June Jordan School for Equity (JJSE) is a small high school located in the Excelsior neighborhood of San Francisco. The school is named after writer and activist June Jordan, whom Alice Walker called “the universal poet.”
JJSE was founded in 2003 through a community organizing effort by a group of teachers, parents, and youth, with the explicit goal of providing better educational options for students who were not being served well in traditional schools. We are located in the Excelsior neighborhood of San Francisco and enrollment is open to all high-school students in San Francisco. JJSE is part of San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and provides an alternative model within SFUSD’s portfolio of school options. In keeping with this alternative status, JJSE has been officially designated as a SFUSD Small School by Design and an Alternative School of Choice by the California Department of Education (see California Education Code Sections 58500 through 58512)
JJSE strives to work alongside the communities of southeast San Francisco as part of a social justice movement which includes among its goals offering a high-quality education to all youth in the city, not just those from certain neighborhoods or backgrounds. We are committed not only to prepare students for college, but to honor the traditions of their communities by teaching students to be leaders who are prepared to work for a more equitable world.
JJSE was founded by Small Schools for Equity (SSE), a non-profit organization formed by a group of teachers, parents, and students who believed that San Francisco needed a new and innovative model of schooling. For two years before the school opened, with generous support from the San Francisco Foundation, the Flora Family Foundation, and the California Department of Education, the school’s founders studied successful urban schools across the country and worked with the San Francisco Organizing Project to cultivate a broad-based community organizing effort. Through these efforts, the San Francisco Unified School District agreed to put forth a request for proposals for new and redesigned schools. SSE applied in partnership with San Francisco State University’s College of Education and was selected from among 30 applicants to open the new school.