Q. What is the Shalhevet’s Just Community?
A. The Just Community is how we describe the educational culture of Shalhevet High School. Rooted in Professor Lawrence Kohlberg’s theories of moral development, Dr. Jerry Friedman founded the school with a commitment to ensuring that Jewish learning is accompanied by moral growth. We achieve this by challenging students to be active leaders in the decisions, policies, and leadership of the school. Over the course of their time at Shalhevet, students grow to appreciate the value of the “Common Good,” and are thereby prepared to be extremely engaged citizens of the world.

Q. What is the value of Shalhevet’s weekly Town Hall meeting?
A. Town Hall at Shalhevet is the anchor of our Just Community. Each week, the entire Shalhevet community joins together to participate in a Town Hall meeting led by our Agenda Committee. The Agenda Chair (an elected senior) leads a communal conversation about a school policy, an ethical dilemma, a political topic, or an important matter in the Jewish community. In this forum, students and faculty share their opinions and engage in a meaningful dialogue that promotes understanding, deep thinking, and public speaking. But the most amazing thing about Town Hall is the community that it fosters among our students.12th graders regularly clap and show support for 9th graders, and students of all ages participate together in critical conversations that affect the way we process ideas and values. In its most ideal iteration, Shalhevet’s Town Hall brings together the intellectual, religious, and communal pillars of our school.

Q. Please tell me about Tefila at Shalhevet.
A. Tefila is one of the most valued and meaningful elements of students' spiritual experience and religious observance at Shalhevet. Shalhevet's Tefila program offers students many exciting opportunities to have impactful experiences and connect with God through the Siddur and Jewish prayer. Students participate in and lead "minyan," and also have the opportunity to connect and find relevance through tefila electives, including explanatory siddur text-studies, singing tefila, mindfulness practices, and more!
Q. How does the curriculum differ from other schools?
A. Shalhevet’s Judaic orientation is Modern Orthodox, designed to make living as a Jew meaningful and relevant within the realities of contemporary society. The core Tanakh and Talmud curricula are designed to help students explore major themes in the development of Halakha and in textual interpretation that help them connect with and grow from the material; as such, in line with meaningful educational practices and research, curricula is often arranged topically.The school curriculum further emphasizes Hebrew Language, the development of Menschlichtkeit and a commitment to the State of Israel. As components of a college preparatory program, both Judaic and General Studies courses at Shalhevet stress critical thinking and verbal and written communication skills. These are fundamental skills necessary for successful university achievements, and indeed, for life achievement. The unique pedagogy of Shalhevet is further based on the practice of the Just Community model implemented through school-wide Town Hall meetings, exploration of the moral dilemmas inherent in all fields of study, and the Advisory program. Ethical values are integrated into all aspects of school life. Students are encouraged to participate in the school’s democratic progress.
Q. How much homework do students get each night?
A. Homework is assigned at the discretion of each instructor. At Shalhevet, homework is neither busywork nor punitive. Because of Shabbat and holiday observances, only one night’s homework can be assigned on Friday or on the day preceding a Jewish holiday. Assignments can never be due nor can tests be scheduled the first school day after a Jewish holiday. Most students utilize their free period during the day to do their homework and meet with teachers, which minimizes their evening workload.
Q. How large are classes at Shalhevet?
A. Shalhevet class size ranges from 6 to 24 students; however, the average class size is 18 students.
Q. What is Advisory?
A. Advisory is a staple of Shalhevet. It is within the advisory program that students are able to connect their learning to the outside world, bond with their peers and teachers, and gain useful skills that will benefit them both in and out of school. Advisory is also an opportunity for students to explore and engage in Shalhevet’s core values, and to get involved in Chesed on a regular basis The advisory program evolves as students progress through the grade levels, with more small group meetings and practical high school skills being the focus in the lower grades, and larger group meetings and post-high school issues being the focus for the upperclassmen.

The program includes both large and small group meetings and is run by enthusiastic and dedicated faculty advisors. Taking on academic, social, and even societal issues in an open and productive environment is the focus of Shalhevet's advisory program. All Shalhevet students will have a specific advisory program that was carefully designed for both academic and personal growth throughout their high school career.

Q. Do you have athletic teams?
A. For Boys: Cross Country(co-ed), Flag Football, JV Basketball, Varsity Basketball, Soccer, Golf (co-ed), Tennis, Baseball, Track & Field, and Volleyball
For Girls: Cross Country, Flag Football, Tennis, Volleyball, Varsity Basketball, Soccer, Golf (co-ed) and Swim.
Q. What clubs and co-curricular activities do you offer?
A. Shalhevet is proud to offer a wide array of co-curricular programs to further enrich our educational program. Students are encouraged to participate in the various student-centered and student-led programs as a part of their high school experience.

Some of the programs and clubs currently available include, but are not limited to: American Israeli Political Action Committee (AIPAC), Astronomy, Athletics, Chessed, Cooking & Culture, Debate, Drama Productions, Fashion Club, Business and Entrepreneurial Club, Firehawks4Israel, Girls Learn International (a program of the Feminist Majority Foundation which aims to educate and energize U.S. students in the global movement for girls’ access to education), Just Community Committees, Mock Trial, Model Congress, National Conference of the Synagogue Youth (NCSY), Politics Club, Sports Management, The Boiling Point (school newspaper), Tomchei Shabbat, Yachad, Young Americans for Freedom and Yearbook.

Students are encouraged to create opportunities if there is not a group that supports their area of interest.
Q. Does Shalhevet have a lunch program?
A. We are proud to offer healthy food options every day from a variety of Kosher restaurants on Pico including Nagila, Burger Bar, and Shanghai Garden. On each day we offer a vegetarian option. Students have the option to bring lunch from home, but all food brought to campus must be kosher.

Q. What does Shalhevet do to help new students adjust to a new school?
A. Prior to the first day of school, Shalhevet holds an orientation for incoming 9th graders and their parents. All 9th graders have an older student assigned to them as a “mentor” who is available for questions and advice. Freshman Advisory is a time for students to discuss with classmates the experience of acclimating to a new school community. Additionally, a dedicated transition team, in conjunction with weekly, monthly and yearly check-ins are set into place to ensure a seamless and smooth transition.
Q. What is a free period?
A. A free period is a period during which no class has been scheduled. Students in 11th and 12th grade may have a free period during the day. Students may use their free period to meet with teachers, do homework, converse with friends or volunteer to work with teachers or administrators. Additionally, there are FLEX periods, four out of five days a week. These periods can also be viewed as a free period or what we like to call, community connecting moments. During this time, teachers are available to meet individually with students, club and grade level meetings take place, students can study or enjoy playing sports in the gym or on the turf, or just connect with friends and classmates.

Q. Is there a uniform or dress code?
A. Shalhevet does not require students to wear a uniform. Shalhevet’s respect for tznuit in dress is reflected in a dress code that represents Jewish values, which ask us to focus on a person’s spiritual and personal qualities above his or her physical ones. The dress code permits self-expression within parameters of respectfulness toward oneself and others, and prohibits dressing in a way that undermines or distracts from the important work of Jewish and General education in the school. Although individuals may differ in their opinions as to what clothing fits these criteria, the school maintains the right to determine what is appropriate in accordance with our values.

Q. What modes of transportation are available? Is there parking available?
A. Parents are responsible for arranging their child’s transportation to and from school. Shalhevet encourages the organization of carpools to limit our impact on the environment. Whenever possible, the school will try to assist in setting up carpools. We have a limited number of parking spots available to students for a fee. Many students find street parking in the neighborhood.

Q. Where do Shalhevet graduates attend college?
A. Since the school’s inception, Shalhevet students have been accepted to a wide range of post-secondary schools including the top-ranked colleges and universities both in the United States and abroad. A list of college acceptances can be found HERE.
Q: Do you offer Education Support?
A: Education Support is a school-based department that provides tailored academic support for all students. We believe that there is no such thing as a "normal" student. With this in mind, we develop individualized learning plans for students, with students. These plans include a mix of the following supports:
  • 1-1 Academic Support
  • Executive Functioning Support
  • Academic Accommodations
  • Learning Strategies
  • Study Strategies
  • Content Support
  • Online Programming

We know that each student's educational journey is different. Therefore, to us, support does not mean lowering expectations, rather it means maintaining high expectations while providing accommodations that help students express their highest potential.

For the 2022-2023 school year, we are excited to continue the addition of our Digital Firehawks program. Utilizing a blended learning model, students receive individualized curricular support through a combination of online coursework and 1-1 in-person instruction.

Our Education Support program has worked to destigmatize support programming through the creation of an inclusive space, teacher development, and a culture of care.