There has been quite a bit of messy discourse about the San Francisco school district and how it responded to the pandemic over the last year. In my role as a non-profit arts educator, I attended a series of Community Partners Forums with the school district that were not a part of any media coverage.
When I am in meetings, I take sketchnotes to stay focused and process what I am learning. I have combined these sketchnotes into a painting to show how SFUSD worked through a pandemic.
The people I met in these meetings are deeply committed to equity in education with the understanding that when we focus on serving the needs of students from the most marginalized communities, we create environments where the needs of each individual student are recognized and addressed.
The values of “grace” and “compassion” came up repeatedly. The culture I saw at SFUSD was all about being nurturing and respectful. The notion of compelling teachers, staff, or anyone to gather in person before any vaccines were available would be anathema to this sense of safety and caring the district has been cultivating.
The painting, “Grace and Compassion,” is above, and the sketchnotes I used to create it follow. This artwork shows how this little window into public education administration in San Francisco during a pandemic felt for me.
You can find more of this work, including a painting about arts education policy at SFUSD, on the Inquiry Paintings page of my website, TheArtDontStop.com.