In an ambitious endeavor to make a top Jewish private school education affordable to an increasing number of families in San Diego while creating long-term sustainability, San Diego Jewish Academy (SDJA) is launching its Open Door program beginning in the 2019/2020 school year. In this pilot year, the school will offer half price tuition for children in Kindergarten and 9th grade. SDJA’s vision in subsequent years is to offer half price tuition across all grades, removing cost as a barrier for a world-class private school education.
“Open Door can be an absolute game changer for San Diego Jewish Academy to welcome families in the area who felt our school was beyond their reach,” says Chaim Heller, Head of School. “We will have more resources to continue to hire the best teachers and to offer more tuition assistance for all students at any grade. Everyone wins with this model as more families experience our welcoming, strong, and vibrant community.”
SDJA contracted Fisheye Research to learn about the number of families in the area who might consider Jewish Day School at certain price points. According to their data, more than 1,100 Jewish families with children in San Diego would consider SDJA with tuition between $10,000 – $15,000.
A donor is funding Open Door for students entering the program in the 19/20 academic year. Half price tuition continues for four years for those students as they matriculate into higher grades. At the same time, in order to continue to support and expand this program to all grades, SDJA is asking each family who is willing and capable to then donate that savings back to the Open Door program at the maximum amount they are capable of contributing.
“We are piloting this approach in two key grades, and then we plan to expand to all grades as enrollment targets are met,” Heller adds. “With the right combination of more families enrolling and contributing whatever cost savings they are able to, we are confident we can restructure the cost model for our school. The Open Door program is part of a larger vision that promotes accessibility and affordability for many families out there.”