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Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences


Tuesday, May 21

Crazy Hair Pajama Day

Tuesday, May 21 at 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Middle School Film Festival at Violet Crown

Wednesday, May 22 at 8:30 am - 10:30 am

Step Up Day

Thursday, May 23

Noon Dismissal and Summercomes Graduation

Contact Us

5912 Jaguar Drive
Santa Fe, NM 87507

Phone (505) 438-8585

Fax (505) 438-0080


School News

Enjoy reading our news since the beginning of the school.

Dispatch from Costa Rica - 8th Grade International Trip

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. Here is a message from our travelers:

Pura Vida from Costa Rica,

You'll all be glad to hear that the trip so far has been awesome! Today, we returned from the remote rain forest eco-lodge/biological station called Pocosol. Attached is a photo of one of our "circulos" (that's what we call our frequent group gatherings for teachable moments). For the past three days, students have been working hard. Our activities included a brief science lesson on biodiversity, a hike to a waterfall and volcanic fumaroles, trail clean-up service work, and a night hike with a local guide/biologist assistant. On Monday, on the way to Pocosol, we stopped in a couple small towns, toured a traditional wagon-wheel factory operated by water wheel instead of electric power, and celebrated Pi day with pies in a beautiful park in the town of Zarcero.

Our chicks are hatching!

The Grasshopper (Kindergarten) class at SFSAS did an expedition about chickens this year. Students incubated eggs in their classroom. Watch and listen as they witness a new life being born.  A special thanks to Christina Turner with the Santa Fe County Extension. Without her knowledge and incubator this expedition would not have been possible.

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.

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.

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.

SFSAS Middle School featured in the Santa Fe Reporter

The Middle School expedition centered on the Immigrant Experience.  The Santa Fe Reporter featured Middle School Humanities teacher Dina Jansen and middle school students in this story.    Here is a highlight from Mr. Beckman's piece:

"When I sat down with the seventh-grade class, I mistakenly used the term “melting pot” to describe the US. The students quickly corrected me by explaining the concept of “the salad bowl.” This idea states that rather than mixing all cultures together in a single, homogenous America, they instead function separately while also blending into the mix as a whole."

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... 

Bookshelves Lead To Nobel Winner

Kathaleen Roberts | Albuquerque Journal North, Tuesday October 30, 2012. Download here.

Reading Program Aims To Hook Kids on Books

Kathaleen Roberts | Albuquerque Journal North, Friday, September 7, 2012. Download here.

Program bolsters kids’ reading skills

The Santa Fe New Mexican, Sunday July 8 , 2012. Download here.

Water conservation poster contest winners announced

The Santa Fe New Mexican, Monday June 11 , 2012. Download here.

Letter to the Editor by Tilcara G. Webb

"Literacy campaign"

The Santa Fe New Mexican, Monday June 11 , 2012.

City teens lead Hooked on Books project

The Santa Fe New Mexican, Sunday May 20 , 2012. Download here.

A Trail Guide for Kids—By Kids_ By Gail Snyder _ Photography by Todd Stiewing

Read here. Download here.

Congratulations Kayleigh!

Kayleigh Warren has taken the first place prize in this year's Letters About Literature writing contest for New Mexico Level 2. Congratulations!
Read all about it here.

My View: Help end illiteracy with Hooked on Books, by By Tilcara Webb/Special to Generation Next

The Santa Fe New Mexican, Thursday March 22, 2012. Download here.

Hooked on Books Campaign

Pasatiempo’s 2011 Writing Contest: Congratulations to all of our Students who participated!

Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper sponsors a holiday writing contest each year. This year there were 317 entries from children, teens and adults in stories and poems. This is the fifth year in a row that our students have won several awards in this competition!

Congratulations to:

  • Isabel Fernandez - First Place Children's Stories
  • Emma Sheppard - Second Place Children's Stories
  • Sam Connan - First Place Teen's Stories
  • Lauren T. Sarkissian - Third Place Teen's Poems

Future Voices of New Mexico 2011

Click here to see two of our award winning films from the 2011 Future Voices of New Mexico Film Competition.

“Save the Drop, Save the World.” Winner

Alicia Stewart, a sixth-grade student from Santa Fe School for the Arts and Sciences, won the top prize with her poster message "Save the Drop, Save the World."

The Santa Fe New Mexican, Saturday, May 14, 2011. Download here.

Students Repay Host Nation

Kate McGraw | Albuquerque Journal North, Saturday, April 2, 2011. Download here.

Santa Fe School for the Arts and Sciences experience earthshaking class trip to Japan

Robert Nott | The Santa Fe New Mexican, Tuesday March 29, 2011. Download here.

An Educational Jewel in Tierra Contenta

Tierra Contenta Newspaper, Februaury 2011. Download here.

Writing Kids! Young Santa Fe Students Publish Hiking Guide Book

By Nicole Blouin, NM Kids! Magazine, March/April 2011 issue, p. 14.

Why Expeditionary Learning or ‘Learning by Doing’ Could Save Education

Michelle Lamar, The Huffington Post. 10/27/2010. Download here 

Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

Check out the film our students made for the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market on YouTube

Congratulations to our Filmmakers!

Cinemakids was founded in 2000 by Mary Celeste Kearney, a professor in UT’s Department of Radio-Television-Film, in order to honor young filmmakers and to inspire other youths to see film production as a fun hobby, a means of creative expression, a form of civic engagement, and a possible profession.

Carbon Foodprint Study at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market

In the fall of 2009, the students in the 5th/6th grade class at Santa Fe School for the Arts and Sciences were asked the following questions: "Where does our food come from?"; and "How do we get our food?"

Read more about it.
Download here.

Student Community News in February 2010

Teens’ film shows dedication to diversity

Nationally aired film celebrates the uniqueness of being human
Ana Maria Trujillo | The Santa Fe New Mexican, Saturday, May 08, 2010. Download here.

Just in case you haven't yet checked them out, please consider taking a minute to see two short films our Middle School students made this year using footage of Sudan filmed by National Geographic photographer, Karin Muller. Our school was chosen to be a part of her organization, Take 2, which shares international footage with high school students and empowers them to make films. She told me that we were the only middle school chosen.

You can view these two short films, 'If' and 'Down The Drain' at: Just look for the two film titles and click! Each are under 2 minutes long.

Congratulations to our Middle School Students and their Language Arts Teacher, Geetha Holdsworth!

Each year, the Santa Fe New Mexican Newspaper sponsors a holiday writing contest. In 2010 there were 423 entries this year from all over New Mexico and our students won 8 of the 18 prizes for which students were eligible! This is the third year in a row that our students have won several awards in this competition! For the past three years, our school has held the record for the most awards won by any one school. The judges choose the winning pieces without knowing which school each writer attends.

Santa Fe Student State-Wide Winner in Lions International Peace Poster Contest

Home Town News, January 21, 2009. Read all about it here or download here.

Alumni News!

Fashioning change: Teens' T-shirts inspire awareness, raise money for charity doing.

Santa Fe New Mexican, January 10, 2009. Full article.

Students Work on Silk Screening T-shirts

From left, Arin Dineen, 17, Corey Mandel, 18, and Elizabeth Fulreader, 17, work on silk screening T-shirts Wednesday at the Santa Fe School for the Arts and Sciences. The teens partnered to form Awearness, a group dedicated to raising money for charity by designing and selling T-shirts that spread awareness on social issues.

Santa Fe New Mexican, January 10, 2009
Photo by Jane Phillips/The New Mexican

Lions Club International Peace Poster Contest

Hannah Sachs, our school winner for the Lions Club International Peace Poster Contest, also won first place in the city and state competitions! A repeat of her win from last year! Her winning poster will now go on to compete at the national level! If her poster wins, it will hang in the United Nations!

Grand Oopening of the Street Outreach Resource Center of Youth Shelters and Family Services

Priscilla Roberts, left, clinical director of Youth Shelters, serves food to Jose Bryne, 12, and Kamon Tari, 13, from the Santa Fe School for the Arts and Sciences during Friday's grand opening of the Street Outreach Resource Center of Youth Shelters and Family Services. The students are part of an after-school organization that promotes peace around the world. The new resource center, which offers support services to homeless, runaway and high-risk youth, is at 402 St. Francis Drive.

Santa Fe New Mexican, December 6, 2008
Photo by Jane Phillips/The New Mexican

2008 New Mexican’s Holiday Writing Contest

Ten of our students have won awards for their writing in this year's New Mexican's Holiday Writing Contest! 6 won first, second or third place awards and four students won Honorable Mentions!

Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival: Catwalk Gets Trashy

Designers dig through garbage for style inspiration in costume contest

Santa Fe New Mexican, November 15, 2008 

Fashionably rushed: Summer program builds sense of style

Santa Fe New Mexican, July 19, 2008 

2008 Children’s Water Conservation Poster Contest Winners

Santa Fe The City Different, April 18, 2008

Congratulations to the Winners of the 2008 Fifth Annual Children’s Water Conservation Poster Contest

City of Santa Fe News Release, April 15, 2008

Santa Fe New Mexican Holiday Writing Contest Winners 2007

Take a look at some of our students winning stories and poems. Read all about it here.

Youth United- SFSAS teens work to help the homeless

Santa Fe Arts And Culture

Winner of the Santa Fe Student and Youth Film Contest 2007

The Other Side of The Tracks - winning prize donated to Youth Shelters and Family Services.
Filmmakers: Clay Balsamo, Rikki Carroll, Benet Comeau, Beth Christensen, Arin Dineen, Lili Nimlo, Kiera O'Brien and Emma Selby.

Our school in the news

Reproduced by permission of The New Mexican, Inc.

"Very Different School" 
April 23, 2007

"Learning by discovery Santa Fe schools explore expeditionary-learning concept" 
April 27, 2005

Jackpot Raffle!

Grand Prize: $7,500 in cash or one full year SFSAS tuition*
Your odds of winning are better than 1 in 300!
Cost of ticket: $100**

2nd through 5th place winners choose from one of these great prizes: one week stay for the whole family at WorldMark Resort in Las Vegas; Garden Song Landscape Services by Sam Lunt, Apple iPad, Kindle Fire.

Click here for more info. 
Click here to purchase raffle ticket.

*One year of free tuition may only be redeemed by a student already enrolled or accepted to SFSAS, and may be applied to the 2013-2014 school year. **$100 is not tax-deductible.

Learning Curve: Hooked on a Nobel Laureate

The Santa Fe New Mexican, Sunday November 25, 2012. Download here.

Rayna Dineen and Students at TEDxABQ

Empowering compassionate youth leaders in New Mexico.
Watch Film here.

School Films

"Dear Susana"
won 2nd place in the documentary category in the Future Voices, National Geographic All Roads Film Festival.
Watch film here.

"Colorful Language"
won 2nd place in the Language Category for the Future Voices, National Geographic All Roads Film Festival.
Watch film here.

Support the Change You Want to See in the World

A Million Dollar Opportunity!

SFSAS has an incredible opportunity to start an endowment - a million dollar challenge grant! An Angel Donor has committed to matching every dollar pledged to the school, up to $1 million. Pledges of up to five years can be counted toward the match!

YOUR GIFT will be matched dollar for dollar.
YOU can help ensure that SFSAS endures to teach the next generation of leaders.
YOU can help SFSAS expand its leadership role in education.

For more information, please contact Perli Cunanan, Executive Director, 438-9799 or

Make your gift or pledge today!

Donate to the Endowment Campaign

Support SFSAS!