• Friday, May 21, 2021

Head of School Newsletter - May 21, 2021

Dear CAIS Community,

This morning NCIS reported that a man on Gough Street near Hickory attempted to snatch the purse of a woman at around 9.00am.  The woman resisted and was pushed to the ground; she retained her purse, and the man tried to flee. Several neighborhood bystanders intervened, both assisting the woman and chasing down the would-be purse-snatcher, who was eventually arrested. The woman was elderly and Cantonese speaking.

Some of the elements of this incident are discouragingly familiar: the person who was targeted by this crime is Asian, female, and elderly.  While it is not up to us to determine the motivation of the perpetrator, it is important to acknowledge the impact that attacks like this have on many in our community. One of my colleagues told me that this incident rekindled a discomfort that she carries with her as a result of the increase in API targeted harassment and violence that have characterized the past year-plus. I imagine that many of our community members feel similarly.

On the other hand, less familiar was the quick and decisive action of a number of bystanders. Those of us who participated in the Hollaback! anti-harassment training that CAIS presented recently will recognize some of the strategies (the “Five D’s”) of intervention that we learned about. NCIS is working with local law enforcement on “Documentation”; they have supplied SFPD with surveillance video of the incident that was captured by security cameras mounted around the Oak campus. We learned at the Hollaback! training that bystanders intervene in only about a quarter of anti API incidents, yet this morning several bystanders got involved—our CAIS kids have learned to call this “upstanding.” We want them to learn to stand up for others; it’s part of contributing to a better world. 

This morning’s incident makes me sad, and it also validates the importance of the on-going work we are doing around safety, self-respect and solidarity. I promise you we will remain vigilant about the safety of our kids, employees and families. We will continue to foster kids who are kind, courageous, and inclusive and who embrace Chinese, become their best selves and contribute to a better world. 




  • Survey—What Should We Learn from the Pandemic?

    Thoughtful and thought-provoking responses are already coming in from families in response to our request for your reflections on what the pandemic has taught you and how it has impacted the way you think and feel about our school going forward. If you haven’t yet responded, please be sure, by the end of school on June 9, to take a few minutes to share your reflections via this brief Survey Google Form.

    What we learn from this exercise will inform our planning and decision making as we imagine CAIS in a post-Covid world. The outcomes of this process will be shared with the CAIS community at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.


  • Half-Day Early Dismissal Schedules for June 9

    The last day of school, Wednesday, June 9, will be a half-day to accommodate the in-person Graduation for the Class of 2021 (at 6:00 p.m.) and the Fifth Grade Promotion Ceremony (at 4:00 p.m.) which will both be held on the front lawn of the 19th Avenue Campus, as well as the Preschool Promotion Ceremonies which will be held at the Waller Campus Upper Parking Lot.

    The early dismissal times will be staggered by cohort at each campus as follows:


    Preschool Pink 12:00-12:05 p.m.
    Preschool Orange 12:05-12:10 p.m.
    Preschool Teal 12:10-12:15 p.m.
    Preschool Yellow 12:15-12:20 p.m.
    Preschool Blue 12:20-12:25 p.m.
    Preschool Purple 12:25-12:30 p.m.


    K-5 Pink 11:00-11:15 a.m.
    K-5 Blue and 2 Purple 11:15-11:30 a.m.
    K-5 Orange and K Purple 11:30-11:45 a.m.

    888 CAMPUS

    Middle School Red 11:25-11:45 a.m.
    Middle School Gold 11:45 a.m.-12:05 p.m.

  • Chinese American International School


    Early Childhood Division (Preschool) | Alice A. Carnes Center
    42/52 Waller Street 

    Early Childhood Division (K-1)
    and Lower School (2-5)
    150 Oak Street 

    Middle School (6-8)
    888 Turk Street 

    San Francisco, CA 94102