by George J Elbaum
Founded in 2004, The Bay School (Bay) is an independent, coeducational college preparatory high school in the Presidio of San Francisco. With almost 400 students in grades 9 through 12, Bay balances challenging academics and innovative thinking with a mindful approach to learning and life – its goal is to see students unlock their individual and collective potential so they begin to realize their roles in a dynamic world. Bay believes that a broad range of perspectives and experiences play a crucial role in achieving its educational mission, thus it intentionally recruits students and teachers from diverse cultural, racial, economic and geographic backgrounds.
Emphasizing depth of content, Bay’s curriculum focuses on problem solving, promotes critical thinking and encourages students to connect academic study with their extracurricular lives. Bay’s 9th and 10th grade courses build a broad foundation of basic skills, focusing on the relationships among traditional academic disciplines. Students’ interests and talents increasingly drive the academic program in 11th and 12th grade.
This was my 4th visit (albeit virtual due to Covid-19) to The Bay School, and it was again organized by Humanities teacher Hannah Wagner. The online audience was approximately 90-100 students in 10th-grade Humanities class who have recently studied the aftermath of WWI, the Treaty of Versailles, and Hitler’s rise to power in the 1930s. Shortly after my talk all 10th graders will read Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. Finally, all students will undertake a WWII research project, some of which will involve learning about the Holocaust in depth through primary source analysis.
My talk was arranged by Penny Savryn, Education & Marketing Manager, JFCS Holocaust Center.