Current News

Please visit the school website, our facebook page or twitter feed for current news items!

Back to School Night 2018

We are looking forward to seeing you all at Back to School Night 2018 on Tuesday, October 9th.

Pick up a hard copy of your student's schedule, purchase some pizza from Student Gov, check out the Asawa SOTA merchandise, chat with board members from the Asawa SOTA PTSA, meet the PAC leaders and more in the quad from 5:30 to 6pm.

For the full schedule, please visit school loop. Back to School Night Schedule.

The PTSA is looking for a few volunteers to help with set up, clean up and more.  If you can help, sign up HERE.


CongratulationS to the Class of 2018!

Just a quick note to say congratulations to the Class of 2018!  Yay.  Wishing you all the best on your next adventure.

And here are a few handy links for our recent graduates:

Asawa SOTA Alumni Directory Please don't forget to register for the Asawa SOTA Alumni directory at Keep us posted on what you're up to so we can tell the world.
Graduation DVDs  Filmed exclusively for our community by filmmaker, photographer, and alumni parent, ROGER JONES (Elizabeth Jones/ IM 2015) at the Palace of Fine Arts on 6/6/18.  With presentations and performances from each of the arts departments at Asawa SOTA, plus featured guest, Albert Alarr, the 2018 class speaker, there's plenty to reminisce over... On sale for a limited time only for $35-.  DVDs will be mailed directly to your home in 2-3 weeks.  Click HERE to see a preview and to find the link to purchase online.
2018 Commemorative Glass  Each graduate received a glass at the senior luncheon.  Interested in getting one more?  You can purchase online and pick up on campus.  Email Janet Yieh for more information.

Remember to please stay in touch,


PTSA & SSC Meeting

Save the date & join us this coming Wednesday, March 21st for our monthly PTSA meeting to discuss next year's budget & priorities with Mr.Payne and the SSC. 

Please help us gauge attendance and rvsp (so we know how much food to provide).  We are ordering pizza this time. Yum!

Look forward to seeing you there.

Also!  The PTSA Board is also starting to plan for next school year.  If you are interested in joining our team, please fill out the nomination form.   There are all sorts of roles, big & small… so there is something for everyone.  If you have any questions about a particular role, please ask us!  Just email


Teacher & Staff Appreciation Breakfast

This year we are providing Staff Appreciation events year-round! Our February event will be to provide breakfast on Friday, February 23rd in the school library.

Click THIS LINK to sign up to help!

Breakfast will start promptly at 8:00 AM, so we need to be ready to rock and roll by then!  We will be preparing an oatmeal bar with fresh fruit.

Thanks so much, from the Asawa SOTA Staff Appreciation Team: Barb, Liz and Virginia. Please contact Liz Isaacs at if you have questions or need more information.

College Workshop Series

Please join us for our College Workshops. 

See the attached flyer for additional details and please RSVP to help us prepare. 

Thank you!

Audition Day - A BiG Thank You!

The first round of auditions were held this past Saturday, January 13th.   This event is made possible by ALL of the parent and student volunteers coming together to welcome auditioning students (over 400!) and their families, as well as to support staff and panelists.
A very BiG thank you to Paulette Cauthorn, Merrill Komai & Emily delReal in the main office, to Mia Waller & Alex Fortescue, our Audition Day co-chairs; to Liz Isaacs, our Staff Appreciation chair who coordinated all the food for our teachers, staff, and volunteers; and to Janet Yieh, our Merchandise co-chair for ordering and coordinating all the volunteer Ts!
Thanks also to those who donated refreshments for families who chose to wait on campus, and a special shout out to Monica Levavi for coordinating the complimentary coffee from Java Beach Café.  It was a LOT of delicious coffee and we went through every last drop. 


Audition Day - Volunteers Needed!

Calling All Ruth Asawa SOTA Parents!  Audition day is Saturday, January 13th. We need your help to make this day run smoothly for auditioning students, their families, and all the faculty and volunteers involved.   

Please join us, and remember, SOTA stands for:

Others at

Sign up HERE!




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