March 3, 2021
As we arrive in March, it’s hard to believe that it has been nearly one year since this extraordinary situation began -- 51 Shabbatot, but who’s counting! As Quarter 3 draws to a close, we continue to admire your engagement in learning and being with each other -- even at a distance. As we anticipated, San Francisco is among the counties that will move into the Red Tier officially as of today, March 3. This enables San Francisco County officials to give permission for JCHS (and nearly two dozen schools in our group, such as Bay, Drew, Urban, and University) to bring students back on campus for indoor learning.
March 2, 2021
As we approach the time when students will be returning to Ellis Street, we need your help testing the SchoolPass pre-screen process. Also, in order for each student to participate in next week’s Experiential Days, their parent/guardian must use SchoolPass to complete a Wellness Check before leaving home.
February 17, 2021
If San Francisco is placed in the Red tier next week, February 23, then it’s possible SFDPH will give permission for students to return to JCHS (and these other schools) as early as the week of March 8 - which is set aside at JCHS for faculty grading and student Experiential Days. That means, the next earliest date students would be in-person is March 15, the start of Q4 for the Bet Cohort (9th & 12th).
February 14, 2021
As we navigate through the latest information from the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH), we strive to continue being as transparent as possible with you about bringing students back to Ellis Street for in-person learning. Although SFDPH had been optimistic that declining case rates in San Francisco
would have dropped the county from the state’s Purple tier
to Red tier, that has not yet happened. California mandates that a county needs to be in Red for two weeks before it can give permission for more schools to open.
February 11, 2021
February 8, 2021
We are preparing more detailed information to send you later this week about students returning to Ellis Street. Ahead of that, however, as we approach the end of today, San Francisco still is in the Purple Tier. For that reason, we are moving the target date for students returning to Ellis Street from February 16 to February 22.
February 2, 2021
We are looking forward to welcoming students back to Ellis Street. JCHS is committed to providing JCHS sponsored transportation for students to and from campus. We have engaged our transportation vendor, First Student, to organize three routes for pickup and drop-off in Berkley, Oakland and Marin.
February 1, 2021
For families that will be choosing to send a student to Ellis Street, we need both the Community Pledge and the Risk Acknowledgement now.
January 27, 2021
Here are the headlines:
SFDPH shortens from 14 days to 5 days in the less restrictive Red Tier the time before lifting the “pause.” JCHS is adjusting its three week heads-up accordingly. San Francisco is still in the Purple Tier as of January 27. SFDPH could give us permission to return as early as six days after being in the Red Tier. Given that students have been learning from home for nearly 70% of the school year, we want to bring students back at the earliest time.
January 14, 2021
The start of 2021 has been topsy-turvy. This week at JCHS, with permission from SFDPH, we are happily piloting optional, in-person, outdoor experiences for students, but still are prohibited from learning indoors on Ellis Street. In the United States more than 500,000 have received a second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but we feel the pull of the pandemic’s spike accelerated by a potentially more infectious coronavirus variant. And in a period of just 15 days, Americans are experiencing the dislocation of a presidential insurrection and impeachment along with the exhilaration of a presidential inauguration.
January 7, 2021
While we continue preparing to be back with you on Ellis Street when we are able to do that, we understand the shifting landscape around the pandemic makes things feel a little different now. We will be meeting on Monday with the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) to hear its assessment of the new coronavirus strain and any update to COVID mitigation. We will report to you next week about how this might impact our plans going forward.
In the meantime, we know how important it is for students to connect with one another. We have reconfirmed with SFDPH that JCHS has permission to hold limited (about 1.5 hours), in-person, outdoor activities for small groups of students, facilitated by JCHS staff. We are therefore moving ahead with our plans to offer a range of optional, regional, outdoor activities. These activities will follow SFDPH safety and health protocols for outside of school time -- including mask wearing and social distancing. Please note that space will be limited based on staff capacity and keeping each group to a maximum of 14 students.
December 18, 2020 (The Winter Ahead)
Monday, January 25.
This is still our projected date for students (Grades 11/12) to return to Ellis Street for in-person learning, followed by Grades 9/10 on Monday, February 1 - shown in the calendar announced last month linked here
. It is important to note, however, that the “pause” is still in effect in San Francisco.
SFDPH reports that it will not lift the pause until two weeks (at a minimum) after San Francisco moves back into the state’s “red tier
.” We will send an update when we return from Winter Break.
December 2, 2020
On Tuesday evening, JCHS received word from the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) that JCHS has been approved to reopen for in-person learning when the city’s “pause” is lifted. Thank you to the school’s Ellis Street & Beyond working groups, and especially our COVID-19 Coordinator, Michael Shapero, for all their diligence and resourcefulness toward achieving SFDPH approval. Unfortunately, there’s no fixed date or timetable for lifting the “pause.” As you may recall, the “pause” was implemented November 10 to reduce surging COVID-19 cases. But since implementing the “pause,” San Francisco COVID-19 rates continue to rise. Last week San Francisco and San Mateo counties (like most Bay Area counties and most counties throughout California) moved into the “purple tier’ -- that is, the state’s most restrictive tier. For those reasons, as of now, JCHS tentatively is holding to the calendar announced last month linked here
- with Monday, January 25 as the first day of in-person learning for Grades 11/12 and Monday, February 1 for Grades 9/10.
November 17, 2020
It has been an eventful week since our recent ESB Town Halls. Rapid increases in Bay Area COVID-19 cases have pushed all of our counties in the wrong direction toward more restrictive levels. San Francisco’s Mayor Breed declared a “pause” in reopening high schools and rolled back several other reopening plans. Governor Newsom applied an “emergency brake” including guidance for limiting non-essential travel
and restricting social gatherings
with a recommended 14-day quarantine for those unable to limit travel or restrict socializing. Governor Newsom also delayed issuing updated guidance for high school athletics meaning that CIF sports competitions are indefinitely postponed
November 5, 2020
We are looking forward to seeing many of you on Monday at one of our two hour-long Town Halls. Thank you for the thoughtful questions and comments you’ve shared so far. We will try to address as many of your questions as we can.
October 28, 2020
Congratulations on starting Quarter 2! We want to update you about JCHS’ plans for returning to Ellis Street. The application was filed this week with the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH), which will be followed by SFDPH review and site visit before getting permission to reopen.
September 18, 2020
We want to update you on the status of moving from Campus Mode 4 (All Out - 100% Distance Learning) to Mode 3 (Hybrid - 50% Student Density). For the reasons described below, JCHS will not move to Mode 3 until some time in November or December at the earliest.
August 25, 2020
Like you, we long to return to Ellis Street. The JCHS formula for reopening includes having permission, being prepared, and it being practical to reopen. It is complicated. JCHS is monitoring the pandemic’s impact and school reopening directives from state and local officials. JCHS families come from six different Bay Area counties. Each of those counties is issuing its own range of directives based on the variable data tracked in each county.
August 19, 2020
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. When the school starts on Thursday JCHS will have 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.
August 11, 2020
Our first day of school is around the corner and though we are not able to be together on Ellis Street, we look forward to seeing the Class of 2024 be welcomed virtually by the Classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023. There will be lots of big smiles and virtual hugs shared as we sit around our screens to open the Year Ahead. The full Professional Community came together online yesterday to welcome new colleagues (see below) and make our final preparations to start classes next week. We are very excited to start and to find new ways in this environment to deepen our connections to every student and family.
August 4, 2020
Our first week is all about connecting with each other and feeling JCHS school ruach (spirit!) The first few days are dedicated to welcoming new ninth grade and transfer students, with the support of our amazing Senior Buddies. On Thursday, we will begin and end the school day by meeting in small groups, to set intentions and reflect on the first day of the school year. Friday will be punctuated with an upbeat, student-led assembly.
July 28, 2020
We are pleased to announce that Student Schedules are now available through the JCHS Portal. You will find information below about “Back to School” Boxes, Student Schedules, the Add/Drop period, and supporting learning differences.
July 21, 2020
JCHS has decided to 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.
July 15, 2020
Safeguarding our community and taking responsibility for one another in an extraordinary moment...
July 8, 2020
We hope that this finds you staying healthy and able to enjoy some downtime this summer. This is the first of our summer communications about the coming school year. This first message is to alert you to be expecting a weekly message on Tuesdays between now and the first day of school...
May 28, 2020
We are about to experience our twelfth(!) Shabbat since temporarily leaving Ellis Street in mid-March. We hope this finds you staying healthy and safe. As we think concretely about the coming school year, there are many open and complicated questions - most of which have no easy or clear answers. The school is consulting with professionals from a variety of disciplines and awaiting explicit guidance from public health officials. We also are planning around a range of alternative scenarios to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 and to minimize its impact.
April 19, 2020
Welcome Back, Wolves! As we get ready for the first day back from break and our first day of the Temporary Distance Learning Plan 2.0, Mr. Brody shares some thoughts as well as guidelines and expectations in this screencast.
April 7, 2020
Thank you to our students, educators, and their families for helping JCHS navigate the unprecedented and challenging environment resulting from COVID-19. You have shown tremendous resilience and flexibility. You have come together remarkably (but not surprisingly) in support of student learning, growth, and well-being during a very difficult time. JCHS is aligning with today’s announcement by public schools in the six counties that we serve, and with many of our peer independent schools, toward redoubling community efforts to slow the spread and reduce the impact of COVID19. For those reasons, JCHS will continue distance learning and programming through the end of the current school year. We understand how disappointing this news is for you. It is for us too
April 1, 2020
Thank you so much for your hard work, patience, and resilience as we’ve worked in this new distance learning model for the past week. We are immensely impressed and proud of the efforts that you’ve put in as we all navigate this unusual and stressful time. As you know we will head into Pesach Break next week and when we return, we will implement the Temporary Distance Learning Plan 2.0.
March 25, 2020
As many of you may be aware, six Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties) announced today the continuation of public school closures through May 1, 2020 in a continuing effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus).
March 20, 2020
It’s been a whirlwind of a week! It’s hard to imagine that just one week ago, students were clearing out their lockers and enjoying one more lunch in the sun together. Since then, so much has changed, not only as we shifted classes online, but also throughout the world. Some of us are working and learning in ways we never imagined possible. Others are still able to find humor in the ingenuity and creativity of response to the stress of it all. And some of our families are in distress because of the severe financial impact on the economy.
March 17, 2020
Having heard some of your questions about the TLDP and how it is framed, we thought it might be helpful to put together an FAQ designed to help give a clearer picture of how school will “look” and what the specific schedule will be.
March 16, 2020
We know that this is an extremely challenging time for everyone. On behalf of the Professional Community, I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who has reached out to us to express support, and also communicate concerns. In a situation like this, we feel that one of the most important actions we can take is to keep the lines of communication open. Thank you for your patience and positivity as we transition from in-person learning to a Temporary Distance Learning Plan (TDLP) on Wednesday, March 18...
March 13, 2020
Thank you for your patience and positivity as we transition from in-person learning to a temporary distance learning plan...
March 11, 2020
Beginning with our earliest communications to you about the COVID-19, and even as we’ve seen its impact grow to become a World Health Organization pandemic, 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. After extensive consultation with health experts, local school leaders, and our leadership team, JCHS has decided to temporarily transition from in-person learning.
March 10, 2020
Over the last week, local governments, health departments, and schools in Northern California have intensified efforts to mitigate the spread and impact of COVID-19. JCHS joins these efforts in support of our students and their families, our colleagues and their families, and the broader community. World-wide mitigation efforts already have and will continue increasingly to disrupt our daily lives over the next few weeks and months. As explained by the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH), this disruption in our lives is meant to disrupt the spread and reduce the impact of the virus.
March 4, 2020
As you know, we have been closely monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 virus. After thoughtful consideration and consultation with colleagues whose schools also were scheduled for international and domestic travel, JCHS has decided canceling this year’s journeys is the best way to protect student health and safety. Regrettably, it will not be possible to reschedule the journeys this Spring...
March 2, 2020
As this is likely on your mind, we wanted to reassure you that JCHS is monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation closely and carefully. In particular, we are tracking recommendations from both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) especially their guidance on how to prepare for the spread of the virus...