Program launched to bring
back to public schools
Sharing parent ideas and mutual support with teachers is now easier,
Interim School Superintendent Gwen Chan explains.
By Pat Murphy
May 10, 2006
San Francisco teachers are better positioned for parent collaboration
and mutual support through a citywide program launched Tuesday.
It also aims to retain teachers who remain on the job an average
of only three years, organizers reported at the 'Thank A Teacher'
campaign kick-off at Sheridan Elementary School.
The network enables parents to share their ideas by internet
with teachers as well encouraging private section financial support.
How to bring "the public back to public schools," was
the goal of a two-year study recently completely, explained Katie
School Board President Norman Yee embraces the effort.
"We specifically worked on the issue of teacher quality
and recruiting and retaining teachers to our great public schools,
said Albright who serves as director of the Public
"We interviewed teachers, we talked to parents, we talked
to community stakeholders, and we learned that San Francisco like
school districts around the country are facing a challenge in
retaining teachers - particularly to our lower performing schools.
"We also found that among the critical issues that is often
overlooked is teacher appreciation. Teachers just want a pat on
the back... about the job they are doing for our students every
The program permits parents and the public to thank teachers
in three ways.
"It gives the community three
easy ways to thank teachers," Albright continued.
"They can thank teachers by sending an email card or writing
a handwritten note. They can donate to bring a teacher's idea
to life or support their professional development. They may share
their story about a great teacher they have."
Interim School Superintendent Gwen Chan noted her lifelong involvement
with San Francisco public schools and the role teachers play in
"I graduated and then worked in the San Francisco Unified
School District for 38years and I have experienced and seen first-hand
the difference a teacher can make in a student's life," stated
For the City's part, Mayor Gavin Newsom began monthly special
recognition of individual teachers which carries need school supplies,
gifts, and a $500 check.
Teacher Ann Lew, a 30-year veteran of San Francisco teacher tanks,
receives first monthly City Recognition of excellence.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
Teachers are enthused by the project, echoed the teachers union.
San Francisco Educators of San Francisco union president Dennis
"We are pleased to see that teachers are being given thanks
for the work that they do and having their dedication recognized,"
acknowledged Dennis Kelly, president of United Educators of San
"Teaching, with the thousand daily decisions it entails,
is one of the most demanding jobs in our society."
Private sector sponsors hope to raise $250,000 for the effort
by the end of this month. Lead sponsors include The San Francisco
Giants and the Bank of America.
Teacher's role is critical, recognizes Larry Baer of the San Francisco
""The Giants have a long tradition of investing in
the local community and in education," recalled Giants Chief
Operating Officer Larry Baer.
"We are value the critical role our City's educators in
preparing our children for the future."
The program is accessible in English,
with donors able to contribute