendent have acknowledged the issue. The students are amazing and the co-workers are incredible.
great students, incredible coworkers
bad leadership, misogynistic practices, poor community culture
I enjoy working with students in the San Francisco Unified School District as the students are eager to learn, are multicultural and multilingual
Teacher (Current Employee) –  San Francisco, CA – July 24, 2017
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I enjoy working with the of San Francisco Unified School District. As a substitute teacher I have been called to work daily . The administratiion and teachers are hard working and genuinely care for the education of the students.
The benefits and salary are fair and I would recommend others to work in this school district.
Administrators support and appreciate substitute teachers.
Calstrs has a yearly salary limit.
Resource Specialist Teacher (Former Employee) –  San Francisco, CA – May 1, 2017
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Staff people were very professional. They were very involved in educating children. Providing the resources that children need to accelerate in learning at the school level.
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Mónica Vásquezis the Chief Human Resources Officer in the San Francisco Unified School District (and a former TNTPer). When SFUSD announced that they would be starting the 2015-16 school year with no teacher vacancies, we sat down with Mónica to talk about how they achieved the huge goal of making sure every SFUSD student started the school year knowing who their teachers would be.

Congratulations on starting the school year fully staffed! Can you tell us a little bit about the staffing challenges in San Francisco Unified?

California has been notorious for not funding public education at the same level as other states. The recession hit us really hard. For six or seven years, we had teacher layoffs. So this notion that you had to recruit teachers was a non-starter for us. In effect, the recession insulated us from the recruitment challenges that we’ve been seeing elsewhere in the country. We didn’t see the teacher shortage coming; it just wasn’t our reality.

Then last year, for the first time in a while, we didn’t do any layoffs, and we opened the school year with five full-time teacher vacancies. That raised alarm bells for us; we knew we couldn’t keep doing what we've done before. And then this year, it really hit.

What happened this year?

As the economy started to pick up, we’ve seen an infusion of resources to public schools and added teaching positions. We’re starting to do a ton of inclusion and innovative programming for our special education students, which means we need more special education teachers; we’re doing multi-lingual pathways, so we’re looking for more teachers who speak languages that are specific to our students. All of those things came together at the same time, coupled with a 24 percent increase in retirements in SFUSD this year as baby boomers started leaving the workplace. We started to say, “Oh my gosh, we have all these positions and we know our schools of education are not producing enough teachers for us.”

So what did you do?

We realized we had to start recruiting earlier, look into earlier contracts for teachers, and shift to year-round recruiting. A huge thing we did was start meeting regularly with our feeder teacher preparation programs. That means we’re coordinating on what kinds of positions we anticipate looking to fill—special education, bilingual teachers, those kind of things—and they can make sure they’re producing those graduates. The University of San Francisco dean had a great idea for an accelerated program: He proposes allowing students to shift their schedules so all they have left at the end of the year is their student teaching hours, and they can come into the district in the fall as interns. It was too late to start that this year, but we're looking at it for next year. It’s very cool to have a local school of education that's willing to think like that.

They’ve also started a program that allows our current teachers to complete their special education certification in one year. They built that for us because special education teachers are such a huge need.

It sounds like you’re laying a lot of groundwork to address future staffing needs. Did you do anything else to make sure you met your goal for this school year?

It’s been a collaborative process across the district. In SFUSD, hiring happens at the school level. To get our principals to move forward with looking at the candidate pool and bringing people in for interviews, it's important to have our assistant superintendents—who manage a cohort of schools—on top of their schools’ needs. So I sent emails to them every week with updates on their schools and how they compare to others in the district, and I would copy our entire HR team, the deputy superintendent of instruction, and the superintendent himself. The superintendent always followed up with a supportive message. A staff member who’s been with the district for twenty years told me, “We've never had the support from the third floor [the superintendents] that we have this year.”

Most importantly, there was an understanding that the 100 percent goal—staffing all our schools by the first day back with students—wasn’t an HR goal; it was a district-wide goal.

Do you think the cost of living in San Francisco makes it harder to hire teachers?

San Francisco is an expensive city to live in. We're working really hard with our union and the City of San Francisco on an educator housing task force, and they’re exploring a lot of options, from rent and mortgage assistance to physical housing for educators. But those solutions are long-term. The issue of housing is not something a school district can solve—just like school districts can't solve the issue of poverty. What we can do is put the issue front and center, which is why it’s important for the public to see collaboration between the district, the teacher’s union, and city officials.

We’ve also given our teachers a 12 percent raise over three years—which isn’t enough, but it’s a start. And we offer additional compensation for working in hard-to-staff subject areas and schools, so compared to other Bay Area districts, we’re pretty competitive. As the economy continues to grow, we’ll be able to keep adding to our teachers’ compensation packages, which is really important.

Any big takeaways you’d add for other districts looking to improve their staffing systems?

The teacher shortage coupled with the recovering economy and the retirement bubble all suggest that the challenge of staffing schools isn’t going anywhere. School districts need to start getting creative about how we meet the demand for teachers when the supply isn't there. We need to be building out new programs with university partners, as well as building our own training programs. I keep hearing about how we’ll need more emergency-credentialed teachers. But if we're smart about this, we won't have to go that route. It's on us to address this because it's not going away.

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