HSArts Community Newsletter – Aug 26 – Welcome Back edition

San Francisco High School of the Arts Community Newsletter | Aug 26 , 2023

Important Dates
Aug 24 Club Fair
Aug 30 Back to School night
Sep 4 Labor Day (no school)
Sep 29 Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrations

Welcome Back! What to look Forward to this year:

Aka Highlights from our Calendar

Sep 29 Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration
Oct 16-20 School Spirit Week
Nov 17 Teacher/Staff Appreciation Day
Dec 1 Winter Wonders 2023 recital
Dec 8 Winter Gala Benefit

There will be many other events throughout the semester, so please stay tuned for more news!

*Editor's note: There's a distinct lack of pictures this week. You can expect more each newsletter. In the meantime, check out our socials:
FB @hsartssf
IG @hsartssf
IG @hsarts_dance
IG @hsarts_vis
Remarks from our Head of School
Hello, students! 

I want to welcome everyone back to school for the new school year! We hope you had a fantastic break and are feeling refreshed and ready to embark on a journey of learning and growth.

This year, we have exciting opportunities and challenges awaiting you. Whether you're returning students or new faces, we are thrilled to have you as part of our HSArts school community. Our dedicated teachers and staff are here to support and guide you every step of the way. 

I am pleased to announce that there are several teachers joining our faculty team this year, which include our new English teacher Ms. Erica Campbell, both Ms. Aimee Greenberg (returning) and Mr. Brandon Yu as part of our theatre program, as well as our new P.E. teacher Mr. David Qiao. In particular, we’re very excited to have Ms. Rain Zhu back with us after her brief health-related respite. Let’s give them a warm welcome in our community

As you begin this new academic year, remember that education is a key that can unlock countless doors of opportunity. Embrace the challenges with determination, curiosity, and an open mind. Don't hesitate to seek help when needed, as asking questions and seeking understanding are essential parts of the learning process.

Together, we can make this school year a memorable and enriching experience. So, put your best foot forward, work hard, and make the most out of every learning opportunity that comes your way.

Wishing you all a successful and fulfilling school year! Let's make it one to remember!

- Dr. Sherry Zhang 
Head of School
San Francisco High School of the Arts

New Staff
This year, Ms. Erica Campbell, Ms. Jennifer Zhang, and Ms. Annabel Xia join our academic staff! We're also excited to welcome back Ms. Rain Zhu from her medical leave. Please give them a warm HSArts welcome!

AP Courses
HSArts offers 36 honors and AP courses, and this year is no different! Our 9th and 10th graders will be in Ms. Ginnie Wu's AP Psychology course, one much requested by many students. Our juniors and seniors have even more APs to tackle, from language staples like AP English and AP Chinese to mathematics with AP Calculus and AP Statistics. Mr. Ray Chen is expectedly passionate about his AP Computer Science course, another popular one requested by our students.

Accelerated Math Pathway
The Accelerated Math Pathway (AMP) is a program tailored to many of our students who excel in mathematics and want to strive forward. While most HSArts students will take math at a level above same grade students at most public schools, those in our AMP may get a significant jump in their studies, which will position them to be able to take math APs and more in their upperclassman years. For more information, check out  our AMP page.

Speech and Debate
As part of our ongoing efforts to help our students develop speaking and presentational skills, our middle schoolers will all take Ms. Ginnie Wu's Speech and Debate class this year. This class is tailored to help our students learn speaking and presentational technique, building confidence and developing skills that translate to beyond the classroom. Let's see how they do in our debate and speech contests!

Integrated Science
Mr. Ray Chen is pioneering an integrated science curriculum, combining lab sciences like physics and biology with computer science. This year, students in grade 9 and 10 are taking integrated science with chemistry focus. Stay tuned for news about the fun labs and projects they'll be working on!
New Staff and Classes - Department Overviews
This year, we're very excited to have several incredibly talented and passionate teachers join the arts departments. In theatre, Ms. Aimee Greenberg and Mr. Brandon will be at the helm of the acting classes and theatre productions. Joining them is Mr. Daxi Song, our new vocal teacher, who will also lead our new Choir class for theatre and music students. Ms. Yao Wang returns for their dance training and production choreography.

Ms. Sherry Hu (not to be confused with Dr. Sherry Zhang) returns to teach dance bearing and from for our middle and high school dancers. Each of our dance classes (middle and high school boys and girls) will be taking ballet with Artistic Director Mr. Dongsheng Wei and the ballet team, refocusing training on footwork and foundation and diversifying their dance knowledge and training. Ms. Hanna Zhang already has over 20 choreographies planned for our Dance Conservatory, between full-time, after school, and various solos for competitions.

Our visual arts department is growing so much, and we've taken the next step to split the students into three (3) classes: beginner middle school, intermediate middle school, and high school. Ms. Millie Hankinson and Ms. Lucy Cui return to continue their artistic instruction, including a new Workshop class where the intermediate middle school and high school classes come together in a workshop style class, working together with both teachers drawing subjects and models. Mr. Mario Su joins our team this year, leading our beginner middle school class of 5th and 6th graders. Their schedule is designed in a way to allow for a bit of exploring across some of the performing arts programs.

Performances and Events
The Winter Wonders recital is set for December 1st at Herbst Theatre. However, before then, we are planning several performance opportunities, both in school and in the community. The Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration at school (9/29) is an annual celebration centered around the Mid-Autumn Festival (or Moon Festival), where special programs as well as many food riddle, and games will be sure to entertain everyone of all ages. We're also hoping to return to the Academy of Sciences, Stonestown Galleria, and other local fairs and events to showcase programs old and new. Finally, besides Winter Wonders, we will also our winter theatre production and music concerts at school. More details to come, stay tuned!

All in all, we are very excited for this upcoming year! Can't wait to share all that our students are working on.

As the new school year begins, so does the new admissions season! For any prospective families, we invite them to join us at our open houses, private tours, and shadowing days for their first hand experience of our HSArts campus community. Invite your friends or siblings to  sign up for their journey to discover their artistry today!
Our Winter Wonders recital is on December 1st, giving our classes about 2-3 weeks less time to prepare compared to last year! Ms. Hanna, Ms. Ginnie, and the rest of our Young Artists team are eager to get a jump start for our students, and many have already started learning movements and rehearsing their dances. But we're confident our students are up to the task! Let's see what they can do!

If you haven't gotten a chance yet, we highly recommend you download and use Telegram. Our teachers will be sending updates, videos, and other news through the app. Thanks!

Club Fair - digital version

Want to join a club? We currently have:
- Basketball club on Thursdays
- Yearbook club on Thursdays
- Games club on Fridays
- Study hall on everydays 
- Cooking club once every 2-3 weeks
- Beekeeping club periodically
…with more to come!

Interested in joining the student council? Ask your advisor for more information.

If you want to form a new club, submit a “new club application” or find Mr. Brian for a printed copy.

Ready to sign up? Let Ms. Anne or Mr. Brian know.
Value Contest!
Our school is built on the values of Respect, Responsibility, Honesty, Tolerance, Empathy, Kindness. We want to know what they mean to you.

Pick one to write about - It can be in the form of an essay, a poem, a song, or even interpretive dance! All standard grammar and writing rules apply, and make sure it’s school appropriate.

Submit your document (or video/photo) by Friday, September 15. The best ones will be selected to feature in an upcoming newsletter, and may be eligible for a special prize!

For more information or details, please find Mr. Brian!

Coming soon!

Aug 24

Club Fair

Aug 30
Back to School night
Sep 4
Labor Day (no school)
Sep 29
Mid-Autumn Festival Celebration
Communication is essential and we strive to connect with our students, parents, and families throughout the school year. We will continue reaching out to you with this weekly newsletter. We also encourage you to visit our website and follow our social pages including Facebook and Instagram for announcements, information, and celebrations