19th Avenue

The Long & Short (& Medium) of It! (Part 1 of 3)

Head of School Jeff Bissell with Campus Countdown Sign Marking 6 Months to Start of School at 19th Avenue

Whenever I walk around the 19th Avenue campus, I am flooded with ideas for what CAIS could become. Expansive outdoor spaces, the theater and arts building, the gym, the learning and teaching building with spacious classrooms, labs, and libraries—the possibilities feel limitless.

However, the time and bandwidth between now and the first day of school on September 3 are not limitless. This is to say that all the things that CAIS could and will become won’t necessarily happen on day one. So, in thinking about and planning for the future, I am thinking about short-, medium-, and long-term goals. Below I have provided lists of new campus possibilities in those terms.

In The Short Term…

From the very first day of school, on our new 5.4 acre campus with 120,000 square feet of program space, CAIS students will be able to enjoy:

Large, spacious, updated classrooms

At the Waller and Oak Street campuses, the majority of classrooms range in size from 600-620 square feet (~56-58 square meters), and around 700 sq ft (~65 sq m) at 888 Turk. On our new campus, the classrooms range from at least 750 to over 1,000 sq ft (~70-93 sq m).

More outdoor space

More than double the amount of usable outdoor playspace than we currently have in Hayes Valley, including a separate playground for Preschool to 1st grade students and two large playgrounds for students in 2nd through 8th grades. The playgrounds will include a turfed and regulation U8 soccer field.

Early Childhood Outdoor Learning Space

Improved athletics & PE spaces

An athletics building (gym) for PE or indoor recess that can be divided, allowing two groups to use the space at once. The gym also has a workout room and locker rooms with showers.

19th Avenue Gymnasium

Improved arts facilities

The arts building with a 455-seat theater, a large performing arts studio, a ceramics studio, and a painting studio.

19th Avenue Theater

New, integrated, whole school schedule

Over February break, the CAIS Educational Leadership Team completed the new schedule, which we have worked on for over a year. This schedule reflects input from all teachers and will be rolled out to faculty and staff next week for review. We will take full advantage of our new space, and there will be blocks of instructional time, sports and PE, the arts, and outdoor time for all students. Look for more details in the next 19th Avenue Newsletter.

Transportation to and from school via the CAIS school bus

CAIS will become one of the only independent schools in the city offering this service to its families. School bus registration materials were sent out February 29 and echoed in CAIS Notices, and if you plan to use it and have not signed up, see the six individual links shared in the March 5 CAIS Notices. (Look for information about chaperoned Muni transportation on the M and K lines within the next several weeks.)

Online Lunch Ordering

Hot lunches delivered to school by two or three vendors with online ordering capabilities to make it easier for families. CAIS will not open the school in September with a cafeteria. (As a reminder from our October issue of 19th Ave News: “Some CAIS parents may remember attending FSA community events which took place partly in a large, cavernous, high school cafeteria. Because of municipal regulations requiring that the youngest students remain on lower floors, it has been necessary for us to capture as much ground level space as we can to serve as classrooms for our Early Childhood Center. Plans for a large cafeteria are not in this phase of the 19th Avenue campus project.”)

Safe and secure campus

Safety is and will remain a top priority at CAIS. We will have a four-pronged security system consisting of 1) perimeter fences and limited access points, 2) an extensive network of security cameras, 3) a team of trained security guards, and 4) regular training and drills for our entire staff on emergency procedures.

Next up…In The Medium Term