JCHS has opened the school year in Campus Mode 4: “All-Out” (100% Distance. We will stay in Mode #4 through the end of Quarter 1 (October 23) unless conditions improve making it healthy and safe before then for in-person teaching and learning. 

Our Plan for 2020-21

Safeguarding our community and taking responsibility for one another in an extraordinary moment.
At JCHS, the building we care most about has always been building relationships. Relationships among students, between students and educators, and across families and circles of community. Our capacity to build community is especially important now while launching a school year online in the shadow of a pandemic. On the first day of school this year, JCHS welcomed its largest student body -- nearly 190 students -- ever! 

Relationships are everything! It is through those relationships, even (especially) online that JCHS students are empowered to cultivate new and existing passions, take healthy risks, and become the best version of themselves. 

We experienced that profoundly this week when more than half our Seniors cut short their summer vacations to plan a virtual retreat welcoming the Class of 2024. Reflecting on how they could step-up to make the Class of 2024 experience as positive as possible, for example, many Seniors spontaneously offered their phone numbers to the ninth graders so they’d always have access to a supportive older student. One Senior’s D'var Torah yesterday reflected that JCHS is a special community where everyone can be their own unique self -- introverts, extroverts, and everything in between. Genuine connections were made. Building on those connections, members of the Class of 2024 authentically and courageously shared out loud some of their anxieties and fears about the new school year.  

Even during the unstructured lunch break, some Seniors and ninth graders hung out together in Zoom to connect more with each other. On wrapping up, several ninth graders reported how quickly they felt welcomed and ready to be themselves in their new school community of JCHS. Thank you to the Class of 2021 and Class of 2024 for building relationships that will enrich The Year Ahead for all of us.

We are so excited to keep building community together -- whether on Zoom or on Ellis Street. It is going to be a remarkable year. We are excited for it to begin! 

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.