New initiative, launched on National Read Across America Day, will deliver high-impact learning acceleration services to reach over 10,000 SFUSD students from under-resourced schools
SAN FRANCISCO (March 2, 2023) – The San Francisco Education Fund (Ed Fund), a nonprofit that supports equitable access to a quality education for students in the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), today announced the launch of “Accelerate Learning SF,” a new initiative that immediately expands high-impact learning acceleration services to an additional 5,000 public school students. This effort will specifically address unfinished learning in core subjects brought on by disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic. It prioritizes the most under-resourced schools in San Francisco whose students may not otherwise have access to high quality tutoring services to help them reach grade level proficiency.
In the fall of 2022, test results confirmed that the pandemic caused students to fall behind in their academic growth. Just over 50% of SFUSD students are grade-proficient in literacy and just under 50% are grade-proficient in math.
“It is urgent that we get our students caught up to on their learning before too much time elapses. With the Ed Fund’s focus on San Francisco’s most under-resourced schools, Accelerate Learning SF can better assure that ALL of our students have access to high quality learning acceleration services to address unfinished learning and move beyond the pandemic disruptions to their academic success,” said Stacey Wang, CEO of the San Francisco Education Fund.
In 2021, with the support of private funders from community philanthropic leaders and in partnership with SFUSD and SF Department of Children, Youth and Their Families (DCYF), the Ed Fund launched its first cohort of high-impact tutoring services to 1,000 students through the BookNook virtual platform. Program data shows that these students were able to catch up twice as fast as those without these services, with 42% of participants catching up to grade proficiency. The tutoring program gained national recognition from Accelerate, a nonprofit organization that seeks to support broad implementation of proven programs that are highly effective in advancing student learning, specifically addressing equity and academic impact from COVID disruptions. The Ed Fund’s tutoring services have reached over 5,000 students in the last two years and the Accelerate Learning SF initiative is set to double its reach in the upcoming school year. Accelerate CEO, Kevin Huffman, said, “We are excited to see how Ed Fund’s success in San Francisco can be applied in similar school districts across the country, for greater impact.”
The launch of “Accelerate Learning SF” was commemorated yesterday via an in-person private event at Guadalupe Elementary School in San Francisco, attended by prominent members of the San Francisco community, including the SFUSD Superintendent, Dr. Matt Wayne, Executive Director of DCYF, Maria Su, District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safaí, Board of Education Commissioner Jenny Lam, and supporting partners of the original pilot program. Ed Fund CEO Stacey Wang kicked off the festivities with a welcoming keynote, followed by speeches emphasizing the urgent need for Accelerate Learning SF’s programs. In honor of National Read Across America Day, Guadalupe Elementary School’s 2nd and 3rd graders listened to a special read aloud session with Superintendent Matt Wayne, with his reading of the children’s book, “Oh, How I Wished I Could Read.”
“We must come together as a city to ensure that the promise of a high-quality public education is kept for all kids in San Francisco. The Ed Fund’s new initiative is critical to finish the work of helping our students catch up on unfinished learning,” said Maria Su, Executive Director of DCYF. “It is our collective obligation to support this work before too much time lapses and the academic losses become permanent.”
“The Ed Fund has been an invaluable, long-standing partner to SF public schools’ students with deep, on-the-ground relationships across dozens of schools. Accelerate Learning SF will bring much needed tutoring services to schools to immediately address hurdles presented by COVID disruptions,” said Dr. Matt Wayne, SFUSD Superintendent of Schools. “We must do more to reach all of the students who need help catching up, and SFUSD will work hard in achieving excellence across all of our schools in partnership with the Ed Fund.”
To support Accelerate Learning SF:
Join the collective effort to ensure that each student can catch up on learning and accelerate towards academic success. To contribute, visit: https://bit.ly/accelerateSFEF
The Ed Fund gives thanks to the supporting partners of the initial pilot tutoring program including SFUSD, DCYF, Susan and William Oberndorf, JaMel and Tom Perkins and Mary & Jerome Vascellaro, Jonathan Howe, and Ernie Chow in Partnership with Innovate Public Schools.
About the San Francisco Education Fund
The San Francisco Education Fund is a nonprofit organization which mobilizes the San Francisco community to support equitable access to a quality education for public school students through learning acceleration programs, financial resources, mental wellness, and community support. The Ed Fund envisions a future where each and every San Francisco public school student has equitable access to quality education so that they can engage and enrich our collective community. For more information, visit www.sfedfund.org.