Supporting Students and Families with Family Wellness Checks

San Francisco Unified School District

San Francisco Unified School District maintained connections with students and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic with regular check-in calls and linkages to needed support.

To support nearly 53,000 students and families during the COVID-19 pandemic, San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) implemented a district-wide family wellness check-in protocol for school site staff. As a part of the protocol, SFUSD school staff called students and families quarterly for “Family Wellness Check-ins”— beginning late March 2020 and continuing through March 2021 — to identify needs and discuss how schools could help. Some needs were met directly by SFUSD staff – for example, families often asked for support with SFUSD-provided technology equipment; in other cases, staff helped families access various services from providers across the city.

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During the 2020-2021 school year, San Francisco Unified School District reached the families of more than 47,000 students through Family Wellness Check-ins.

In addition, SFUSD supported student mental health through social emotional learning activities even though school buildings were closed due to COVID-19. Activities included online classroom presentations, mindfulness sessions, virtual student drop-in times, and virtual school-wide events. The district also provided meal drop-offs, developed a hub for students to access support services and resources, provided virtual student support sessions, and offered phone interpretation services to connect with families whose primary language is not English.

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Given the success of these efforts during the pandemic, SFUSD school staff will continue to support students with such programs, and they will continue to use family wellness check-ins to build strong relationships with students and families.