HSArts Community Newsletter – Nov 10

San Francisco High School of the Arts Community Newsletter | Nov 10, 2023

Important Dates
Nov 11 School Open House
Nov 17 Teacher and Staff Appreciation Day
Dec 1 Winter Wonders Recital

Remarks from our Head of School

November is HSArts Kindness month. Being considered as a kind person is far more significant than being considered as simply nice. Kindness is genuine,where you're acting in the best interests of others, out of a sense of love, empathy, and compassion. It comes from the bottom of our hearts. Kindness is most powerful, and it can change the world if we can all practice it. Go Phoenix!

Dr. Sherry Zhang
Head of School
San Francisco High School of the Arts
You are invited to join…. The “Kindness Project”
Let’s contribute to bringing more kindness in the world!

Make a video that’s 15s or longer to showcase kind moments in our community to help inspire others to do the same. 

We will showcase all qualified videos on Monday 12/11 during Assembly/Leadership class, and producers of the videos will be rewarded with a boba tea the same day. 
Our media teacher Mr. John deGroot will help students with the kindness project in the media lab every Thursday afternoon between 4-6pm. 

The videos can enter the Kindnessiscool contest by the Gan Jing World to compete for a grand prize of $10,000 and be showcased on Times Square Billboard. 

For more information, visit: https://www.ganjingworld.com/channel/1f5deq5t37g7GolYLR2hHjM2z1t70c?tab=hashtags&ht=KindnessIsCool&stab=All

Academic News
by Mr. Lee Randazzo

There were lots of exciting things happening in history class this week.  Remember that Mr. Randazzo likes to share not only about the wars and leaders in history, but also about the lives of everyday people around the world and our common humanity.  This week the 5th and 6th grades had to prepare a traditional African folktale and tell it just like a Griot from West Africa.  Friday’s storytelling performance was wonderful.  Students incorporated acting skills, props, puppets, and even musical instruments into their stories. 

And this week the 7th and 8th graders were preparing to write their first high school level DBQ (document based question) essay on the American Revolution.  Most schools around the country wait until high school to teach these writing skills, but Mr. Randazzo knows that middle school students can handle the challenge.  The class tackled their analysis of primary sources.  Today they went over how to use and explain quotes in order to back up their thesis statements.  And this weekend will be the big push to get the essay finished.  Good Luck!!!  And remember that Mr. R is always available to help after school.  

The high schoolers (11th and 12th graders) just wrapped up a debate on the role of government using FDR’s New Deal programs as examples.  Debate skills are highly prized in both education and citizenship.  They also help us learn to understand one another and walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.  We’ll have more debates this year.  And now our high schoolers are in the middle of learning about World War II.  That war changed not only our country, but how the entire world interacts with each other.  Cool stuff.  

Stay tuned for more highlights as the year goes by. 

Arts News - Music Department
by Mr. Ray Chen

Excitements are building up for a lineup of captivating musical performances. The ensemble takes center stage with five enchanting pieces, while our choir adds its harmonious touch to the Winter Wonder show at the Herbst Theater on 12/1, Winter Gala on 12/8, and the Winter Music Recital on 12/14. It will be an auditory feast for all attendees.
In addition, our beginner band has flourished since the fall, and is poised to ascend to the ranks of an intermediate band. The band, now boasting 16 members, has not only expanded its numbers, but has also embraced a new dimension by welcoming three talented string players. This metamorphosis has elevated the group to a concert band, promising an even richer and more diverse musical experience.

Admissions News
by Dr. Shalina Fung

Dear HSArts Families,

As we embrace the fall season and witness the vibrant colors of change, we are thrilled to invite you to our upcoming Middle School and High School Open House events at HSArts—an opportunity to delve into the heart of our exceptional academic and artistic community.

Middle School Open House: Curriculum Preview and Q&A -- November 11, 2023
High School Open House: Curriculum Preview and Q&A -- December 2, 2023

While HSArts offers students a rigorous college-preparatory academic program, it is the person behind the grades who we care most about. Extensive research has illuminated the invaluable role of arts education in nurturing the healthy development of young minds.  Discover how an education focused on cultivating artistic excellence at HSArts can profoundly benefit your student, both within and beyond our classroom walls.

Join our dedicated staff and learn more about our well rounded and high-achieving HSArts curriculum for middle school and for high school (36 honors and AP course selections), pre-professional training in the arts and our commitment to providing a nurturing and enriching educational experience. It is the perfect opportunity to meet school leadership, faculty and ask questions. Please RSVP via this link if you haven’t yet.

Calling All Art Enthusiasts!
If you know families with students who have a passion for the arts, kindly extend this invitation to them. The Open House is an ideal occasion for them to witness firsthand the unique blend of academic excellence and artistic prowess that defines HSArts. 

If you’re interested in attending this event, or have any questions regarding the admissions process, please contact our Admissions Department.

Young Artists News
by Ms. Ginnie Wu

Just a reminder that our second dress rehearsal will take place on Wednesday, November 15th from 3:30-6:30pm.

Students should be ready with hair and costume by 4:00pm to participate in the rehearsal for curtain call.
Please have students prepare all their dance supplies the day before. We had several students forget shoes and hair supplies last time.

Students who only have dances in the first half of the rehearsal will be dismissed at 6:00pm. Students with dances in the second half will be dismissed at 6:30pm. We will send out the final rehearsal order early next week.

Parent volunteers for Nov 15th will receive assignments early next week. Thank you sooo much for your help!

Thank you!
Special Guest Speaker to the Dance Department

An award-winning ballet dancer and current Stanford freshman, Andrew, addressed our dance students on November 3. As a protégé of Mr. Dongsheng Wei, our esteemed artistic director, Andrew generously shared insights from his remarkable journey. His talk covered crucial aspects such as enduring pain during stretching, managing performance pressure, and balancing a rigorous schedule that includes over 20 hours of dancing per week alongside multiple AP classes.

When asked about the essential qualities of a ballet dancer, Andrew eloquently expressed, “I think a good dancer is also a good person, like a dancer is just a student, but in the arts. So I think you should be humble, determined, curious, open to learning, and a nice person. Don’t put down other dancers. So, just be a good person; that is a good dancer.” These values, instilled in him by Mr. Wei, his favorite ballet teachers, have shaped Andrew’s approach to both dance and life.

Despite a challenging academic load of seven classes at Stanford, Andrew continues to excel in dance and even finds time for sports. His dedication serves as an inspiration to our students, emphasizing the importance of determination, curiosity, and kindness in the pursuit of excellence in the arts.

Coming soon!

Nov 11
School Open House
Nov 17
Staff and Teacher Appreciation Day
Nov 20-24
Thanksgiving Break (no school)
Dec 1
Winter Wonders Recital
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