Community / 19th Avenue News

19th Avenue Campus FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions

We will work through to 2024-2025 to finalize the financial and logistics details, which include fundraising and exiting lease and partnership agreements at our four existing campus and office locations, along with renovating the 19th Avenue campus to make it ready for our students’ daily lives.

Below are answers to many of the initial questions that community members have about the 19th Avenue campus project in terms of New Campus Improvements, Opportunities, Logistics, and Finances, including the 筑梦家园 Building Our Forever Home campaign for CAIS.

Question not answered below? We invite community members to submit their query via this Google Form.

New Campus Improvements

When will the 19th Avenue campus be ready for occupation?

We will be moving into the new campus for the start of the 2024-2025 school year September 3, 2024!

What are the benefits to moving to the 19th Avenue campus? How will the 19th Avenue campus enhance teaching and learning at CAIS?

Uniting all CAIS students on one campus, which we own, will allow us to make decisions that we haven’t been able to imagine on our current campuses. The 5.4 acre campus includes academic facilities; a 19,595 square foot fine arts building, which features a contemporary live theatre stage with approximately 455 seats, an art studio with kiln, and a dance studio; a multi-purpose athletic facility with a full size indoor basketball court and locker rooms, and outdoor space where we are building a turf field.

How do the classroom spaces compare with current classrooms?

Classrooms are significantly larger, which provides a flexibility that will support a wider variety of pedagogies.

Will all grades/divisions move to the new campus? At the same time?

Yes, all grades will start the 2024-25 school year together at 19th Ave.

The campus was a high school. What needs to be done to accommodate ECD and Lower School students?

We will need to move age- and size-appropriate furniture to the 19th Avenue campus. The first floor spaces and classrooms are being redesigned to accommodate Preschool, Kindergarten and First Grade classrooms, which will include bathrooms inside the classrooms and access to outdoor play areas. Classrooms throughout the entire building are being reconfigured to best suit the ages and stages of all CAIS students. A new, and larger, Learning Center for the Middle School will serve as a hub to retain the intentional and pervasive community spirit currently enjoyed at the 888 Campus. Faculty and staff will have new spaces to work, collaborate, meet, and gather. Additional staircases going from the second floor to the first floor will be added to meet fire codes. Age-appropriate playground structures, and separate outdoor spaces designated for Early Childhood Division students will be added, as will sports fields.


Does this mean CAIS will increase enrollment?

The campus would support a higher enrollment, and we will study ways in which we might do this without negatively impacting the current level of attention and care we provide our students.

Will CAIS be adding Athletics teams/options?

CAIS has hired a new, bilingual (Mandarin/English) Athletic Director, Ken Su.  During the 2023-24 school year, Ken and Head of School Jeff Bissell are working with a task force of teacher-coaches and CAIS parents to develop a guiding philosophy for sports and PE at CAIS.  The task force will address a number of questions, including the possibility of exploring additional sports offerings for students. 

Does CAIS plan to open a high school on the 19th Avenue campus?

There are no plans to develop a high school at this time.

Logistics for the New Campus

My main concern is the increased commute for our family to get to school. Will the school consider providing transportation/ buses for kids within the city and/or from across the Bay?

CAIS will be running a K-8th Grade School Bus in the morning and afternoon/late bus. In addition, CAIS will be working to organize car pools and exploring chaperoned public transit options as mentioned in Head of School Jeff Bissell’s October 2023 message to the community on our student transportation strategy. Muni’s M Oceanview light rail has a stop at 19th Avenue and Winston Drive about a block south of the site. Muni’s K Ingleside has a stop at Ocean Avenue and Junipero Serra Boulevard, about a block north of the site.

How will you secure the campus? 

CAIS will employ our own security team. We are working with a security consultancy to advise us on decisions.

Are you worried that some families and teachers will leave CAIS because the 19th Avenue location is inconvenient to them?

We are hopeful that the benefits of moving to an all-inclusive, single campus site—with a significant increase in indoor and outdoor teaching spaces—will create an increased sense of community which will more than compensate for any inconvenience of moving to this new location. While the driving distance from the East Bay is slightly farther than our existing campuses, traffic and parking are better. For people coming from Peninsula, it’s much easier to get to this campus than Hayes Valley.


How did CAIS pay for the purchase of the 19th Ave campus in 2021?

The cost of acquiring the new campus, which is 5.4 acres and has 120,000 square feet of instructional space, was $40 million. CAIS paid for our new campus using three funding sources: 1) $18.25 million that we received for our interests in the 150 Oak Street campus, 2) a $17 million, 30-year loan from JP Morgan Chase at a fixed interest rate of 2.75%, and 3) $4.75 million from our financial reserves, which were funds the school built over the past eight years for a potential facilities purchase or improvement.

I’ve heard there is a Capital Campaign going on. What is CAIS using this money for?

While the 19th Ave campus came with move-in-ready athletics and arts buildings, the main learning and teaching building was not up to City and State regulations. This building was constructed in 1952 and required significant renovations, with construction costs of approximately $30 million to ensure its safety and usability for our children, teachers, and staff. The funds raised through our capital campaign are making these necessary renovations possible.

How much money do we need to raise in the Capital Campaign?

Our goal is to raise between $15 and $18 million in campaign commitments by June 2024. However, the more we raise, the better positioned CAIS will be for the future. To date, CAIS families have already committed $14.7 million to support 筑梦家园 Building Our Forever Home: A Campaign for CAIS. Capital Campaign funds should cover at least half the renovation cost. The remainder of the cost will be covered by a 30-year loan from JP Morgan Chase at a fixed interest rate of 4.35% and a drawdown of the school’s capital reserves.

How will the costs of the 19th Avenue campus impact CAIS’s budget?

CAIS’s annual operating budget, of which approximately 80% is covered by tuition, will now include paying debt service on the 30-year, fixed-rate loans mentioned above. Therefore, the more money we can raise through the Capital Campaign, the less debt service will be included in the school’s operating budget.

How can my family and I help?

We ask that you and your family consider making a meaningful gift to 筑梦家园 Building Our Forever Home: A Campaign for CAIS. Your gift will make an immediate and visible impact on the school, your children, and the future of CAIS. Your campaign donation will support our mission and help us make a tangible difference in our community. Please contact me at or Berkley Summerlin, Director of Advancement, at