Join us for the Middle School Play - Little Shop of Horrors May 1 & 2!

Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences


Friday, May 1 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Middle School Drama Production

Saturday, May 2 at 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Middle School Drama Production

Wednesday, May 6 at 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Middle School Science Symposium

Friday, May 8 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Final Coffeehouse at the Railyard Performance Center

Contact Us

5912 Jaguar Drive
Santa Fe, NM 87507

Phone (505) 438-8585

Fax (505) 438-0080


Welcome to Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences

School News

LitQuest 2015 with Honorary Co-Chairs David Morrell and Hampton Sides

What is LitQuest?

LitQuest believes in the power of story.  We believe that there is music in words, rhythm in language and magic in reading.  We believe in joining forces, in designing a future distinct from the past and in saying no to despair.

Saturday, April 18 at Buffalo Thunder -- for the LitQuest Gala, an evening for mingling with literary luminaries, bidding on exclusive experiences, dinner, dancing and conversation - all benefiting Partners in Education and Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences.

Our honorary Co-Chairs for this event are David Morrell and Hampton Sides, who will be joined by dozens of accomplished authors from a variety of genres, including George Ancona, Nate Downey, Anne HIllerman, Steve Jimenez, Baker Morrow, Barbara Beasley Murphy, Barbara Rockman, Don Usner, and Candace Walsh.  See the full list with bios here.

Click here to reserve your seats for this evening to remember!

Vote for SFSAS in the 2015 Best Of Santa Fe!

Vote for us! SFSAS is a finalist for Best of Santa Fe 2015.  Vote for SFSAS as the Best Middle School in Santa Fe! Voting ends May 3. You can also vote for our own 8th grader Adam Griffo, who is nominated for Best Busker!

At SFSAS, we believe that a school is a big part of the life narrative of every student. SFSAS Alumn August Honnell (Class of 2011) has a story to tell. August had the honor of presenting his work to Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi! The former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives was touring the Santa Fe Community College's Trades and Advanced Technology Center. During her opening remarks at a press conference with Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, the Congresswoman noted how impressed she was by August.

Tim Honnell, also father to Abi (Stargazer) and Grace (Centaur), recounts the story of his son August at our Middle School.

"'I'm a scientist and an inventor," August would tell me. He was three. At 17, not much has changed, his passion for science and technology have kept him really busy. His journey had many challenges. At school, [before SFSAS], he never really fit in, he struggled. Nikki, August's mom, always recognized this and made sure his needs were met. This was not easy. Not many believed in him. August's challenges were very complex. 

SFSAS Alumn presents to Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

SFSAS Alumn August Honnell (Class of 2011) had the honor of presenting his work to Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.  The former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives was touring the Santa Fe Community College's Trades and Advanced Technology Center.  During her opening remarks at a press conference yesterday with Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, the Congresswoman noted how impressed she was by August.  "“It’s clear, listening to August – what more can anyone say, what better testimonial to an institution than to hear a student speak to it in such a beautiful way." 

Greetings from Sunny Costa Rica!

The SFSAS 8th grade international trip is a tradition that SFSAS alumni remember their whole lives.  It is part of our school's commitment to learning how to work and live in a global society.  Each year, our 8th grade takes an international trip to perform community service, stay with families in Costa Rica, while learning about language and culture.  Read more about the trip here.  In the next few days, we will share messages from the group written by teachers Nate Moore, Eddy Segura, Jenn Love and Lani Ersfeld.

March 18, 2015
Greetings from Sunny Costa Rica!

Yesterday was a FULL day...

After waking early, we drove three hours to Manuel Antonio National Park. Along the way, we stopped to see crocodiles swimming and sun bathing by a muddy river and to enjoy some fresh coconut water. The drive was beautiful, passing through a palm plantation, and the first view of the ocean elicited a spontaneous collective cheer.

In the very hot and humid town of Quepos, we parked our bus at Espadillas Hotel and walked to the park. To get to the beach, we hiked about a mile through the rainforest, stopping along the way when we saw a deer and then again to spot a sloth -- both animals were very close to the trail! The ocean water was a welcome relief from the heat and humidity. After cooling off, jumping waves, and body surfing for a couple hours we paused to have lunch. We made avocado sandwiches and had fresh mangoes for dessert, which attracted 3 or 4 white-faced monkeys and a small pack of raccoon... while these animals were new sights for us, they were also aggressive pests, and we had to make a lot of noise and even wield large sticks to show them we meant business and our lunch was NOT theirs!

SFSAS to be featured in national EL film on Arts Integration in Education

SFSAS was chosen as one of three EL schools in the country to be featured in a film on Arts Integration in Education and its connection to deeper learning. Here is a message from Rayna Dineen, SFSAS Founder and EL School Designer, Mountain Region.

Dear SFSAS Community,

I recently had the opportunity to spend three full days observing, filming and interviewing students and teachers at SFSAS alongside David Grant, a master EL teacher (18 years at the first EL mentor school, King Middle School) and videographer for Expeditionary Learning. SFSAS was chosen as one of three EL schools in the country to be featured in a film on Arts Integration in Education and its connection to deeper learning.

We also had the opportunity to interview two of our alumni for a project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A student in the graduate program chose to make a film about a Physics expedition and project Chintan did with her students in 2007. The alumni we interviewed shared with us that the investigative thinking they practiced in Chintan, Todd and Matt's classes, and later on in the middle school, led them to want to continue to pursue scientific investigations on their own in high school.

One of the alums we interviewed surprised us by sharing that she is now on the Super Computing team in high school and the other student is delving into black holes and the mysteries of the universe completely on his own. Both shared that the way they learned at SFSAS supported them to continue to be curious about the scientific world and gave them the tools they needed to explore their interests outside of school. We will share the footage from those interviews when the film is completed. They were quite inspiring!

It was such a powerful experience to see our school through David's eyes and hear his feedback as we spent time in every classroom. It was also such a joy for me to see the strong positive culture and deep integration of science and the arts that was happening everywhere we looked.

Santa Fe School becomes part of South Africa’s School in the Cloud

SFSAS Middle School math teacher’s videos gain attention of educators half a world away

When Gary Fulreader, SFSAS' Middle School math teacher, started filming his algebra instruction three years ago for his students, he never imagined that students on another continent would be tuning in. Last month, Fulreader was contacted via his YouTube channel by Gladys Pienaar at The nonprofit organization works to deliver meaningful content free of charge to all South Africans to address the dire standards of education in the country.

"I wanted to give my students an extra resource, especially for new concepts that were on the homework. I am happily surprised that other kids and teachers are finding it useful. In fact I get positive comments each week from kids all over the world who are actively watching my videos. The coolest thing of all is that my students now feel like they are actively participating in making a difference in world learning” said Fulreader, who is in his 8th year at SFSAS.

Nathan Moore, who teaches science, algebra and STEM in the middle school, is also a contributor to the math-focused YouTube channel. The public channel has 300 videos. Topics include Solving Linear Systems by Substitution, Graphing Quadratic Equations and Solving “Work” Word Problems. The channel has 432 subscribers and 78,811 views.

SFSAS Middle School Video - Get Inspired

SFSAS is proud to present this short film about our Middle School.  We are currently accepting applications for 7th and 8th grade students.  If you are interested in taking a tour, contact the school office at 438-8585.  You can also sign your child up for a shadow day when he/she can experience our middle school first hand, guided by one of our student ambassadors.  For more information about admissions, contact Satara Bixby, Admissions Coordinator, and phone: 505-438-8585.  

SFSAS Founder and Teacher Featured in Book about Managing Active Classrooms

EL book Management in the Active Classroom

Centaur (3rd/4th grade) Teacher Todd Stiewing and SFSAS Founder Rayna Dineen were featured in a recently published book entitled, "Management in the Active Classroom."  It is a guide to classroom management that that will help teachers build respectful, active, collaborative, growth-oriented classrooms. Good classroom management skills aren't magic or a lucky gift given to a chosen few.  This guide provides clear, straightforward guidance to help all teachers learn, practice, and master structures and practices that build self-discipline and responsibility in their students.

Here are excerpts from the book:

Practice #7
Problem Solving and Consequences for Poor Choices
Consequences in your classroom should help students learn and grow

"The whole idea," says Rayna Dineen, veteran Expeditionary Learning teacher and educator for over 30 years, "is that you should do your best to talk to kids and work with them in the same way you would speak to an adult friend who needed help and guidance. You would never speak to a friend the way I have sometimes heard adults speak to children."

SFSAS presents Hooked on Books to Jane Goodall

SFSAS was honored among other inspiring school programs to present to Jane Goodall at a recent Roots and Shoots event in Santa Fe.  Pictured here are (from left) Lucinda Patrus, SFSAS Class of 2015, Dr. Jane Goodall, SFSAS alumna Indu Holdsworth, Class of 2014, and Victoria Azizova, SFSAS Class of 2015.  The three SFSAS representatives made a compelling presentation to Dr. Goodall about how SFSAS has helped them to understand their role as change agents and Citizen Scholars in our world.  They told her about Hooked on Books and the Reading is Magic Camp.  Hooked on Books is a youth-led literacy campaign started at SFSAS.  Reading is Magic is one of the campaign's initiatives.  For three years running, the summer reading camp has helped students gain on average one year of growth in their reading.

Our Middle School

Our middle school program is committed to supporting and promoting the academic and emotional growth of adolescents. Our curriculum gives students the blueprints for learning, invites divergent and creative thinking, teaches the skills necessary in the 21st Century, and instills and encourages the desire for further learning. We believe that students learn best in a diverse community and are committed to creating a student body who reflects New Mexico, our nation, and the world. 

What is Expeditionary Learning?
As an Expeditionary Learning school, Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences is committed to learning that is meaningful, in which students apply their skills and knowledge to real-world issues and problems and make positive change in their communities. Expeditionary Learning uses an inquiry-based, project-based approach to learning that challenges students to think critically, work collaboratively and present their learning to authentic audiences. We connect high quality academic learning to adventure, service, and character development.

SFSAS is on Weather Underground!

The Centaurs will spend their spring exploring and learning about weather and climate; using technology to share their findings on Weather Underground! We received a grant from the Golden Apple Foundation and Wells Fargo to purchase a state-of-the-art weather station, which has been installed on Underhill’s rooftop.  You can check the weather at the school here.  The Weatherbridge station creates a potent opportunity to do fieldwork, in which students are active investigators, applying research tools, techniques of inquiry and standards of presentation used by professionals.  Students will be responsible for collecting information from our weather station, using it to record weather patterns and to compare current and past patterns. Students will use the data to create models and graphs in our math classes and study how weather has influenced cultures through time in our language arts, history, and geography classes. Additionally, we will build traditional handmade weather recording devices and compare data to records from our modern weather station.  Thank you to Golden Apple Foundation and  Wells Fargo for making the purchase of the Weatherbridge Kit possible!  Thank you to Centaur parent Andres Paglayan and Eddy Segura for their assistance with this project!

Santa Fe Reporter column mentions culture at SFSAS

Santa Fe Reporter columnist Seth Biderman visited SFSAS and included the school in a recent column.  Seth is also the manager of the Academy for the Love of Learning’s Institute for Teachers, committed to revitalizing the lives and practices of teachers.  SFSAS Principal Geetha Holdworth and Executive Director Perli Cunanan also visited the Academy for the Love of Learning and were impressed by the organization's knowledge and commitment to supporting great teaching in Santa Fe.  

Nobel Laureate Visits School

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Betty Williams' visit to the school was a day to remember!  After touring all of the classrooms, she had tea with Youth United students.  The Pearson Foundattion also produced a video about our students meeting Nobel Peace  Prize Laureate Leymah Gbowee.  Watch it here:

The Journal North covered the visit:

Nobel Laureate offers SF kids sage advice: 'Never Give Up'
By Jackie Jadrnak
Of the Journal

When youths at the Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences asked Nobel Peace Prize recipient Betty Williams for advice Wednesday, her answer was short and emphatic:

“Never give up.”

She was awarded the prize in 1976 after witnessing the deaths of three children during the “troubles” in her Northern Ireland home, where the Irish Republican Army battled British authorities. She collected 6,000 signatures within a couple of days from people urging peace and, with the children’s aunt, Mairead Corrigan, founded Women for Peace.

Ever since then, Williams said, she has been criss-crossing the world, speaking out for peace and for improved conditions for children.

On 9/11, she said, when terrorists flew jets into buildings in New York City and Washington, D.C., killing thousands of people, 35,615 children in the world died from malnutrition – “and no one said a word.”...

Read the entire story here.

Expeditionary Learning Boosted Reading, Math, Study Finds

A new independent study provides an important affirmation of Expeditionary Learning (EL).  You can read the full report here and a two-page summary here.  Also, a story on the study appeared in Education Week today ("Expeditionary Learning Schools Boosted Reading, Math, Study Finds").  Such strong study results validate the Expeditionary Learning approach  - where intentional focus on citizenship and character are joined with rigorous academic learning. These qualities of teaching and learning that have been the foundation of EL since it was founded 20 years ago are central to meeting today's challenge to develop students who are successful in college, career, and life. It is significant that the Education Week story on these results specifically names critical thinking, problem-solving, project-based learning and deeper learning as distinguishing features of the EL model; many educators across the country beyond Expeditionary Learning schools will celebrate this affirming news.

Scholastic Magazine’s February Issue features SFSAS

The Kindest School on Earth - One school's plan for a more civilized classroom

By Adele Oliviera
What if you you went to a school where you wrote the rules? These eighth graders at Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences in New Mexico do exactly that.  Every year they create their own constitution... 

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