The beginning of the school year can be a challenging adjustment for teachers, who have just one day to set up their classrooms after a week of lesson planning and professional development. However, many SF teachers received meaningful support from hundreds of community and corporate volunteers to help them kick off the school year in a positive and impactful way. Last week, over 200 volunteers rolled up their sleeves to provide 522 hours of individual in-person support to teachers. Taking three-hour shifts, volunteers helped teachers at 31 SFUSD schools with various tasks around their classrooms, such as bulletin board setup, hanging up posters, rearranging furniture, organizing textbooks or a classroom library, painting, and general classroom cleaning.  

Back to School Setup is an annual SF Ed Fund event, and is always an incredibly fun and impactful opportunity for San Franciscans to help teachers get ready for the new school year. The support with preparing classrooms gives these teachers a chance to spend the time they would’ve taken with tasks like unpacking boxes of new curriculum materials to focus on more important critical tasks leading up to students’ arrival. “Thank you so much for your support,” a social studies teacher from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Middle School said. “I now have time to lesson plan.” 

Many of our volunteers were enthusiastic employees from our Circle the Schools partners. Circle the Schools is a corporate volunteer program that brings the time, talent and resources of local companies into our public schools. These are powerful partnerships benefitting both the schools and companies that participate. The Ed Fund helps facilitate about 3-5 events per year per partnership, and Back to School Setup is one of the largest, most impactful events. This year, we’re thrilled to acknowledge the 9 Circle the Schools corporate partners that recruited employees to volunteer for Back to School Setup Day: Slalom, Salesforce, Dropbox, New Relic, Inc., App Dynamics, Hanson Bridgett LLP, PagerDuty, 6sense and NextRoll.

Throughout the eight years of programming since the program’s inception, Circle the Schools partner companies have directly served over 100,000 students, volunteered over 40,000 hours and donated over $1.8 million in resources such as books, meals or supplies to students and teachers. We are so proud of our Circle the Schools partners and are always looking for more companies to join our community. If you’re interested in joining into an incredible partnership with a San Francisco school, please reach out to Jenny Siegel at to learn more.  

Wishing SFUSD students, families and staff a wonderful school year ahead. To our Back to School Setup volunteers, we are extremely grateful for your time and generosity, and so are SF teachers. We appreciate you and we thank you!  

Here are some Twitter photo highlights of our volunteers in action: