In-person school and co-curriculars cancelled tomorrow for rain, but outdoor Covid testing will proceed

Second winter storm of 2021 expected to bring about 2” of rain starting Thursday afternoon


BP Graphic by Sarah Feuer

STORM: This graphic from Thursday mornings hourly weather report showed the most intense part of the storm is expected to take place during Shalhevet’s outdoor Covid testing of students who wish to attend classes or co-curriculars on campus next week. Source:

Shalhevet’s optional in-person learning and co-curriculars have been cancelled for tomorrow due to am expected drenching rainstorm, but schoolwide Covid testing will still take place in the late afternoon, according to communications sent by school leaders late this afternoon.

Forecasts predict that a storm will bring two inches or more of rain to Los Angeles and have declared flash flood watches. Rain is expected to start around four p.m. and last until one p.m. on Friday afternoon, with the most intense downpours near school occurring between 4 and 8 p.m. 

In the 90036 zip code, where Shalhevet is located, and in nearby Beverly Hills, there is a 100% chance of rain according to, accompanied by winds of up to 14 miles per hour.  There may also be thunderstorms which may occur in the early morning hours on Friday, forecasts say. 

In-person Judaic classes are normally held one grade at a time Mondays through Thursdays, and meet in open-sided tents on the roof and in the parking lot. This allows for maximum air circulation to prevent Covid. Thursday this week would have been the seniors’ day.

All classes will continue as regularly scheduled on Zoom.

— Dr. Johnny Ravanshenas, Dean of Student Life

But it also makes learning more vulnerable to the weather.

“Unfortunately, due to the weather forecast of rain tomorrow, we will be cancelling on-campus learning, including camp Firehawks,” wrote Dean of Student Life Dr. Johnny Ravanshenas on the Class of 2021 Schoology group. 

“All classes will continue as regularly scheduled on Zoom,” he added.

Thursday is also set to be the school’s first-ever student Covid testing — mandatory for anyone who wants to attend in-person learning or activities the week of Feb. 1 — and was originally supposed to be drive-through.  

But officials will now require students to exit their cars, according to an email sent to parents who signed their children up for it.

“The testing will take place under our parking lot tents, but you will need to exit your vehicle to get your test,” wrote Ms. Ariel Light, the school’s Communications & Operations Associate.

“You will drive into the parking lot and thus be close to the tents, but you will have to walk to the tent. We wanted to make sure to get you this information so that you are prepared with an umbrella and dressed accordingly.”

The Covid testing is set to run from five to eight p.m. — the time when the rainfall is expected to be most intense.  As of 10 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Beverly Hills area was forecast to receive .99 inches of rain during those three hours alone.

SUNSHINE: Like all the tents where distanced learning happens on campus, the Rachel tent on the third-floor turf has open sides to permit maximum air circulation. There are five such tents on the roof and two additional tents in the parking lot which are also open sided. (BP Photo by Ellie Orlanski)  

Senior Shani Menna, who had been planning on attending in person Thursday, praised the school’s plan to cancel.

“I think admin is doing a good job adapting to every situation these past several months have thrown at them,” Shani said. “Weather is just another inconvenience they have learned to maneuver.” 

It’s the first week of second semester, and school officials had organized lunchtime barbecues for those who came to welcome them back. Senior Yehuda Zadeh had been planning to attend.

“I really wanted that barbeque,” said Yehuda, “and to be in person with teachers and friends.”

Editor-In-Chief Molly Litvak contributed to this story.