January 2000

Small Schools for Equity (SSE) applies for a charter school planning grant from the state Department of Education, with the approval of the San Francisco Board of Education


September 2000

SSE forms Advisory Board of parents, youth, and other community members to create a school design plan and explore the feasibility of opening an in-district small school


January 2001

SSE begins working with other school design groups and Board of Education Commissioner Mark Sanchez to formulate an in-district small schools plan


April 2008

Teachers 4 Social Justice hosts Small Schools Summit at Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth; over 40 parents, teachers, youth, and school board members attend and begin to make plans for in-district small schools in San Francisco

SSE creates partnership with the San Francisco Organizing Project (SFOP) to develop a community-based school reform movement; SFOP/SSE leaders begin talking with parents in the Excelsior, Oceanview, and Visitacion Valley about problems with existing schools and their vision of an ideal school


June 2001

Teachers 4 Social Justice and a growing San Francisco small schools coalition create “Points of Unity” for small schools in San Francisco, based on the work at the April Small Schools Summit and subsequent meetings of parents, teachers, and students


October 2001

Since April, SFOP/SSE leaders have met with hundreds of community members to listen to their concerns and dreams about schools, and conducted research meetings with members of the Board of Education, representatives of Oakland Community Organizations, education experts from Stanford University, and others

SFOP and SSE lead a research trip of parents, teachers, and youth to visit effective small schools in New York City; Commissioner Sanchez joins the trip


November 2001

SFOP and SSE host a community action meeting where nearly 250 people express their support for small schools, and three school board members say they will work with SFOP and SSE to open a new small high school


January 2002

Commissioners Sanchez and Mar introduce a small, autonomous schools resolution to the Board of Education, modeled on Oakland’s successful small schools policy; the resolution is amended to create a “small schools working group” instead, aligned with the district’s High School Task Force


Summer 2002

SFUSD announces Request for Proposals for “new small secondary schools and the redesign of existing secondary schools,” with the goal of closing the achievement gap and creating high quality educational options for families throughout the city


September 2002

SSE submits proposal and is selected to open a new school in fall 2003, as part of SFUSD’s Secondary School Redesign Initiative (SSRI), which is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation


Spring 2003

The founding staff plans the opening of the new school


August 2003

The new school opens with a ninth grade class at a temporary location on the campus of San Francisco State University, as the first high school to enjoy a formal partnership with a California State University


August 2004

June Jordan School for Equity (a name chosen by the student body during the school’s first year) moves to its current location at the former Luther Burbank Middle School Campus in the Excelsior neighborhood


November 2005

Facing severe budget cuts, SFUSD places JJSE on a list of schools that may be closed due to low enrollment, despite the fact that it is a small school by design. JJSE parents work with SFOP to support an event at Mission High School where over 1,300 people hear Mayor Gavin Newsom and school board members pledge to take JJSE off the closure list and work to pass a small schools policy


Spring 2006

SFUSD staff start working with JJSE parents, SFOP, and other small schools advocates on a district small schools policy


Fall 2006

Small Schools Task Force, chaired by JJSE Co-Director Shane Safir, drafts small schools policy


November 2006

SFOP and JJSE host a community action meeting where over 300 people express their support for the small schools policy and encourage school board members and the superintendent to support a strong policy


February 2007

After unsuccessful attempts by district staff to weaken the policy, the school board unanimously passes a strong Small Schools Policy which guarantees key autonomies and support for JJSE and other in-district small schools by design


May 2007

Based on an application and site visit, JJSE is selected to be an official “small school by design” under the new district policy


June 2007

JJSE graduates its first class; 73% of graduates are admitted to four-year universities, compared to less than 50% nationwide.


June 2008

JJSE’s Masterpiece/Portfolio system is formally approved as a graduation requirement by the school board.


Summer 2008

Darrick Smith, founder of the TryUMF program at Oakland Tech High School, hired as JJSE’s Co-Director


Fall 2012

First alumni hired as JJSE staff, leading to an effort to hire and retain more educators of color from our community.


Serving highest rate of IEPs in the district for a non-continuation high school (2019 it was 33%).



Teacher’s for Social Justice keynote by Matt Alexander and Jessica Huang, introduces The Art of Social Justice Teaching, to a larger social-justice education audience.


Fall 2016

Jessica Huang, first Woman-of-Color leader hired as principal of JJSE.


First Youth Summit - in attendance Ed Lee and other public officials.


October 18th, 2016 - shooting in parking lot by outsiders (non-JJSE students) brings together community to support one another. See Video here of school response to the incident.



Jessica Huang, principal and a delegation of 16 other young women and staff attend the Women’s March in Washington, DC in early 2017.


Student delegate JJSE - Maria Zaragoza - elected to SFUSD school board, 2017-2018


Performance assessment shifted to Senior Capstone Action Projects, Formation of the 9th grade Academy from JI/SI,


Spring 2017

415 Unidos for freedom formed from student organizing - students work on and pass Undocumented, Unafraid, and United resolution passed by the school board unanimously.


Fall 2018

Rules for Radical Educators adopted as formal staff agreements, JJSE.


Fall 2019

Nine alumni staff hired, D’wana Stewart, Trueman Bender, Carol Guardado, Lamisha Duree, Jeremiah Marshall, Franeka Hall, Edgar Valasquez, Antonio Turnipseed, Bailey Fan.