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.

Group of multiracial students

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.

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.