December Volunteer Opportunities

Thanks to everyone who chipped in and volunteered this past week at the Teacher & Staff Breakfast, the Small Ensembles Performance,  the Piano Concert, Beautification Day and today at the school tours! You all rock!

We still have lots of volunteering on the menu for this month.  Click any of the links below to sign up to volunteer.


Sweeney Todd: The Theatre Department is looking for a few volunteers to support the performances of Sweeney Todd in the Studio Theatre on December 8th, 9th, 10th, 15th & 16th at 7:30pm.  Click HERE to sign up!

Bethlehem, PA: An Opera from Post-Apocalyptic America.  A unique evening of music from Asawa SOTA Vocal & Instrumental Music. Students from Vocal Music, Band and Orchestra present an original mash-up of two classics, Amahl & the Night Visitors (Gian Carlo Menotti) and The Magic Flute (Mozart).  Friday, Dec 15th & Sat, Dec 16th at 7:30pm. Click HERE to sign up to volunteer!   ***

Holiday Cookie Boxes:  Our long-standing tradition of giving gift boxes of cookies and candies to the Ruth Asawa SOTA staff and faculty is a treasured one. We amass donated items and then assemble the treat boxes to distribute to our much-appreciated community of teachers, staff, security guards, janitors, including the SF Academy! Click HERE to sign up.

Holiday Spectacular!  A fabulous all-arts-departments show featuring a live broadcast of the 1964 "Ted Sullyvan Holiday Spectacular" from NYC, with performances by IM, MT, CW, Dance, Vocal, WM & WD, Media, Tech and Theatre, with stunning gallery installations by A&D and Visual, and an exciting special prizes drawing at all three shows! Wed, Dec 20th @ 7:30pm, Thurs, Dec 21st @ 5pm and 8:30pm.   Click HERE to sign up at one of the shows.   ***

*** Indicates Student Volunteer Opportunity. IM Students can receive community service credit.


To purchase tickets to one of the shows, please visit our main website:


November PTSA Mtg + Special Presentation on Mental Health Awareness

Please join the PTSA and the Wellness Center in the school library for a special presentation on Mental Health Awareness. The presentation will help families identify and better understand the early warning signs of mental illness and related behaviors in adolescents.

Presenters: National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI), The Wellness Center Staff and a Student Panel.

Click HERE for the full agenda.    And help us out by filling out the quick RVSP!
Date: Wed, November 15th
Time: 7pm
Location:  School Library


Volunteers Needed for Outreach! Sign up today.

SFUSD Enrollment Fair:  We are looking for a few volunteers to help represent our school at the SFUSD Enrollment Fair at John O'Connell High School.  Students Welcome! Save the date, Saturday, October 14, 2017. Click HERE to sign up!

School Tours: School tours have been scheduled for October 16th, November 13th, and December 4th.  We are looking for a parents from each department to help guide the tours together with a few students.  Click HERE to sign up!

High School Information Fair at Urban H.S:  We are looking for a few volunteers to help represent our school at the High School Information Fair at Urban High School.  Students welcome! Click HERE to sign up!  Saturday, November 18th, 2017.

Questions?  Contact Anne Yanow, Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator


PTSA September Meeting This Wed

Hello Ruth Asawa SOTA Community!

We’ve kicked of the year with a fabulous all-school picnic, had our Back to School Night, and now our first PTSA General Meeting is right around the corner.

Parent, Teachers, Students and Staff, this is your association and you are all welcome!  Please come and enjoy:

Hear from key members of our staff, such as our Principal, the Executive Director of FoSOTA, and others.

You will learn about the 35th Year Anniversary Celebration, meet your PTSA Board, find out about volunteer opportunities, get info about school communications, and get to know other parents.

And of course, participate in the business of the organization which for this meeting will include approving the PTSA budget. Click HERE for the full agenda.

Wed, September 27th @ 7pm in the School Library.  Look forward to seeing you there.

Beautification Day This Sat. Please Join Us.

Please join the Ruth Asawa SOTA Beautification Team and volunteers for the first Beautification Day for this school year. Meet other families and have fun.

We will meet in the quad; parents/guardians, teachers and students are welcome to join in, to help spruce up our favorite special high school campus. Snacks and supplies will be provided.

Projects will include the usual gardening and on-going painting projects, with a focus on the mysterious ROTC space: we will organize the gardening tools and supplies, and then move these items to a new spot (to be determined). This space will be used in the very near future for our ever growing Robotics Club, as they are planning a build for competition at the end of October.

Please contact David Fortescue or Rebecca Dickherber at if you have any questions.

To sign up for a specific task, click this LINK.


BACK to SCHOOL NiGHT SCHEDULE for Monday, Sept 18th

We are looking forward to seeing you all at Back to School Night.  See below for the full schedule. A hard copy of your student's schedule will be available for pick up in the quad between 5:30-6pm.
Pizza, PTSA merchandise & Asawa SOTA Season Passes will also be available for sale during that time.  ENJOY!


Monday, September 18th


    Student Government Pizza Sale (Cafeteria/Quad)
    PTSA Merchandise Sale + Membership (Cafeteria/Quad)
    Student Performance, The Rainbows (Quad)
    Student Schedule Pick Up (Quad, by Department)

 6:00-6:10: 1st Period (Classrooms)
 6:15-6:25: 2nd Period (Classrooms)
 6:30-6:40: 3rd Period (Classrooms)
 6:45-6:55: 4th Period (Classrooms)
 7:00-7:10: 5th Period (Classrooms)
 7:15-7:45: ARTS BLOCK (Designated Art Space)
 7:45: Dismissal
6:00-6:30: Ruth Asawa Wellness Center (2nd Floor)
6:00-6:30: Ruth Asawa College Counseling Office (3rd Floor)


BOE - Special Meeting - Sept 5th, 2017 - MOU between SFUSD & FoSOTA

BOE Special Meeting Sep 05, 2017 at 555 Franklin Street in the Irving G. Breyer Board Meeting Room.  Meeting begins at 6pm.

SPECIAL ORDER OF BUSINESS: Memorandum of Understanding Between the San Francisco Unified School District and Friends of the School of the Arts (Resolution No. 178-22B3 Removed from Consent Calendar at August 22, 2017 Meeting)

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Approve the Memorandum of Understanding Between the San Francisco Unified School District and Friends of School of the Arts for the 2017-2018 School Year.

BACKGROUND:  At its regular meeting on August 22, 2017, the Board of Education removed this MOU (Resolution No. 178-22B3) from the Consent Calendar and requested that it return for action at a subsequent meeting. It is now before the Board for action and recommended for approval.

As detailed in the attached Memoranda of Understanding, Friends of the School of the Arts will perform the following services:

  • coordinate the Annual Fund Ask;
  • collect and document contributions and prepare acknowledgement letters and receipts;
  • manage the art department accounts and provide support by making regular bank deposits, processing weekly reimbursement requests and producing regular financial reports;
  • manage box office activities in support of close to 100 performances throughout the school year which involve managing cash and credit card transactions, printing and distributing will-call tickets, running back-end management of the online tracking systems and identifying box office policies and procedures for performances, events and exhibitions;
  • continue to build strong relationships with the public by actively participating in community gatherings, promoting Ruth Asawa School of The Arts (Asawa SOTA) accomplishments and engaging with community leaders in a collaborative and constructive manner to generate financial support;
  • research possible funding avenues, draft appropriate proposals, maintain files, work with staff to ensure grant requirements are met, develop reports and maintain relationships with past funders;
  • facilitate communications between Asawa SOTA and its alumni by providing social events and fundraising opportunities that instill goodwill and pride;
  • administer the artists-in-residence ("AIR") program at Asawa SOTA.  

There is no fiscal cost to the District from this MOU.

BOE Agenda (Online) | BOE Agenda (PDF)
MOU between SFUSD & FoSOTA
FoSOTA Letter 2017.08.25
Superintendent Vince Matthews Consent Letter 2017


MOU Meeting for Families - Thurs, August 24th at 8:15am

Good Evening Asawa SOTA,

Please see below for a message from our principal regarding the MOU.

The PTSA will be hosting a meeting tomorrow in the school cafeteria at 8:15am (Thursday, August 24th) and Mr.Payne will be available to answer questions.  

We are currently working on focusing our efforts so our community can speak with one voice. More details to follow including Board of Education members' contact info and what we as a community can do to help.


Dear Ruth Asawa SOTA Community Members:

For many years, our school has been partnering with a non-profit organization called Friends of the School of the Arts (FOSOTA) to raise money for artists-in-residence who work with our instructors to enrich the learning for our students.

Whenever an SFUSD school partners with a non-profit, the school must enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and the SF Board of Education (BOE) must approve the MOU. At their first Board meeting of the new school year on August 22, the Board decided to postpone voting on the MOU with FOSOTA. The Board plans to discuss the issues associated with the MOU on September 5.

At this time, the artists-in-residence who work for FOSOTA will not be providing services pending Board approval of an MOU. While this does cause some disruption for planned arts instruction, I am confident that our department chairs and other Ruth Asawa SOTA teachers will continue to prioritize student learning in their arts’ disciplines. We hope this issue will be resolved between the SF Board of Education and FOSOTA in the near future and I will keep you updated.


Barnaby Payne, Principal
Ruth Asawa SOTA, SFUSD

Welcome Back Coffee

Please join us on the first day of school in the cafeteria.  Have a cup of coffee, enjoy a tasty treat and catch up with other Asawa SOTA families.  Spirit wear will be available for purchase and PTSA board members will be on hand to answer questions. 

Enjoy the last bit of summer!

Volunteer at the Welcome Back Picnic

Please join the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts community as we kick off the 2017-2018 school year and our 35th anniversary year long celebration with a school wide picnic on Saturday, August 26th from 12pm to 3pm.  Students, family members, teachers, staff, alumni and friends are all encouraged to attend.

The afternoon will be filled with delicious food, fun entertainment, exciting activities and wonderful community building.  Main dishes, roasted corn and beverages will be provided courtesy of Friends of SOTA. We are encouraging families to bring a side dish or dessert.

Interested in helping out at the event or contributing a side dish?  Sign up HERE!

Questions about this event? Please email us at

Thank you to all our volunteers.

As the PTSA board starts getting ready for the upcoming school year, we wanted to take one last opportunity to say thank you to all our amazing volunteers this past year.  It’s an endless list. Too many to list them all here, but a super warm and fuzzy thank you to anyone and everyone who helped out at any of the shows, meetings, principal chats, field trips, events, audition days, and more.

We would like to do a special shout out to our outgoing parents that made the super duper awesome volunteer list.   A big round of applause and thank you goes out to:

Sue Schechter, PTSA president
Joe Kelly, PTSA treasurer
Shellie Wiener, PTSA membership
Alan Geist, former PTSA treasurer
Paula Dinnell, Audition Days
Nancy Murphy, Audition Days
Nancy Roeser, former PTSA membership & Volunteer
Michael Schumann, Photographer & Volunteer
Asa Williams, World Music & Dance Auction
Ellen Cox, Beautification & Gardening
Kate Stacy, MT Parent Liaison & ITW Volunteer Coordinator
Lili Gaudreau, Tech Parent Liaison & former Parent Liaison Lead
Sandra Spence, Creative Writing Parent Liaison
Marcia & Paul Marinko, Guitar Parent Liaisons
Natalie Simotas, former Classical Voice Parent Liaison
Janet Tarlov,  Classical Voice Parent Liaison
Wynne Bamberg, Jazz Vocal Parent Liaison

Thank you for all your efforts & please come back to visit with us soon!  

For those of you that are continuing or joining us this next school year, please let us know if you are interested in volunteering.  There are a wide range of opportunities.   You can sign up on our website and we will reach out to you shortly!

Save the Date for the Asawa SOTA Picnic!

Please join the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts community as we kick off the 2017-2018 school year and our 35th anniversary year long celebration with a school wide picnic on Saturday, August 26th from 12pm to 3pm.  This picnic kicks off a year of celebration, marking the 35th Anniversary of the School of the Arts, renamed Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts in 2010, after Ruth Asawa, artist, educator and passionate arts advocate.

The afternoon will be filled with delicious food, fun entertainment, exciting activities and wonderful community building.  Please help us gauge attendance with your RSVP on Eventbrite.  Click HERE.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Questions?  Please email us at

Get Your Music On . . . All Summer!

We hope your summer is off to a great start and that you can join us at one (or all) of the IM House Concerts which will directly support the Orchestra and Band's Fall 2017 Retreat.  

  • French Horns & More - Sunday, June 11th
  • Jazz Combo - Saturday, July 8th
  • Eclectic Music Mix - Sunday, August 13th

Please click HERE to get a few more details and to sign up.  If you already signed up at the Band & Orchestra concert this past May, we already have your contract information and you will receive a confirmation shortly.


SOTa "Class of 2017" Glass - A Few Extra Available for Purchase

Thanks to all who helped and donated items to the Senior Luncheon today!  And a special shout out to Kate Stacy & Nancy Murphy for coordinating. 

All students received a Special "SOTA "Class of 2017" glass and there are few extra available if anyone would like to purchase.  You can pick them up right after the graduation tomorrow or in the main office on Friday morning.  CLICK HERE to purchase online.

Any questions, please contact us at  If you would prefer to pay with cash, please email the quantity and when you would prefer to pick up (after graduation or at school Friday morning).

Thank you!

May PTSA Mtg & Celebration

Please join us for our last PTSA meeting of the year!  This coming Wednesday, May 10th at 7pm in the cafeteria.  We will be celebrating the year and all our fabulous volunteers. 

To help us gauge attendance, please RVSP HERE.

New families welcome to attend.

Volunteer Opportunities!

We have lots of fabulous upcoming shows and we will need volunteers to help with ticket sales, ushering and concessions.  See our volunteer page for links to sign up!  Links updated weekly!

We also have the AP Exams coming up, the first two weeks of May.  We need help proctoring each of those exams, so please consider signing up for a shift.  Click HERE!

All volunteer opportunities are also posted on our school loop page.

April PTSA Meeting This Wed

Please join us for our monthly PTSA meeting this coming Wednesday, April 12th at 7pm in the school library.  See the flyer for details!  And help us gauge attendance so we know how much food to order. RVSP HERE!  Thank you!

Our College Workshop Series begins This Thursday! Please join us.

Please join us for Part 1 of our College Workshop Series: College Planning 101.  All grade levels welcome to attend.

Mr. Ben Rombro, Head Counselor and Ms. Beth Alberts, College Counselor will provide an overview of the college application process and what support the school can provide, including a timeline and tips for getting a handle on the college process.

Transcripts will be available for all Junior students/families.

All workshops are free of charge.  Asawa SOTA and Asawa SOTA PTSA do not endorse any of these services.  We provide these workshops as an educational opportunity for our students and families. 

Coordinated by the Asawa SOTA PTSA.

Questions?  Please contact Nancy Buffum