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Quality Teacher & Education Act Impact & Innovation Awards 2013

INNOVATIVE PRACTICE
Rationale / Priority (250 words) At Cleveland, we believe that offering sustained physical activities in a safe and nurturing environment is crucial to the well-being and growth of a well-rounded student. We’ve gone to great lengths to provide this environment. We employ a Playworks coach who teaches students and teachers creative ways of engaging in team building, sportsmanship and joyful physical activities. We also have a districtprovided PE teacher who is working with all classrooms in very similar ways, ensuring that students play safe, have fun, and have to catch their breath. However, like most schools in SFUSD, Cleveland has always suffered from a lack of access to safe play space, particularly for soccer, which is by far the most popular physical activity that our students enjoy and excel in participating. As well, we’ve found that girls are much less likely to engage in soccer and other sports when only offered a concrete or asphalt surface on which to play. So we’ve thought a lot about the equity issues that are embedded in the actual physical environment at Cleveland and came to the conclusion that we needed a real field—we called it our Field of Dreams. We’ve been fortunate to be partnered with Bay Area SCORES, one of our after school program providers, which creates teams through the sport of soccer and brings them into the classroom to discover their voice through poetry. One of our SCORES students, Diane, won the citywide SCORES poetry slam last year. Her life story and her plea for a safe soccer field were captured in a short documentary that was shown at the annual SCORES fundraiser last spring. It was so compelling that in that evening alone enough money was raised to support almost the entire cost of the materials and installation of a state-of-the-art soccer pitch at Cleveland. The balance of the funding for the field came from grant writing. We were awarded $6,000 from the San Francisco Foundation’s Koshland Program, which supports community driven initiatives in the Excelsior District. So now Cleveland has its Field of Dreams. The installation took place the weekend of August 17 and 18. The first day of instruction was Monday, August 19, and students and families were greeted with what is most likely SFUSD’s first ever elementary school soccer field.

Strategies that were Implemented (250 words)

Demonstrated Application & Measurable Outcomes (400 words)

Implementation factors: # people: # hours: Cost estimate: $20,000 Other(s): 20 20hours Enter text The impact of the addition of a playing field at Cleveland will be obtained qualitatively as well as through quantitatively collected data. This is what we will look at to determine the effectiveness of including a playing field within the context of the playground area at Cleveland:  Grade 5 Student Satisfaction Survey (e.g., I always feel safe at school; I enjoy the sports…at my school, etc.)  Increased numbers of girls participating in soccer during critical free choice activity times (before school, recess, lunch recess)  Increased numbers of girls participating in SCORES After School Program  Fewer student sports-related injuries

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Quality Teacher & Education Act Impact & Innovation Awards 2013 Sharing Best Practice (250 words) Already, Cleveland has been approached by a number of other schools, including Webster and Buena Vista Horace Mann, to ascertain how we engaged in the process of obtaining a playing field. In hopes of sharing what essentially is a best practice (offering students a safe, inclusive playing surface), we plan on offering other elementary school principals and teachers the opportunity to visit Cleveland to get a firsthand look at the field and how it is utilized. As well, SCORES is producing a professionally made documentary that will share the story of our Field of Dreams. This documentary will be offered to SFUSD to be utilized in whatever manner best fits the promotion of this type of field for other schools. Cleveland is one of a number of schools in SFUSD that is in the Shared Schoolyard partnership with the city of San Francisco. Our playground and field are open on weekends and in the summer to the community for shared usage throughout the year. The field is a big draw for youth who have few options to engage in safe sporting activities.

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