JCHS will start the school year in Campus Mode 4: “All-Out” (100% Distance. We will stay in Mode #4 through the end of Quarter 1 (the week of October 19) unless conditions improve making it healthy and safe before then for in-person teaching and learning. Read Rabbi Ruben's July 21 message for more information.

Our Plan for 2020-21

Safeguarding our community and taking responsibility for one another in an extraordinary moment.
We know that there are many questions as we move closer to the start of the school year, and we want to connect with you. We are inviting all families to engage with us in live meetings via Zoom during the week before school begins. Families, please RSVP for these meetings via the link in your email.
  • August 10 at 4:00 pm: for families with students in the Class of 2024
  • August 10 at 5:00 pm: for families with students in the Class of 2023
  • August 11 at 4:00 pm: for families with students in the Class of 2022
  • August 11 at 5:00 pm: for families with students in the Class of 2021

As we noted in our message to the community on March 11 when we closed the physical campus, JCHS consistently has sought to balance our concerns for the health of our community with our responsibility to our students, their families, and our colleagues. We keep returning to that balance.  I wish we could tell you with more certainty what school will be like next year or even next month. But the current shifting realities of the pandemic make that impossible. We are certain, though, about the objectives and values that inform our decision making.

I am grateful to the team of professionals and community members who are giving so generously of their time this summer to craft a plan for returning to Ellis Street. The urgent work of the Ellis Street & Beyond (ESB) working groups continues as we finalize logistics, respond to new information, and ensure that every detail and question is addressed. As we continue this work, we remain keenly aware that so many of us are craving a return to in-person social interactions with our friends, classmates, and colleagues. There is an irony in acknowledging that when we return in August, the JCHS student body will be the largest we have ever welcomed - 192 students. And yet, given the escalating numbers and impact of COVID-19, we must not risk seeing our entire community at 1835 Ellis at the same time in person.

Objectives and Values Guiding Our Plan

Core Objectives 
  • Minimizing health and safety risks for everyone in our school community through thoughtful application of the San Francisco Department of Public Health guidelines. To be clear, while DPH has issued guidelines, San Francisco health officials have not yet granted permission for school campuses to open. Public health officials tell us they will assess that in early August depending on the status of COVID-19 health indicators. 
  • Empowering students to deepen their learning and socializing through the school year whether in-person, online, or a hybrid of each, that inspires students and challenges them to be their best selves.
  • Recognizing that the most powerful growing and learning occur in relationships with others we will push to create in-person experiences when those can be done safely, even if it means reducing how much students are on-campus.
  • Making it possible for JCHS to pivot from a consistent in-person learning experience when permitted by the pandemic to a consistent on-line experience when circumstances require or to a hybrid when that is the best choice. 
  • Allowing for flexibility to respond promptly as conditions and circumstances require. 
Core Values
As we work to meet the objectives above, JCHS has centered and been inspired by important Jewish values, including a number of long-standing Jewish values: Pikuach Nefesh ​(Safeguarding Life), She’at Hadechak​ (Making Temporary Adjustments in Times of Great Stress), and Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh Lazeh​ (All of Us Are Responsible for Each Other). In times of emergency and crisis, our tradition gives us a template for thoughtful and temporary adaptations. It is the job of all us to look out for the mental and physical health and safety of each of us. Taken together these values guide our actions to reduce both the risk of exposure and devastating impact of COVID-19.

The JCHS school community is so deeply connected to others beyond the school that our conduct also impacts the broader rate of infection. Over the past 19 years, we - our founders, board, students and alumni, parents, family members, professionals, and greater Jewish community members - have built an extraordinary community of Chesed (Lovingkindness) and Kavanah (Purpose). This pandemic moment underscores the critical importance of these values. Taken together, these values and the strength of the JCHS school community will enable us to approach the coming year with resilience and optimism.

In developing the following plan, the “Ellis Street and Beyond” (ESB) Group has endeavored to ensure inclusivity with a flexible, responsive plan that allows for full participation whether in person or from home.
Please use the links at the top to navigate to different sections of our plan for 2020-2021. Our weekly messages ("The Year Ahead") will outline more sections of the plan as they become available. We will also update that information here on the JCHS website, so please check here for the most updated information.
Jewish Community High School of the Bay
1835 Ellis Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: 415.345.9777
JCHS is grateful for generous operational, programmatic, and financial support from:
The Jewish Community High School of the Bay (JCHS) is a unique college preparatory high school committed to integrating deep learning, universal wisdom, and Jewish values. We empower each student to embrace her or his Jewish identity, generate empathy and compassion, delight in lifelong education, and improve the world.