A Visual Calendar of 2021 Summer Camps in San Francisco

This is a listing of in-person 2021 summer camps in San Francisco, with a visual calendar for playing mental Tetris with session dates.

It’s extra difficult to figure out summer camps in San Francisco this year because of the Department of Public Health’s 3 week session minimum, and because camps are all in different stages of releasing information as final guidelines roll out.

So I created a calendar-style listing that lets you visually compare session dates between camps, organized by age and location, which I’ll update as I see more camps open registration. (Last updated 4/1/2021)

Check it out, share it with your friends, and please encourage them to join Littldata’s mailing list so they don’t miss out on future goodies to help parents solve their family’s logistical challenges. I’m hoping to share content here more regularly, some for San Francisco parents and some for parents everywhere.


About Littldata: Littldata’s goal is to help parents figure out their family logistics by sharing tools such as maps, calendars, lists, and spreadsheets–as well as research-backed blog posts and data graphics. If you have feedback or ideas for future content that you’d like to see, please contact Lian at littldata@gmail.com!

Join Littldata’s mailing list here.

San Francisco November 2020 Voter Guide Roundup

Most of us probably know how we’ll be voting in the Presidential/Vice Presidential contest, but if you’re in California, there are many down ballot races and ballot measures that are also important. Affirmative action, the size of our police force, the regulation of dialysis clinics–it’s a lot to go through.

Here are two complementary resources that can help as you make your choices. The first is Cal Matters’ election guide. They’re a nonpartisan nonprofit that explains policy and politics, and they describe each contest in plain language. They also show whose money is backing each measure, and who endorses each candidate. See their guide here.

Cal Matters doesn’t make specific recommendations, however, so I’ve also compiled several major voter guides for San Francisco’s November 2020 election, in the moderate to progressive range. Not every organization made recommendations in every contest, but where they did, they’re gathered here:

State and Federal Races

SF ChronicleYIMBY Action SFUnited Democratic Club
President/Vice PresidentBiden/HarrisBiden/HarrisBiden/Harris
US Representative District 12Nancy Pelosi
State Senator District 11Scott WienerScott Wiener
State Assembly Member District 17David Chiu
State Assembly Member District 19Phil Ting

Education Races

SF ChronicleUnited Democratic Club
SF Board of Education (four slots)Michelle ParkerMichelle Parker
SF Board of EducationJenny LamJenny Lam
SF Board of EducationKevine BoggessAlida Fisher
SF Board of EducationAlida FisherMatt Alexander
CCSF Board of Trustees (four slots)Tom TempranoTom Temprano
CCSF Board of TrusteesJeanette QuickJeanette Quick
CCSF Board of TrusteesShanell WilliamsAliya Chisti
CCSF Board of TrusteesMarie HurabiellVictor Olivieri

California Propositions

SF ChronicleSPURIndivisible SFACLUUnited Democratic ClubYIMBY Action SF
Prop 14 – Re-Fund Stem Cell AgencyNoNoYes
Prop 15 – More frequent commercial property tax assessmentsYesYesYesYesYesYes
Prop 16 – Affirmative ActionYesYesYesYesYes
Prop 17 – Restore voting rights of former prisoners on paroleYesYesYesYesYesYes
Prop 18 – Let 17 year olds vote in primaries if they’ll be 18 before general electionYesYesYesYesYes
Prop 19 – Property Taxes, heirs, and older homeownersNoYesNoYesYes
Prop 20 – Expand list of crimes that don’t allow early releaseNoNoNoNoNo
Prop 21 – Allow local gov’ts to expand rent controlNoNoYesYes
Prop 22 – Exempt app-based drivers from gig worker employee classificationYesNoNoNo
Prop 23 – Increase state regulation of kidney dialysis clinicsNoNoYes
Prop 24 – Expand a 2018 data privacy lawNoNoNo
Prop 25 – Replace money bail with evaluation of defendant’s safetyYesYesYesYes

San Francisco Ballot Measures

SF ChronicleSPURYIMBY Action SFIndivisible SFUnited Democratic ClubLeague of Women’s Voters
Prop A – Health and Homelessness, Parks and Streets BondYesYesYesYesYesYes
Prop B – Split Public Works into two agenciesNoNoYesNo
Prop C – Allow noncitizerns to serve on city advisory boardsNoYesYesYesYesYes
Prop D – Greater oversight of Sheriff’s DepartmentYesYesYesYesYes
Prop E – Eliminate the requirement that the Police Department have 1,971 full-duty officersYesYesYesYesYesYes
Prop F – recallibrate business taxes to phase out certain taxes for some businesses and increase the number of small companies exempted from business tax.YesYesYesYesYesYes
Prop G – allow 16-17 year olds to vote in local elections.NoYesYesYesYes
Prop H – Streamline city’s permitting processes for storefrontsYesYesYesYesYes
Prop I – Increase tax on property sales over $10MNoNoYesNoYes
Prop J – a $288 parcel tax for SFUSDYesYesYesYesYesYes
Prop K – authorize SF to rehabilitate up to 10,000 units of affordable housingYesYesYesYesYesYes
Prop L – tax companies where executives earn way more than employeesNoN/AYesNo
Measure RR (SF, San Mateo, Santa Clara) – increase sales taxes by 1/8 of a cent to raise money for rail systemYesYesYesYesYesYe
Note: ACLU made one recommendation in this section, a YES for Prop G.

San Francisco Supervisors and BART Board of Directors

SF ChronicleYIMBY Action SF
SF Supervisor District 1Marjan PhilhourMarjan Philhour
SF Supervisor District 3Aaron PeskinDanny Sauter
SF Supervisor District 5Vallie BrownVallie Brown
SF Supervisor District 7Joel EngardioMyrna Melgar
SF Supervisor District 9Hillary Ronen
SF Supervisor District 11Ahsha SafaíAhsha Safaí
BART Board of Directors – District 7Lateefah Simon
BART Board of Directors – District 9Bevan Dufty

Here are other voter guides whose recommendations I didn’t compile:

And here are two organizations whose voter guides weren’t yet posted at the time when I wrote this blog post:

If you’re still stuck on a particular ballot measure or proposition, I’ve seen advice that you should vote ‘no,’ because propositions and ballot measures are hard to adjust or undo after the fact, and can have a lot of unintended consequences.

About Littldata: Littldata’s goal is to help parents figure out their family logistics by sharing tools such as maps, calendars, lists, and spreadsheets–as well as research-backed blog posts and data graphics. If you have suggestions about these pod categories or ideas for future content that you’d like to see, or any questions, please contact Lian at Littldata.com!

Reach out to us anytime at littldata@gmail.com. Join Littldata’s mailing list here for updates and special content to make your family logistics easier. Follow Littldata on Twitter @littldata, and on Facebook at Littldata.

Four Types of Childcare and Schooling Pods, Explained

Terms such as pods and quaranteams are suddenly part of our daily language, but what do these words mean? And what do pods mean in the context of in-person, hybrid, or virtual schooling? This post breaks down the most common options in terms of the overall types of childcare and schooling pods that we’re seeing people use, how they relate to regular schools, and how they function in terms of staffing and administration.

TYPES OF PODS

These are the most common strategies and typologies of childcare and educational pods.

  • Remote Learning Pod
    • The focus is on creating a physical setting to complement virtual instruction from schools, including supervision, technical support, and socialization for grade-school aged children and youth while they attend virtual meetings and complete work.
    • Children could be all in the same class or school, or a mixed-age group could be formed in order to keep siblings together.
  • Nanny Share
    • Particularly for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, with a setup similar to pre-pandemic nanny shares, operating out of one or more family homes.
    • Caregiver could be a nanny, a preschool teacher, or a stay-at-home parent caring for their own child plus one or more others.
  • Microschool
    • A more formal and often somewhat larger group, with curriculum being delivered by an in-person teacher(s). For younger children, these may look similar to pre-pandemic preschools or daycares located in a home or meeting outdoors in nature.
    • These programs likely require a license, depending on what state you live in, the children’s ages, and the number of children.
  • Playdate Pod
    • Pod families get together at each other’s homes or in parks for playdates, which are typically limited to a few hours each day or week.
  • Hybrid Pod
    • Not really a unique type, but a pod could include aspects of multiple pod types, for example, by having time for remote learning during the day, with playdate time together with parents later in the afternoon; or by having elements of a Microschool with a part-time teacher providing some tutoring, while parents take turns to cover supervision.

RELATIONSHIP TO REGULAR SCHOOLS

This is how the pod types can relate to childrens’ pre-pandemic schools

  • Remote Learning Pod
    • Works TOGETHER with virtual or the virtual part of hybrid (part in-person, part virtual) participation in a regular grade school.
    • Could alternatively be coupled with a stand-alone online learning platform or similar solution that families arrange, and used INSTEAD of a regular grade school.
  • Nanny share 
    • Usually INSTEAD of a normal daycare or preschool program, or 
    • Can be used TOGETHER with a school’s virtual offerings, such as Zoom circle time meetings with the childrens’ regular classmates, or
    • ALONGSIDE daycare or preschool, in the case of a part-time nanny share complemented by part-time participation at in-person preschool.
  • Microschool
    • Could be used INSTEAD of participation in a regular school.
    • Could also be used by families who choose to participate in their school’s virtual offerings to help keep the child’s enrollment and school’s community and funding intact, while supplementing ALONGSIDE with in-person learning through a Microschool-type arrangement.
  • Playdate Pod
    • Since these pods are by definition limited in time and scope, they likely exist ALONGSIDE other strategies for childcare and education.

STAFFING ARRANGEMENTS 

These options for adult presence can each work with various pod types

  • Parent Co-op 
    • Parents trade off duties without exchanging money
  • Paid Parent
    • Typically a stay-at-home or homeschooling parent who agrees to take on one or more children in addition to their own
  • Paid Teacher 
    • Skills and responsibilities could range from babysitter to accredited teacher
  • Hybrid Staffed 
    • Any mix of the above
  • Unstaffed 
    • For a Remote Learning Pod for students old enough to safely and legally be on their own, or a Playdate Pod where parents stay 

POD SETUP AND ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENTS 

Who is organizing and taking on the administrative load? 

  • Family-led
    • Families connect with each other and make arrangements. If hiring a teacher, this may entail drafting a contract, getting an employer ID number, running employee payroll, meeting insurance and other legal requirements, and withholding taxes.
    • Families choose which other families join. Families may establish their own agreement for health protocols, including things like family and teacher social distancing practices during out of school time.
  • Teacher-led
    • Acting as the director of their own small program, the teacher establishes a curriculum and policies and invites families to enroll at rates and with a contract that the teacher establishes. The teacher likely needs to register as a business with their own insurance, license, and legal structure.
    • Families do not get to choose which other families join. Health protocols and agreements are more likely to be limited to local public health recommendations for schools, and to not address families’ social distancing practices during out of school time.
  • Hybrid-led
    • In reality, many arrangements aren’t purely Family- or Teacher-led.
    • For example, one or more families may connect with a teacher and then search together for an additional family or families, while working together towards agreements on how to operate. 
    • Conversely, teacher-led pods may respond to family needs and preferences on a range of issues based on mutual agreement with families.

I hope that knowing and using these terms will make it easier to define your needs, communicate what you’re looking for, and build shared understandings with potential podmates. If you’re looking to connect with families and teachers for pod formation, or want to join in on our discussion, please join the Pandemic Pods and Microschools main group and your local chapter on Facebook.

Please note that this post is not meant to provide legal, health, or any other advice for your individual situation. Each arrangement has its own legal requirements, which may include licensure, business registration, and/or insurance, which I hope to describe in future posts. Also, if you read this far to find out what a quaranteam is, it’s the same as a pod as far as we can tell, but sometimes with more social connotations.

About Littldata: Littldata’s goal is to help parents figure out their family logistics by sharing tools such as maps, calendars, lists, and spreadsheets–as well as research-backed blog posts and data graphics. If you have suggestions about these pod categories or ideas for future content that you’d like to see, or any questions, please contact Lian at Littldata.com!

Reach out to us anytime at littldata@gmail.com. Join Littldata’s mailing list here for updates and special content to make your family logistics easier. Follow Littldata on Twitter @littldata, and on Facebook at Littldata.

The photo for this post is by Steve Slater and is being used under a Creative Commons License.

Live Blog: SFUSD School Re-Opening Town Hall

I’m live blogging the San Francisco Unified School District “Fall Learning Town Hall,” in which the district will be taking family feedback and questions about school re-openings for the 2020-21 academic year.

6:35 pm: There are more than 2,500 people attending as SFUSD Board President Mark Sanchez opens the Town Hall. Sanchez: “We must be guided by the science…and by what is economically feasible.”

6:38 pm: Superintendent Vincent Matthews acknowledges that there are many questions, and that SFUSD doesn’t have answers to everything. The goals for this meeting include recapping what was learned over the spring and taking feedback on that semester, hearing about public health guidance for schools, and a Q+A about the fall.

6:44 pm: In Spring 2020, most families reported that they were okay, but the disparities between neighborhoods were large.

6:49 pm: A platform called Thoughtexchange has been introduced to collect feedback both through a short survey (on questions such as the below) and provide your thoughts, as well as “to rate the thoughts of others” on a five-star scale. We are now listening to elevator music to allow for time for people to participate in the Thoughtexchange system.

6:56 pm: Most of the attendees tonight seem to be parents of children in the younger grades of elementary, as well as Pre-K. The biggest concerns expressed have to do with the lack of social engagement and interaction, as well and equity in terms of access to teachers, mental health professionals, food, learning and support.

7:00 pm: While plans won’t be finalized until July 28, the general direction should be made clear by this Friday. It’s mentioned that PreK, TK, and K students weren’t given instruction via Zoom, as it was not felt to be developmentally appropriate, so they had less social interaction than older students.

7:05 pm: Ana Validzic from the SF Department of Public Health shares some general safety guidelines that SFUSD will be paying attention to:

  • symptom screening, with temperature checks either at school or at home
  • stable cohorts and physical distancing (6′ when possible, but 3′ for students okay).
  • hand washing on schedules, with every instructional area having hand sanitizer or a hand washing station
  • use of face coverings (masks), although there are exemptions for medical or behavioral conditions; if a mask is not worn, the student needs to maintain 6′ of distance. Face shields cannot replace masks.
  • cleaning and disinfection, with routine cleaning of frequently-touched surfaces; the virus is easily killed and doesn’t require deep cleaning
  • ventilation

7:24 pm: Another round of Thoughtexchange is used to gather questions and feedback about the fall. Here are some of the top comments:

7:27 pm: “We are focusing on safety recommendations for everyone, but with increased focus on older students and staff” given evidence that the youngest children are less at risk and less likely to transmit the disease.

7:30 pm: Dawn Kamalanathan is SFUSD’s Chief Facilities Officer and she worked for 12 years for the Recreation and Parks Department; she’s looking into holding classes outdoors.

7:32 pm: Cloth masks are “perfectly fine” and although SFUSD is scheduled to receive PPE shipments, the general requirement is not for medical-grade supplies.

7:38 pm: Superintendent Matthews: SFUSD wrote to the state to let them know they can’t follow health guidelines if budgets are cut. State came through on PPE, but there are still gaps. There may be another opportunity for funding at the federal level. Mark Sanchez: Spark SF Public Schools is set up to receive donations for SFUSD; they’ve received $5M so far during the pandemic and would be glad for more.

7:40 pm: This Friday, July 10, high-level (i.e. general) recommendations will be published to the website, in advance of the board meeting on July 14. This will give everyone a general sense of the direction–i.e. distanced learning vs. in-person vs. hybrid. The detailed plan will be delivered on July 28, three weeks before the start of school.

7:43 pm: In response to a question about “LIVE distant learning,” Sanchez helps Matthews out to understand that this is meant to refer to synchronous learning experiences rather than asynchronous.

7:49 pm: Matthews: We don’t want to open schools only to have to close them again. Everyone shares the concern about spread of COVID-19. Clarification that as of this moment, given that case numbers are rising, schools are not allowed to open; the May 16 health order that closed schools is still in effect.

7:53 pm: Matthews confirms that SFUSD will meet the needs of all families (albeit imperfectly). Given the situation, if the district goes to in-person learning and there are families who do not feel this is safe, SFUSD will still work to meet these families’ needs.

7:55 pm: Is hybrid learning safer than fully in-person? It’s not known conclusively, but the national and state guidelines are based on the most reliable research.

7:56 pm: Closing comments from Matthews. Families will receive a link to a brief, anonymous survey; they’re working hard to integrate feedback as they develop plans.

Join our Facebook group Pandemic Pods and Microschools – San Francisco Bay Area to connect with families, teachers, and caregivers for your remote learning pod, microschool, or nanny share; and for resources to help you organize your pod.

The images for this post are from SFUSD.

About Littldata: Littldata’s goal is to help parents figure out their family logistics by sharing tools such as maps, calendars, lists, and spreadsheets–as well as research-backed blog posts and data graphics. Reach out to us anytime at  littldata@gmail.com. Join Littldata’s mailing list here for updates and special content to make your family logistics easier. Follow Littldata on Twitter @littldata, and on Facebook at Littldata.